We are sure that all of you have already read the ¨What is EVS¨ section of our website and are very impressed with the opportunities EVS offers. The intention of our website is to paint you a simple picture of what EVS is and to introduce ways in which you can get more information.
In Synergy Source Serbia we like to talk a lot about EVS, so we didn’t want leave you with only one website section available. Instead we created this article in order to offer more clarity to those of you thinking of becoming international volunteers or interested in introducing EVS to someone else.
With that intention we give you the most frequently asked questions that we receive from our future volunteers. Hope they will be of support to you.
- What are the conditions/requirements for becoming an EVS volunteer? Is there a age, language or educational level requirement ?
The main condition is that you are a young person age 18- 30. It might be useful to speak a foreign language, yet it is not obligatory. When it comes to requirements for the level of education – there are none.
- What kind of documentation is required for the application procedure?
Well, for international volunteering we would say that having a passport is crucial. It would be supportive to have a nicely written CV and custom made motivational letter in English (if required). Often there is a simple application form that needs to be filled in. That is pretty much it.
- What are the volunteer’s expenses and is there an application fee?
EVS doesn’t cost you anything (at least no money). Your sending organization will receive money to prepare you and cover your travel costs. The host organization will take care of your accommodation, food, pocket money and insurance. Also, there is no application fee. Basically, money can’t be your excuse this time.
- How long does it take from the moment of applying to getting a volunteer placement?
It is not easy to estimate how long it will take you to get your EVS placement. So the only logical answer is – we don’t know, but we are here to support you in making it fast and short. The process that starts the moment you apply as a volunteer to and is complete the moment you are standing at the airport or train station, has a few stages that depend on 3 parties. You, your sending organization and your potential host. If all 3 work in synergy, you will soon be on your way.
- Is there an opportunity to do my EVS with someone (friends, partner…)?
There is indeed an opportunity to apply together and hope that both/or all of you will be accepted at the same place. In practice there are such examples, so if you are more comfortable with sharing this adventure with someone you know, then by all means do so.
- Which countries are available for me to volunteer in? Where can I check the offer?
As a volunteer from Serbia you can mainly do your EVS in Programme Countries.
Each of these countries has NGO’s that are accredited to host you. You can find their offer by following this link: https://europa.eu/youth/evs_database
- If I apply for EVS does it mean I have a guaranteed placement? Who decides if I am ¨in¨ or not? What is the criteria ?
Applying means that you are ¨in the process” of becoming an EVS volunteer, and it is very likely that you will be successfully accepted by a host organizations. There is no 100% guarantee label on it, but as the outcome mainly depends on you, we can say that if you really want a place you will find one for sure.
- What if I don’t receive an answer from the organization that I wrote to?
Send another one, or let it go and apply elsewhere. It may be supportive not to take rejection or silence from hosting organizations personally. If there is no response, just move on – you will find an organization in due time.
- Can my EVS assure me a full time job abroad?
Getting a full time job abroad is not included in your voluntary service program and no one is obligated to hire you after your project is complete. On the other hand there are cases where EVS volunteers stayed in their host organization and obtained a work contract with full or part time work.
- Is this a scam? Where is the trick? Will I lose my kidney?
We know that, from where you are standing, this seems too good to be true. A whole year of paid stay abroad and many opportunities to learn, travel and meet new people. In reality EVS includes all of these benefits but also requires your involvement and dedication to your tasks as a volunteer. As a sending organization, we in Synergy Source Serbia are doing our best to support potential volunteers in adjusting their expectations to the available opportunities, but also encouraging them to get the most out of their EVS project. So far we saw people losing many things during their EVS. From a toothbrush, their virginity to the sense of isolation (and a glass eye; ask us about it). Kidneys were rarely lost – and those that were lost, were quickly recovered.
Hope these Q&A were supportive and that you found at least 1 more thing you didn’t know about EVS. If a new question popped up in your mind while reading, please drop us a line.
Synergy Source Serbia
P.S. No kidneys were actually lost during EVS abroad.