EVS (European Voluntary Service) is an international volunteer programme funded by the European Commission. It enables all young people legally resident in Europe, aged between 18 and 30 years, to carry out an international volunteer service in an organisation or in a public body in Europe, Africa, Asia or South America for a period ranging from 2 to 12 months.
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.
European Voluntary Service is FREE OF CHARGE! Travel expenses, accommodation, food, local transportation, health insurance, language lessons and monthly allowance are covered and financed by the European Commission.
But why should you choose to do EVS?
The reasons why you should choose EVS are many. EVS is a once in lifetime opportunity for you to live in another country and get know the culture. You will meet a lot of new people, visit new places and learn new things about yourself and your own capabilities. You will understand the differences and the similarities between your own country and other's. Through this experience you might even see things you thought to be evident and common in a new light.
You will learn about your strengths and weaknesses and use your knowledge to create and take part in projects organised by your hosting organisation. It is this proces of working together with people of various ages, cultures and with a different set of values than your own that both develops you as an individual and as part of the society.
In YPGD our group of volunteers consists of people from 5 different countries, youths aged between 19 and 25, diverse educational levels and beliefs. This not only boosts the working proces, but also helps you think in unusual and creative ways. The volunteers' distinct set of competences makes it an interesting and educational work experience that will be an inspiration for you in the future.
All in all you should both consider EVS if you do not know which direction you want to follow or if you already know. Doing EVS is indeed a good way to break-new-grounds and find out what you would like to study or work with afterwards, but it is equally excellent for testing your ideas and plans, and maybe review your initial thoughts. So if you choose EVS, it will undoubtedly be a significant experience that you will draw on and remember in both your personal and professional life.
Are you ready to take part in this adventure?
To apply for an EVS vacancy you have to follow a few simple steps.
- First step is to find a sending organisation. This step is crucial in the first part of the proces. The sending organisation's responsibility is to take care of the legal parts of your stay, and is a key player in securing your rights as a volunteer and help you with the proces of searching for project.
- Second step is to find the project and the hosting organisation where you would like to do EVS. As said before your sending organisation will help you with that, but typically it is easier if you also take part in this yourself. You can find the projects and organisations on the European Youth Portal: https://goo.gl/XnsQZL and Youth Networks: http://goo.gl/em6h0O. For urgent calls organisations also use Facebook to find volunteers. For instance EVS Vacancy, Discover the EVS, Find EVS , etc.
- When you have found the project and organisation you would like volunteer in. You have to fill a CV and usually also write a motivational letter for that specific project. The motivational letter makes it easier for the hosting organisation to decide, who will be their EVS volunteer, and it gives you the opportunity to show you enthusiasm for the project. You can find instructions and help on Europass https://goo.gl/bgjuZf
- Having sent applications for the volunteering projects, you will have to wait for the organisations to consider you as their future volunteer. The amount of time before you will be accepted and granted the opportunity of EVS varies. But if you are persistent and write a lot of applications for different projects, you will surely be accepted. If you, however, want to do EVS as fast as possible, the easiest way is to pay attention to urgent calls on Facebook.
- The last step is of course to take part in one of the coolest experiences ... exactly, EVS.