Before committing to the European Voluntary Service (EVS), there are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- What is my personal motivation? This will support your inner drive while completing your project.
- Which area do I want to commit to? We all have personal interests, so be realistic and honest with yourself.
- How long am I ready to commit myself for? (This includes finding the project, preparation, administration, training, the service itself and follow-up)
- How much time do I have?
Don’t focus on a specific country, but rather on a region. Look at the projects from the perspective of what you want to learn. Remember: EVS is not a job or an internship, nor a work placement, humanitarian mission, language course or holiday!
What others say
“It was a challenge to move on to a foreign green and rainy country where I didn't know anything, not even the language. I am happy to realise that I made it. I even learned more than I was expecting. I was very free in my projects so I worked in different topics: being with the service users, organising activities and events, working with other volunteers, doing statistics, helping to update the website of the organisation, etc.”
Agathe Friquet from France, was 22 when she participated in an EVS project from July 2010 to June 2011. She worked in the Backlane Hostel, one of the Depaul Trust’s shelters for homeless people in Dublin (Ireland).
If you already have a project...
Gather all the information available about the country and the project, particularly if this is your first experience of living in a different country or if you are going to a remote location. Don’t hesitate to put all your questions to the Sending/Host/Coordinating Organisations of your project. If you need more information, try contacting the Swiss National Agency, the Executive Agency or the regional SALTO Resource Centres for Eastern Europe and Caucasus, the Euro-Mediterranean region, and South East Europe.
Read some Swiss project descriptions.