16 November 2014

How to become an EVS volunteer?

Feel like trying the European Voluntary Service experience and you are not quite sure where to start? Worry not, GEYC is here to give you a few useful information to get you started on your EVS adventure.

Maybe you've heard it around your neighborhood, maybe some of your friends have been EVS volunteers, maybe you participated in an Erasmus + project and you found out about this magical thing called EVS. But you are now in your bed, wondering where you should start searching, who to ask and how exactly to get the whole process started.

Hear me out, this is less complicated than your think.
The European Voluntary Service is basically a partnership between 3 parts: a sending organization, a volunteer and a receiving organization.
So in order to become an EVS volunteer, you need to:

Step 1 - find a sending organization. It can be an NGO from your city or any other part of your country, that you volunteered for or participated on one of their projects or an NGO that you've heard about and always wanted to get in touch with. Just make sure you check the European database for accredited NGOs before approaching that specific NGO and asking them more info about the whole process. Usually, people working with future EVS volunteers are open and nice and available to provide assistance. If you are currently located in Romania and you would like GEYC to be your sending organisation, please let us know!

Step 2 - now that you have step 1 taken care of, think about what would you like to achieve during your EVS period, what would you like to learn, what skills you would like to develop, what professional areas are more appealing to you. Even if EVS is not an internship, it can help you to develop skills that can later on be used in order to obtain professional recognition. Choosing an EVS based on location might not be the best idea, you might end up in love with the city/country but feeling completely out of place in your EVS project. So be sure to take all of those things into consideration before choosing a project.

Step 3 - apply for a project.
You can do this through your NGO's network, by becoming a volunteer in the projects that they are already partners in or you can choose a project from the European database.
 Just be sure to keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there applying for the same project so you have to make sure you are going to stand out from the crowd. Make your application as creative as possible, include videos or photos of previous activities and be open about who you are and what are your expectations regarding this experience. That will help you and the receiving organization realize if that specific project is the best choice for you.

There you have it, guys, 3 easy steps in order to help you have an amazing EVS experience.
Remember to keep a journal of your adventures, it will help you remember everything and also monitor your personal growth and the things you learned through this experience.