1) What is EVS?

EVS is a partnership project between organizations allowing young people to do a voluntary service in another country. The aim is to promote tolerance, mutual understanding and active citizenship. EVS is a win-win activity: voluntary projects have a good balance between service to the hosting local community and learning opportunities for the volunteer.

2) What is the age limit to participate in EVS?

The EVS is open to young people between 18 and 30 years (volunteers have to be 18-30 years old at the moment of being accepted to the program).

3) I'm not a student/I don't have a job – am I still eligible?

Yes. EVS doesn't depend on whether you study/work or not.

4) Where can I volunteer?

Ukrainians can go to all 27 countries of the European Union + Norway, Iceland, Turkey and Croatia.

5)What will it cost me to become a volunteer?

EVS is free of charge for volunteers except for a contribution to travel costs (10%). Accommodation, food, pocket money, 90% of travel costs, visa costs, medical insurance, local transportation, some form of language support and the volunteer trainings are covered by the grant. There are NO APPLICATION FEES to participate in EVS.

6) In which spheres can I volunteer?

Possible areas of work include: projects with children, youth, the disabled, the elderly people, environmental projects, culture & sport themed activities, support of migrants and refugees, film/music/media projects etc.

7) How long does an EVS project last? Can I go for summer vacation?

EVS is a voluntary service that can last usually from 2 to 12 months (9-12 months on average). Short-term projects – 1-3 months – exist (although not many, because it's more efficient when volunteers stay longer), but they don't take place necessarily in summer. Note that EVS is not a vacation, language course or paid internship.

8) Can I join the project together with my friend?

Cultural diversity is crucial for EVS program, so Host Organization prefer to welcome in one project volunteers from different countries.

9) I need a Sending Organization and Host Organization. How can I find them?

Youth NGO Iskra is an accredited Sending Organisation (our EI Ref is 2011-Pl-145). EVS Hosting Organisations are non-governmental organisations active for example in areas of social, cultural, environmental, community or youth work. DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS (in Russian) with full overview on how to apply for EVS and TIPS FOR YOUR CV/MOTIVATION LETTER.

10) Can young people with disabilities/fewer opportunities participate in EVS?

Yes - EVS is open for all young people, whatever their background. Young people with fewer opportunities can participate from age of 16. Special support is foreseen for volunteers with disabilities.

11) Do I need insurance?

As an EVS volunteer you will be provided insurance free of charge for the whole duration of the service.

12) Do I need to know the language of my host country?

Intermediate level of English or/and basic level of the language of the host country are highly desirable. Language support (not necessarily language courses) is provided during the EVS project in order to ensure the volunteer's integration.

13) Do I need to have specific skills to take part in a EVS project?

Volunteer experience in local projects is a plus, so are specific skills that could be helpful in the chosen project, such as creative, artistic, sports, organisational, communication skills etc.

14) Will I get any training during my EVS project?

Volunteers participate in a series of training events organised for each EVS project: PRE-DEPARTURE SEMINAR, on-arrival training, mid-term training and evaluation meeting.

15) When can I be sure that I will go?

The process is divided into three stages. First, with the help of your Sending Organisation you apply to and get accepted by a Host Organization. Then the Host Organization applies for a grant from the European Commission to fund your project. Then you apply for a visa. If all these stages are successful, you are definitely going :) It takes around 6 months (usually more because of visa process) from the moment you apply till the moment you start your service in Host Organization.

16) Who will help me with visa issues?

Sending and Host Organisation have the responsibility to help you obtaining a visa. Mind that there is a big difference in visa regulations from one country to another.

17) Can I withdraw from a project if anything goes wrong?

Withdrawing from a project is the last option, if nothing else works. This decision should be discussed in advance with your Sending and Host Organizations first and later with the National Agency.

18)Will I get some document or certificate after my project?

All volunteers who have completed their EVS project are entitled to receive a Youthpass.