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European Voluntary Service

Overview: what is an EVS?

Erasmus+ is the EU Programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014-2020. The Erasmus+ Programme is designed to support Programme Countries’ efforts to efficiently use the potential of Europe’s talent and social assets in a lifelong learning perspective, linking support to formal, non-formal and informal learning throughout the education, training and youth fields. The Programme also enhances the opportunities for cooperation and mobility with Partner Countries, notably in the fields of higher education and youth.


  • increasing young people’s skills through the practical experience of volunteering abroad;

  • encouraging the learning of another language;

  • developing the ability to interact with persons of different language and culture;

  • spreading tolerance among young people of the European Union;

  • promoting active citizenship;

  • supporting the development of local communities.




What is NOT an EVS:

occasional, unstructured, part-time volunteering; a work placement in an enterprise; a paid job; a recreation or tourist activity; a language course; exploitation of a cheap workforce; a period of study or vocational training abroad.



Volunteering activities last from a minimum of 2 weeks and to a  maximum of 12 months


The volunteer must be  between 17 and 30. The volunteer spends up to 35 hours per week at work.



An EVS volunteer commits himself/herself to working for an organisation abroad. Volunteering projects can involve many different activities such as cultural, social, environmental, and pedagogical activities.

Financial support

Accommodation, board and travel costs are covered by the project.

The volunteer also receives  individual support (pocket money) and  is covered by insurance[1].

As for  grant support to travel costs in the Erasmus+ Programme, travel distances must be calculated using the distance calculator[2].


[1] https://www.cigna.com/

[2] http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/tools/distance_en.htm

Each organisation involved in an EVS project acts as a support for the volunteer. In fact,  , these three parties, receiving, sending and coordinating organisation, have a major role to play in order to ensure a valuable experience to the volunteer. All these three organisations work closely together to define the volunteer’s daily activities prior to his/her departure.  The sending organisation should work along with the volunteers to determine their learning objectives, their interests and to identify their specific needs. Moreover, the receiving organisation works along with the other two partners to define appropriate activities for the volunteer based on what they can realistically offer. The final choice of activities needs to keep  a balance between the volunteer’s learning needs and the needs of the hosting community.

Below, you can read a list of organizational tasks in order to help help you understand better what to expect from each organisation involved in the EVS framework.

Receiving organisation

  • organising activities, providing safe and convenient work environment;
  • developing a programme in cooperation with volunteers and partner organisations;
  • providing support to volunteers throughout the project;
  • covering accommodation, lodging, local transportation and food costs; ;
  • providing a mentor that is not directly connected to the organisation;
  • dealing with current project management issues, paying pocket money, rental, food etc.
  • providing (Online) Language Support, allocating licenses and proceeding on it;
  • enabling and supporting the volunteer`s own initiatives/project;
  • providing traineeship, integration in local society and reacting to current needs of the volunteer;
  • organising evaluation process and supporting self-reflection (with a mentor);
  • dissemination and promotion.

Sending organisation

  • selecting volunteers in cooperation with receiving organization. (unless receiving is doing this);
  • practical arrangements, incl.travel, insurance;
  • pre-departure training;
  • providing support to volunteers during all the phases of the project, risk prevention and management;
  • participating in signing volunteering agreement;
  • supporting self-reflection and Youthpass making;
  • enabling follow-up activities;
  • arranging participation in EVS annual meeting;
  • reintegrating to the society after coming back;
  • dissemination and promotion.

Coordinating organisation

  • applying for the project;
  • distribution of funds;
  • agreements with all the parties involved;
  • uploading Mobility Tool with data on volunteers and making sure they are enrolled into Training and Evaluation cycle;
  • monitoring, quality assurance;
  • mobility Tool management;
  • reporting, dissemination, promotion.