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Volunteering in Europe or what is ESC?


written byCoaliția pentru Voluntariat

If you are between 18 and 30 years old, the European Solidarity Corps is definitely the volunteer opportunity you are looking for. Through this program, you can go voluntarily to any of the European Union countries and to several other partner countries, for a period between 15 days and a year.

Basically, the European Commission, through the National Agencies, provides you with transport, accommodation and a living allowance for the entire duration of the project, so that you can focus only on your own experience and how you contribute to the community that hosts you.

There are many types of volunteer activities to choose from, and many experienced organizations to host you.

The program mainly aims to promote solidarity, but also includes elements that support your personal development. The attention to the volunteer experience and the support offered is one of the aspects that differentiates CES from other international volunteering opportunities.

You can learn a lot from such an adventure, so it would be a shame not to take advantage. How? Find out a little below.

What support do you receive during an internship through CES?

In addition to the financial support we mentioned above, the program is designed so that you benefit of a support team throughout the project. This team includes Support Organizations, Host Organizations, Mentors and National Agencies.

From the search for the right project until after returning home, the Support Organization will be involved in your beautiful adventure. You will receive information from them about rights and responsibilities, health insurance, the structure and principles of the program. During the internship they will also be in touch with you to help you when you need it.

Once you arrive in the local community where you will volunteer, you will know step by step, the Host Organization, the entire team and  your mentor who is part of it. Especially in the beginning, both the Host Organization and the mentor will explain to you the dynamics of the project you are going to get involved in, how you can contribute, and how your ideas, plans and learning objectives fit in the context. They will help you adapt to the new changes as easily and quickly as possible and will support you in what you plan together.

The mentor remains available for you and plays an important role in your moments of difficulty or when there are specific needs, but especially in your personal and professional development.

In order to support the development of volunteers, during a volunteering project, the National Agencies also organize two trainings: one at the beginning - with the role of making the transition to the new community easier, to connect with young people in similar contexts and to prepare for the coming news; and one in the middle of the project in which the volunteers evaluate what they have learned and what they would like to learn in the remaining time.

At the end, you also receive a certificate. It's called YouthPass and it details the experience you had and the skills you developed, to help you further in finding a suitable job.

We also recommend that you read about how to choose your CES project and how you prepare for international volunteering.

If you find the idea interesting, on the platform you can find all the active projects, and you can apply for the one that suits you best. All you have to do is create an account.

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