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Foyle International secure half a million in funding to send Northern Irish abroad for work internships!

Foyle International have secured £520,000 from Erasmus+ funding, giving Northern Irish locals the opportunity to work across Europe to develop skills, job prospects and cultural awareness.

Patrick and Ronan who undertook internships in hospitality and catering in Berlin, Germany
Patrick and Ronan who undertook internships in hospitality and catering in Berlin, Germany

The funding will be used to fund recent graduates, students of VET colleges and those currently unemployed, to travel to partner countries including Germany, Italy, Spain, Malta, France, Holland, Portugal and Reunion Island for work internships.

There are 120 positions available until October 2021 and there are 110 internships for 4 weeks and 10 internships for 3 months. 

Feargal Doherty, European Project Manager at Foyle International said:

We are absolutely delighted to secure this funding as it will give the young people in the north of Ireland the chance to travel, work and enjoy other European cultures whilst enhancing their employability skills. These young adults will be ambassadors for Derry and I am sure with their charm and personalities will further spread the word of N.Ireland as an ideal location to visit as a tourist, study as a student or invest as a business.

Reunion Island
Porto, Portugal
Seville, Spain

In 2018-19 over 60 students from Derry participated in a previous Erasmus+ project with Foyle in the fields of tourism, hospitality and catering, at several locations throughout Europe. 

What is Erasmus+?

Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport.

Erasmus+ offers exciting opportunities for UK participants to study, work, volunteer, teach and train abroad in Europe. It is aimed at students, trainees, apprentices, pupils, adult learners, young people, volunteers, professors, teachers, trainers, youth workers and professionals of organisations active in the education, training and youth sector.

Taking part in the programme helps you to develop personally and professionally; you will gain valuable international experience, broaden your horizons, experience new cultures and discover new ways of working. Erasmus+ is of particular benefit to young people who can learn new skills to improve their employability, acquire life skills, and develop their confidence.

Erasmus students from Derry who undertook work internships in Perpignan, France in July 2019

For more information get in touch at or call 028 71 371 535 

Erasmus Plus

What is Erasmus+ ?

Many of you may have heard of Erasmus. A European programme that allows students to study abroad? Okay, that was the definition of Erasmus 30 years ago! Today, this European programme has evolved and is no longer just for higher education students…

The story of Erasmus

The Erasmus programme was created in 1987. The Council of Ministers of Education wanted to give recognition to study  abroad, and grant financial aid and accommodation for students taking part in these programmes. 

Indeed, at the beginning, Erasmus was only intended for higher education students. In the first year, it only involved 11 countries and 3000 students. Its name stands for "European Community Action Scheme of the Mobility University Students". It pays homage to the famous philosopher Erasmus, the forerunner of European identity in the 15th century.

In 30 years, the Erasmus programme has become one of Europe's greatest success stories. Under its new name "Erasmus Plus" (or Erasmus+), it now brings together all European programmes. Programmes dedicated to education, training, youth and sport! Jobseekers, apprentices, sportsmen and women and teachers can also take part in Erasmus +.

Since 1987, 9 million people have benefited from mobility in 33 different countries, including 4 million students.

Erasmus+ objectives

Erasmus+ contributes to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion and to the objectives of the strategic framework "Education and Training 2020".

The programme encompasses the following themes :

  • Reducing unemployment, especially among young people
  • Promoting adult education, particularly in the field of new skills and competences in demand on the labour market
  • Encouraging young people to participate in democratic life in Europe
  • Supporting innovation, cooperation and reforms
  • Reducing school dropout
  • Promoting cooperation and mobility with EU partner countries

Programs for everyone

If you’re aged 18-30 and living in the UK, you can use Erasmus+ to learn a new skill by taking part in work internships lasting from two weeks to 12 months! Your travel, accommodation, food and insurance will be paid for, along with a small monthly allowance. 

