"We came up with some things that we found funny and unrealistic in regards to the European Voluntary Service. This is based on some youngsters expectations about their future voluntary service, or just simply, things we discovered by ourselves during our stage." write the volunteers on Team 4 Youth Association's website.
1. Language course – EVS is not a language course. Of course, you have the chance of learning a new language, and it’s really great. But EVS is so much more than these, and the language course is a tool for making your stage easier and richer.
2. Vacations/holidays – There are 2 free days per each month and we can take them whenever we want, but we should not abuse it. In the end, we need to deliver results.
3. Job – EVS is not a paid job. It must not replace paid jobs but it is a good opportunity to realise which skills you currently have and which skills you could gain.
4. Missions – EVS is volunteering, but nothing related to "missions". This is not something religious or related to live in bad conditions. European Union and the hosting organisation provide all the necessary conditions for your experience during EVS.
5. Scholarship – What EVS and a scholarship have in common is that you get financial aid for participating in education. The differences are that scholarships are used in formal education, while EVS is a non-formal learning program, and that you usually need qualifications to get a scholarship, which are not needed for EVS.
6. Fraud – This experience is as serious as any job but not a fraud. You have a contract where is written all the things related with your activities your schedule, the money that your hosting organization will give to you, your responsibilities during the project and your rights, etc. You won’t have to pay anything at the end of your project, so stay calm. 7. Unstructured volunteering – There are many ways of helping people, some of them don’t require you to have a plan. EVS is not like this – the Activity Agreement you sign states what kind of work you have to do in your project. You get a schedule of all the activities you are going to do and you have to prepare them before.
8. Internship – we are working in an NGO not in a company as interns normally do so first, we have no chance to stay at the organisation as employees. Second, our project is not lasting, in the sense, that we have a certain work to do and the final result to show, as it is already mentioned at the point number 2.
9. Touristic activity – EVS gives you opportunity to explore new places and discover new cultures but it’s not for tourism.
10. Exploitation or "cheap job" – The fact that you will be a volunteer doesn’t mean that you are goanna be exploited as a worker. You will do just the activities that are described by your project and be written on your contract. Sometimes they can propose you others activities but if you are not agree you can reject them and you have all the time the European National Agency to support you if you have any problem in this aspect.
Original article posted on t4uth.ro by Team 4 Youth Association (Baia-Mare/Romania)