New call for Rural Erasmus: working and living in Aragonese villages with expenses covered

New call for Rural Erasmus: working and living in Aragonese villages with expenses covered

At the moment, there are 22 people in this seventh edition, with the registration period open for both the Challenge and the Roots programs.

Redacción Thursday, July 4, 2024 / 18:34

The University of Zaragoza and the Provincial Council of Zaragoza are launching the seventh edition of the Erasmus Rural programme, which enables university students and recent graduates to do internships in rural areas . A total of 216 students have so far participated in one of the two projects that make up Erasmus Rural: Desafío and Arraigo . Thanks to these projects, administrations, entities, associations and companies in the province of Zaragoza contact university students or graduates through the Universa service of the University of Zaragoza to do paid training internships . At the moment, there are 22 people in this seventh edition , with the registration period open.

The Provincial Council of Zaragoza renews its commitment to this programme, which was a pioneer in Spain and served to encourage other administrations to promote similar initiatives. The seventh edition of the Rural Erasmus is financed by the DPZ, which is contributing 100,000 euros for another year. Both students and employers can now sign up on the Universa service website .

Today, the deputy delegate of the Fourth Space of the DPZ, Cristina Palacín , and the vice-chancellor of Students and Employment of the University of Zaragoza, Ángela Alcalá , have presented this new call. With them was Inés Vijuesca, an Architecture student who did her internship in the Challenge program last year at the Daroca City Council to support and collaborate in the study of empty or unfitted housing in the town.

“It is a programme that demonstrates the current situation and sincere commitment to the Town Councils of the Province and to the students. It is a smooth entry into the world of work ”, said the deputy delegate, Cristina Palacín.


The Desafío programme is aimed at students and offers between 120 and 500 hours of training in a small town in the province, where they can live and spend the night. In the case of Arraigo, it is aimed at graduates in the last six years, offers a maximum of 350 hours of training and, as a requirement, the applicant must prove his or her connection to the territory, since the personal address must be at most 50 kilometres from the place where the internship will take place .

Last year’s edition involved 44 students or recent graduates , 23 in the Desafío programme and 21 in Arraigo . Young people with different qualifications such as Environmental Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Business Administration and Management, Cultural Heritage Management, Marketing, Veterinary Medicine , Journalism , Social Work, Geography , Art History or Nursing who developed their knowledge during their internships in companies, institutions and associations in municipalities such as Belchite, Used, Calatayud, Romanos, Mallén, Gallur, Buajraloz, Ateca, Alcalá de Moncayo, Herrera de los Navarros, Torrijo de la Cañada, Torralba de Ribota, Gallur, Sástago, Mallén, Gelsa, Badules or Berdejo, among others.


The majority of participants in these two programmes are women. 73% of the total in the last edition were women , a percentage that is even higher in the case of internships in the Arraigo programme , where 81% of the total number of university graduates were women.

Taking into account the areas of knowledge of the participants , the branch with the highest number of practices is Social and Legal Sciences , with 52%, followed by Arts and Humanities , with 25%. The rest of the participants were from the areas of Engineering and Architecture (9%) and Health Sciences, with 7% in each of the latter two.

“I went with a housing study project to see which houses in Daroca were in the worst condition, something I did with enthusiasm and being welcomed in the town from the beginning,” says Inés Vijuesa , one of the students who took part in the programme last year. “I received 1,000 euros a month for the work done and 600 euros for accommodation, which is fantastic,” said the architect.

By specific qualifications, in last year’s edition, 27 qualifications participated in the Desafío and Arraigo projects. The largest number of students/graduates of 2023 who participated in one of these two projects were from the Degree in Business Administration and Management, with 4 people. They are followed, with 3 people in each qualification, by the Master in Cultural Heritage Management, Degree in Journalism, History and Law and Hispanic Philology.

Territorially, the Calatayud region was the one that welcomed the most students and graduates in internships , with a total of 22 (14 students in the Desafío program and 8 in Arraigo; followed by Campo de Daroca, with 17 people (10 in Desafío and 7 in Arraigo); followed by Campo de Borja with 6 in total; Ribera Alta del Ebro, with 5 and Ribera Baja del Ebro with 4, among others.


Desafío was the first programme to emerge from the collaboration for these purposes between the Diputación de Zaragoza and the University of Zaragoza in 2018. It continues to be aimed at students enrolled at the University of Zaragoza who wish to gain work and life experience in creative and innovative organisations located in municipalities in the province of Zaragoza ( excluding the capital and its rural neighbourhoods) .

“This is a pioneering programme that allows students to live in the place where they work, which creates ties and makes them the protagonists of the town and its history,” said Angela Alcalá, Vice-Chancellor for Students and Employment at the University of Zaragoza.

The programme has two lines , one with free accommodation and another in which free accommodation is not provided. Depending on the one or the other, the student receives a monthly financial amount and another for maintenance. The Challenge programme requires the student to live and spend the night in the town where the internship takes place.

Internships will last between 120 and 500 hours per university student, with special attention being paid to those carried out in companies or entities in small towns. The student is registered with social security.

In the case of the Arraigo program , it reaches its fifth edition, since it was launched in 2020. In this case, young people who have completed their degree in the last six years can participate. The internships will have a maximum duration of 350 hours and graduates are required to have a connection with the territory where they want to do the internship, understanding that the home is at most 50 kilometers from the place where the internship is carried out.

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