Do you want to do volunteer work abroad, but not sure if you can afford it? EVS offers young people between 17 and 30 years old the chance to do volunteer subsidised work for two to twelve months in Europe. Check out the possibilities with the EVS projects via SIW.
The EVS (European Voluntary Service) is part of the Erasmus + program from the European Union. Through this program you can do volunteer work in Europe for 2 to 12 months, with your expenses paid for. Young people between 17 and 30 years old can take part in an EVS project. In Europe there are hundreds of organisations and projects that take on EVS volunteers. The themes and target audiences are diverse: environmental protection, sport programs, music schools, with target audiences like children, deaf youth, elderly people, minorities and animals.
European Voluntary Service is almost cost free!
- Travel expenses will be 90% reimbursed
- Free housing and food expenses reimbursed
- Additional health insurance paid for
- Each participant receives a monthly cash allowance
Important information for EVS participants: SIW will place participants on an EVS project until 26 April 2018 (subsidy deadline). After this date the role of SIW as an EVS sending organisation will most likely disappear. This is a consequence of a change in the system of the European database for EVS projects. From the 1st of May onwards EVS projects will only be available through the database of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). SIW is currently awaiting how the role as a possible EVS support organization will look like in order to continue supporting EVS volunteers.
Applying through SIW is still possible. We will then keep you informed through email. However, you must also register directly at the site of the European Solidarity Corps Portal as this has been mandatory since January 2018.
We became an international family!
Why is the European Union funding EVS?
Erasmus+ is a comprehensive European subsidy program for education, youth and sport. This program facilitates study or work abroad. EVS offers the possibility to do volunteer work in Europe. The EU, through the Erasmus+ program, wants to promote exchange and knowledge sharing between young Europeans. Experiences such as EVS are crucial for the constant development of people, regardless of their age or background.
What will the European Union expect from you?
Most importantly that you are driven and enthusiastic! You do not need a specific degree or work experience. Usually, during the project, you will have the opportunity to work on specific skills. There will be expected from you a degree of autonomy and that you follow a number of trainings, in the beginning and half-way through your stay abroad. The trainings are educational and bring you in contact with other EVS volunteers. This way you will get useful and fun networking experiences during your stay.
- You want to do volunteer work in an European country for the duration of 2 to 12 months;
- You are between 17 and 30 years old;
- No need for specific degree or work experience.
Zo werkt het
An EVS project is mostly funded by the EU. The first thing is to request the subsidy. There are three moments per year to request the EU subsidy. The next upcoming moment is . After the subsidy is requested in Brussels, it will take a few months to be approved. Therefore, the next EVS projects can start from . Although, this might seem far away it gives you enough time to find a project that is in line with your interests and to prepare for it.
In the next steps, you will find out how to proceed with your registration and how to start looking for a project.
You cannot wait until January and want to start volunteering earlier? Let us know! Sometimes there are projects available with subsidy in place, but with no volunteers yet. You could volunteer at one of these projects. The other option is to have a look in the regular (non-EVS) volunteering work.
To register please complete the form on the bottom of this page. A mentor from SIW will get in contact with you, as soon as possible, and arrange an introduction meeting. During this meeting, the different options will be discussed and you can also ask questions.
When the introduction meeting is successful from both sides (applicant and mentor), and you feel excited to join the adventure, you can now enrol for EVS through SIW. Enrolling via SIW will give you many benefits, such as:
- You will be assigned a mentor (usually the person who you met in your introduction meeting), who will help you find your ideal project and answer all your questions, before and during the duration of the project.
- You will receive emails, via SIW, from partner organisations, in the different EVS project countries, which are currently looking for volunteers.
- Once decided to join EVS, you can count on SIW as an organisation to be your guarantor.
For these benefits and for the time invested by our volunteer EVS mentors, we ask for a deposit of € 155. You will receive your deposit back once you have completed your first month in a project.
Finding a project is similar to searching for a job. You can react to calls from organisations, which are looking for volunteers, or you can get in touch directly with organisations and ask if they could need a volunteer. In the second scenario, the easiest way is to reach out to organisations that have been previously approved by the EU as EVS organisations. You can find an overview of these organisations in this database: europa.eu/youth/volunteering/evs-organisation_en .
Due to the size of this database it is not always up to date. Luckily, there are other ways to find current vacancies, for e.g. through a smaller database. This will be discussed in your introduction meeting. Additionally, SIW is in contact with many partner organisations in Europe. These organisations send frequently messages to SIW indicating that they are looking for a volunteer. We call those ‘open calls’ and we share them with the interested EVS volunteers. This is a fast way for volunteers to find a great project.
When you find a project that fits you and you have established positive contact with the organisation, we will proceed with requesting the Erasmus+ subsidy. We make sure that the subsidy is requested before the deadline (upcoming deadline is ). Therefore, you need to find the project and be in contact with the organisation one month before this deadline.
Roughly two months after requesting the subsidy we will receive an update. Usually we receive a positive response and you can start packing! Before your departure, you will need to follow training in The Netherlands to prepare you for the entire adventure. This training is organised by NJI. Assigned by two ministries, NJI is the National Representative of the Erasmus+.
Your most important occupation abroad is the EVS project, you will dedicate 30-36 hours per week. Next to this, you will follow 2 training sessions (in the beginning and half way through) with tips on how to get the most out of your EVS experience and to meet other EVS volunteers in the country. You will practice the spoken language, you will get to know yourself better and improve yourself. In your destination, you will be connected to a local mentor. Finally, you will have contact every month with your SIW mentor, with whom you will share your experiences and ask questions.
When you return to the Netherlands, you will have a wrap-up meeting with your SIW mentor. You will also do a written evaluation, to be sent to the EU. This report is needed to conclude your EVS project.
Are you back from an EVS project? We are curious to hear about your EVS experience and we would like to share it on our website. EVS is not yet very well-known in the Netherlands. Therefore, your story will help improving awareness of EVS within young people. Please get in touch with us, if you would like to share your story and photos.