Guide: How To Find The Right European Solidarity Corps Project For You?

Nowadays there are many opportunities ahead of young people for both personal and professional development. The Internet gives people endless resources of information. And globalization is making traveling easier each day and young people grow more conscious with each generation. If you are looking for new opportunities to develop yourself there are many different ways you can do that. Let us show you one of these options. 

European Solidarity Corps is a program financed by the European Union. It is directed towards youngsters and it aims to engage them in active citizenship while serving both personal development goals, as well as helping the community.

Think About What Kind of Project You Want to Take Part In!

European Solidarity Corps gives chance to youngsters aged between 18 to 30 to gain experience that could positively change their life! Long-term or short-term projects could take place abroad or in the same country, the participant is born. Some of the conditions to join such a project are:

  • In most cases, there are no requirements to have any experience in the field of volunteering you’ve chosen. That is great because it gives you an opportunity for a rising start in any project you wish!
  • It’s not mandatory for you to have a university degree – the only thing needed is motivation! That makes European Solidarity Corps a great option during a gap year.
  • There is a wide variety of fields you can volunteer in: from communication, art and human rights to promoting Еuropean values, ecology as well as work with children and many more opportunities ahead of you! 
  • You can find many projects both in the EU as well outside of Europe. It’s up to you and there are many options to choose from!

As you can see there are endless possibilities. One thing’s for sure though – no matter what is the topic of the project you will certainly gain a lot of valuable knowledge and skills, you will learn to work with people and you will make lots of new friends. Isn’t that great?

Here’s How to Start off With Your ESC Project!

You may be wondering how to start searching for a project. First you need to register in the portal of European Solidarity Corps here – https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en

Another thing you can do is to look for opportunities on different social media platforms. There are many groups on Facebook that you can join to search for projects. Let us share some of them with you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/22283221467/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/EuropeanVoluntaryService/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/612726082103384

https://www.facebook.com/groups/EVS.vacancy/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1152919864845713/

You can also ask a friend who has already been a volunteer to share their experience with you. Another option is to search for a sending organization which will guide you towards the process of finding the right project for you.

Find Out the Roles of Each Party Involved

It’s important to note that volunteer projects funded by the European Solidarity Corps program include 3 parties:

  • The volunteer
  • Sending organization that will help you during application process
  • Hosting organisation responsible for conducting the activities

What is The Role of The Sending Organization?

So, you have found a project and you are wondering how to proceed further? It’s about time you find a sending organization that will guide you during the process of application! If you are scrolling through websites and Facebook groups, but you are lost in the whole process – there are no problems! Each organization’s purpose is to help you with difficulties and explain everything about the Corps work.

At first they will do an interview with you but you shall not worry about this! That’s not your typical job interview – its main purpose is for coordinators to find out what type of person you are, what are your interests and also strengths and weaknesses. Once they get to know you they will be able to direct you to the most suitable positions for you.

You should also know that every organization has partners in other countries. They can find the right project for you within their network and help schedule an interview. Sometimes having so many options may be overwhelming and you may miss the right project while looking through the web. That’s why sharing your goals and expectations with the sending organization is such a great idea.

What is The Role of The Hosting Organization?

That is the organization that conducts the activities of the project you have chosen. The organization is also responsible for finding a place for you to live. They are also obliged to provide you with training when you start your project. Coordinators from the welcoming organization will guide you in your first days and introduce you to the work process. It’s their task to look after your personal as well as professional development during the time of the project.

Of course, an invariable part of the selection process is an interview from their side as well. The main purpose of this interview is for the team to get to know you and to determine whether or not you are the right person for the position. Even if you are not the right person for a particular project, if the organizers like you they may invite you to another position in an upcoming project.

Application Process and Preparation

It’s mandatory that you prepare a CV and a motivation letter. The sending organization will inspect your documents and will provide you with feedback whether or not changes need to be made. It’s important that you take some time to write a motivational letter that points not only at what you are good at but also how you can imply your strengths for the success of the project. 

Each application process is different. Depending on that there may be different steps that you need to take. In some cases besides an interview and a motivation letter, you may also need to fill in a form or maybe do a second interview. 

Preparation for the trip

When you have passed the interviews and you are the chosen candidate for the position, the next step is tо travel to the project country! That requires a certain preparation like buying the tickets, getting health insurance, packing up luggage and so on. If you are going to partake in a local project though, the process could be much easier.

Next steps include your on-arrival training, as well as many other activities dedicated to your integration. We will tell you more about that in our next article about what happens during an European Solidarity Corps project? 

*The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.