Not to mention that you’ll have the opportunity to try out the type of work you might want to do in the future, employers will love that you’ve gone out your way to learn new skills, gain relevant work experience and experience a different culture and language. Erasmus + aims to be versatile and accessible to all.

Through Erasmus+

  • Young people can study, volunteer and gain work experience abroad, to develop new skills, gain vital international experience and boost their employability
  • Staff can teach or train abroad, to develop their professional practice, build relationships with international peers, and gain fresh ideas
  • UK organisations can collaborate with international partners, to drive innovation, share best practice, and offer new opportunities to young people.

Why take part in this program ?

Reason n°1 : Erasmus facilitates mobility in Europe through financial support and a network of collaborators. This will help you to leave and live this experience in the best possible way.

Reason n°2 : The Erasmus experience is unique! It is the opportunity to learn a new language, meet new cultures and live new experiences! 

Reason n°3 : Whether you are a high school student, teacher, student or job seeker, the Erasmus passport opens many doors. For example, the unemployment rate for Erasmus students is 23% lower than for those who have never been abroad.

So, why not travel, gain work experience, learn a language and become part of a big European family?

work internship uk

For more information on Erasmus+ programmes, please visit 

For more information about Erasmus+ programmes at Foyle International, please email or call +44 28 71 371 535 


Foyle International is Northern Ireland’s first OET test centre

Foyle are delighted to announce that we have been chosen as a test centre for the Occupational English Test (OET), an English Language test for overseas healthcare professionals.

Having specialised in Medical English for more than 20 years, Foyle offer a one-week intensive OET preparation course before exam dates as well as 3, 6 or 9 month courses for those who require more preparation to improve their level of English.

What is OET?

The OET is an Australian developed international Medical English test that assess the language proficiency of healthcare professionals. It assesses all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – through test material designed to reflect real healthcare scenarios.

This initiative comes amid widespread concern of a shortage of NHS medical professionals across the UK. 

For overseas nurses to work in the UK, they require OET Grade B and to pass the OSCE 1 and OSCE 2 exam. Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry is one of 3 OSCE 2 exam centres across all of the UK, making Derry a unique and attractive location for international nurses to gain the qualifications needed to work in the UK. 

Paul Murray, Director of Foyle International said: “We at Foyle International are delighted to be the first OET centre in the north of Ireland. 

Having specialized in Medical English for over 20 years, Foyle intends to work closely with the new OSCE 2 centre located at Magee Campus, Ulster University to increase numbers of international doctors and nurses qualifying in the North West region as healthcare professionals and grow Derry as an International Medical Hub.  

Thank you to all our staff and associates for their hard work in bringing this project to fruition.”

OET test centre, Foyle International in Derry


Foyle International in Derry

A spokesperson for Ulster University commented: “International nurses play a vital and important role in our high quality health and social care provision. At the nursing Competency Test Centre on the Magee campus, over 450 internationally educated nurses each month complete the second exam of their Test of Competence, facilitating their entry onto the Nursing and Midwifery Council live register in order to work in Northern Ireland and across the UK as registered nurses. 

English language skills are central to those nurses being able to meet the criteria to pursue their careers in nursing and we welcome the launch of the first OET centre in Northern Ireland at Foyle International as it will play an important role in facilitating those who wish to pursue a career in nursing."

OSCE 2 centre at Ulster University in Derry


OSCE 2 centre at Ulster University in Derry

Who recognises OET?

OET is recognised and trusted by healthcare boards and councils in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore. Many organisations, including hospitals, universities and colleges, are using OET as proof of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment. 

The test is recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK and the Nursing and Midwifery Board and the Medical Council of Ireland

In April 2019 the Home Office announced that overseas medical staff will no longer be required to pass a second English Language test in order to enter the UK on a Tier 2 visa – but can now apply using either IELTS or OET.

OET exam

Foyle International is the 4th test centre on the island of Ireland. There are test dates every month and 14 dates in total for the year. 

More information about the OET test and dates can be found here:

For any enquiries, please email or call 028 71 371 535