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How to travel and volunteer abroad with the European Solidarity Corps (EU Citizens)

My life-changing volunteering project abroad
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I would like to encourage all young people from the EU to get out of their comfort zone and choose a volunteering project abroad with the European Solidarity Corps!

I spent 10 amazing months in AlmerΓ­a, Spain, volunteering at a cultural organization. It was not always easy, but overall a great life-changing experience. I received my Youth Pass, which might help while applying for a job or any other similar projects.

I want to share briefly my story as an inspiration for everyone who would like to move abroad for a while, try something new and who is still not sure what kind of job to do for a living. Someone like me has had many questions and desires connected with work and traveling.

In the summer of 2020, I decided to leave the stable, well-paid, and full-time job I had in Prague. I got to the point that I couldn't handle it anymore (long story). So I started to search for what I could do from November. I was really lost in all the job offers, I didn't like anything at that time, I wanted to go abroad, so an idea about volunteering abroad came. Why not. I have made some savings so it wouldn't ruin me.

In the past, I participated in many international work camps (2-3 weeks long) and I remembered that it was always a unique experience.

So, I started searching, thinking, and asking around and I don't remember exactly how, but I found information about European Voluntary Service (today called European Solidarity Corps). My first idea was: "This will be super hard to apply for and complicated etc". But it wasn't!

I opened the official web www.youth.europa.eu and created a profile in the European Solidarity Corps database.

Then I just started to scroll down in the project database. And there were plenty! In the whole of Europe, all possible topics, usually only English skills requested, projects from 6 to 12 months. I was very enthusiastic about it!

What you need to know about applying for European Solidarity Corps:

1. There is no fee to register in the database.

2. You only have to meet some conditions (18-30 yo, first time applying for a long-term project under ESC, EU passport).

3. You are fully supported - your travel expenses are covered (at the beginning and the end of the project), your accommodation is selected and covered (usually a shared apartment with another volunteer(s)), you get medical insurance, and you get pocket money.

4. After the successful completion of a project you receive the Youth Pass.

5. In every country there are few organizations that help you either with your application (they post selected ESC projects on their websites) or you get in touch with them after you are selected for a given project you applied for. You have to have this home-support organization (no fees charged), which will support you during your whole stay abroad!

More details on the official ESC web: youth.europa.eu/solidarity/young-people/volunteering_en

I applied for a few projects and had two video calls with people who select volunteers for the projects and then I choose one in Spain, where I spent 10 amazing months in AlmerΓ­a. So please, if this resonates with you, go ahead and have a look at this amazing opportunity! Do not miss it, you will not regret it.

There is a lot more I could tell you about my whole experience. So if you are interested let me know!

Here's a short video about Volunteering with the European Solidarity Corps:

I am in a very similar situation now, again searching for a new opportunity, I want to move abroad for a while, and I would even again volunteer, but the options are much more limited when you reach 30 years.

I am glad for every opportunity to share my story and to help young people to evolve.

7 months ago (edited)