How do I join the European Voluntary Service?
Experience different cultures by volunteering in a foreign country
Want to experience the continent by lending a helping hand and experiencing different cultures? The European Voluntary Service (EVS) presents travel curious 18-30 year olds Europeans the opportunity to lend their skills and learn.
What is the EVS?
The European Voluntary Service project is a partnership between two or more promoting organisations. These organisations are responsible for recruiting volunteers for their project. Volunteers participate in EVS through a Sending Organisation in the country where they live and a Receiving Organisation that receives and hosts them during their period of service.
Projects last from 2 weeks to 12 months, and as a volunteer you can work in a wide range of fields, such as culture, youth, sports, children, cultural heritage, arts, animal welfare, environment and development cooperation. The European Youth Portal has a database that contains lists of volunteer opportunites that are available within and outside the European Union.
Partaking in an EVS project in another country is not a decision you should make lightly. EVS is not a job or a work placement. It is the opportunity for a young person to express their personal commitment through voluntary work in a foreign country.
The aim of EVS is help its young volunteers develop:
- Mutual understanding
Why become a EVS volunteer?
- Experience a new culture in a foreign country
- Volunteers receive free board and lodging, insurance cover and a grant for the duration of the project. In some cases volunteers may be asked for a contribution to travel costs.
- EVS volunteers that work for more than two months abroad can get additional support to learn and test their progress in the language used during their volunteering.
- The learning that volunteers gain from EVS is formally recognised through an EU certificate called Youthpass.
Am I suitable?
Before you sign up for the EVS, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- What is my personal motivation?
- Which area do I want to commit to?
- How long am I ready to commit myself for?
- How much time do I have?
How can I apply?
- Contact an organisation that is recruiting volunteers for a granted project OR
- Contact an organisation to discuss starting a project
You can view the types of positions available on the EVS database. These projects are categorised by topics and location. You can whittle down the content to include the subject areas where you have the most expertise or interest in.