So you decided that you want to go on an EVS.
And you really want to go to this one specific country, because it’s so beautiful, and the language is interesting and the people are amazing.
But it seems like there are no vacancies in this country? Or they only have calls for volunteers residents of other countries than yours?
I get a lot of messages with this kind of situation lately. And it seems like many of you are facing this issue.
So let’s tackle this in our first Q&A Time.
Finding an EVS in a specific country may sometime prove difficult depending on the circumstances.
Three important factors that will influence the difficulty level in finding an EVS in a specific country:
- The time of the year when you are looking for EVS vacancies is an important factor. EVS projects are funded by the European Commission. For an organization to implement an EVS they have to fill in an application and submit it to be reviewed. There are three application deadlines for EVS per year: 2nd February, 26th April and 4th October. So most organizations will make their volunteers selection in the two months prior to these deadlines. The month after each deadline will be more quiet, so less calls for volunteers. So depending on the month of the year when you are looking for EVS vacancies, there may be more or less active calls.
- The country you chose is another important factor. The number of EVS vacancies depends on the size of the population of the country (also GDP is important but we’ll not go into these details). For example Malta has 0.4 million population, while Spain has 46 million population. So you will find much more calls for EVS for Spain than for Malta. Also some countries are more interested in EVS than others, so they do more projects, while the other do less (sometimes not spending all their EVS budget), but we don’t have available statistics about this at the moment (we’ll search for the information if you’re interested).
- When you start looking for an EVS relative to when you would like to start the EVS – the answer is thatyou should start looking for and EVS at least six months before. Check out the first point that we made regarding the time of the year. The thing is that it takes at least four months (rather six months) after the organizations have applied to any of the three funding deadlines, for you to be able to start the EVS service. For example if you want to go on EVS starting June or July, you should apply for projects before 2nd of February.
What to do?
If the most important factor to you is the country you want for your EVS, the things that will make it easier to find that EVS and be selected are:
- Don’t limit yourself to a specific duration for the EVS, or a specific period of the year, as this will drastically limit your chances of finding the EVS that fits into your schedule and being selected in that specific project. If your availability for EVS is limited and the time limits are not negotiable, then time is your main criteria, and not the location (which will just be a nice to have in this case);
- Be constant in your search – taking an hour per week should be enough to look through all the vacancies posted in the last week for this specific country (a complete list of the most important EVS call sources you can download when you subscribe for our newsletter);
- Contact several sending organizations close to where you live, ask them if they know of any opportunities and get involved in their activities. It will create a context for you and will increase your chances of being at the right place at the right time. Also you can use the European Youth Portal to find accredited organizations close to you.
- Contact hosting organizations from the country you are interested in and ask them if they have any opportunities available or planning to launch any opportunity soon. You can use the European Youth Portal (but you will get a very long list for big countries). You can also look into our archive and contact organizations that had projects in the last two years, as they will probably organize projects each year.
- Change the project – if you find projects in the country that you want, but they don’t feel like something you really want to do, you should still apply, and tell the organization what kind of activities you would like to do (both small or big changes); worst case that can happen is they don’t select you (which would be the same with not applying); best case scenario is that the organization will appreciate the initiative and select you on the project, to bring the extra stuff that you want; but don’t try this with already approved projects, as the organization has to stick with what they said they would do, and it would be a waste of your time;
- Keep an eye on the last minute vacancies, vacancies in approved projects, vacancies for residents of the country that you are a resident of. There is always the chance that a volunteer drops out of a project and you can apply if they ask for somebody from your country; this one is all about being at the right place at the right time.
The most important is though that you have patience and that you persevere. This is not a quick result activity.
I hope you found this article interesting. There’s quite a lot to say on this subject and with a lot of subtopics, but I tried to keep it as clear and concise as possible.
This was out first Q&A Time session. I hope to bring you many more of these, with your help, answering your questions.
Don’t forget that you can send us your questions anytime via the Q&A form on our website.
Also I’m looking forward to reading your feedback and comments bellow and on Facebook.
See you next time!
Silvia @ FindEVS