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European Commission Directorate General Education and Culture

What is the EVS?

The European Voluntary Service in an initiative of the European Commission for all young people between 18 and 30 that gives them the opportunity to know better another European country, another culture and another language by participating in a voluntary project that is useful for local community. Young European volunteers, by realizing their EVS projects, express a concrete act of solidarity, enrich their personal experience and improve their talents and particular competences.

The EVS is not: a part-time volunteering, an internship in an enterprise, a period of study abroad.

What is the duration of an EVS project?

An EVS activity abroad can last from 2 to 12 months. We consider that because of their formative qualities the most valuable are minimum 6-month long projects.
According to our philosophy in general we offer hosting projects from 8 to 12 month long.

Where can an EVS activity take place?

An EVS can be carried out in any country of the European Union and also in Island, Lichtenstein, Norway and Turkey. There are also projects in some partner countries (of Mediterranean region, of Eastern and South Eastern Europe). And it is open to all young people who are residents in these countries.

How much does it cost?

Nothing! The main costs are financed by the programme. The covered costs are: travel to and back from the place of project, local transport, food and accommodation (in the place of project) and the volunteer’s insurance.
Additionally the volunteer receives some pocket money for others personal expenses during their stay abroad. Its amount is specific for every country of the programme. For example the amount fixed for volunteers in Italy is 115 euro per month.
Moreover costs of volunteer’s training are provided by the programme.

Who are the partners of an EVS project?

• volunteer;
• sending  organization from his/her country– helps the volunteer to look for projects, prepares the necessary documents, keeps in touch with the volunteer when abroad, helps him/her to conclude its project;
• host organization abroad– organizes the volunteer’s activity, provides accommodation and food and, if necessary, helps with administrative practices in the host country (like visa procedures for example);
• and sometimes coordinating organization- supports local host organizations with running their projects.

The CESVOV is active as host, sending and coordinating organization.
Every country of the Youth in Action programme has its own National Agency which implements the programme inside of the country. These agencies promote and realize the programme at national level and work as a link between the European Commission, project promoters at national, regional and local level and the young people themselves. Once the volunteer is chosen for a project, one of the partner organizations (usually the host organization) applies to its National Agency for funding.

You will find here the list of all National Agencies of the Programme.

To find a sending organization in your region (if you haven’t contacted any yet and you don’t know how to do it) address your National Agency.

In which areas can a volunteer’s activity be performed?

There are many different kinds of projects available. The volunteer can take care of children or of elderly people; he/she can work in an association that deals with culture, environment protection or European awareness. Therefore possibilities are numerous.

Think about what would you like to do and look for projects in the database within categories in which you are interested.