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How to Become an ESC/EVS Volunteer?

Step by step: 1. First step – Get Informed!

Consider why you want to be a volunteer! Read the application guide, gather information from previous volunteers. Check if you meet the participation criteria! What is not an ESC project? Occasional, unplanned, part-time volunteer activities; paid internships within a company; paid jobs; ESC activities that cannot replace paid positions; recreational or tourist activities; language courses; exploitation of cheap labor; study or training periods abroad.

2. Second step – Find a Sending Organization! Participation in the ESC program is through accredited sending organizations that recruit volunteers, prepare them, and organize their departure abroad. You can find a sending organization in two ways: 1. Contact an already registered ESC sending organization near your place of residence. 2. Convince an organization you know, working with young people and experienced in the NGO sector, to accredit itself as a sending organization.

3. Third step – Find a Hosting organization! Each sending organization works a little differently, following different principles and sending a varying number of volunteers abroad. Some organizations only work with their established partners over the years and send volunteers only to them. However, there are organizations willing to establish new collaborations with any registered hosting place. You can find the official database of accredited hosting organizations and their projects here: http://www.evsdatabase.eu. You can search the database based on various criteria, but it is only available in English. Most sending and hosting organizations make sure in advance that the applicant truly shares the values of volunteering and is committed to short or long-term voluntary service.

4. Fourth step – Prepare the Application After the parties involved (sending organization, hosting organization, and volunteer) have worked out the details and clarified all questions (as a future volunteer, don’t be shy to ask things like – where will I live, who will be my mentor, how often will I have language lessons?), they submit an application to the National Agency of one of the parties to request funding for covering the costs of the ESC project. Funding will cover travel costs, insurance, accommodation and meals, preparation, language learning costs, and a pocket money allowance (the amount depends on the country you will travel to).

5. Fifth step – Application Review

From the submission deadline, it may take up to three months for the application to be reviewed and the results obtained. The sending or hosting organization will receive an official notification of the results, which will also inform you. If your application is accepted, you can start organizing your trip together, solving details such as insurance. Before departure, you will need to participate in a training session where you will have the opportunity to meet other volunteers traveling abroad and get answers to various questions (how insurance works, what problems you may encounter abroad, etc.). If your application is rejected, it’s worth resubmitting the modified application, considering the reasons for rejection, for the next deadline.

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