If you want the FAQ for organizations joining ESC, visit this page.
How do I apply to ESC projects abroad?
You need to register into the European Youth Portal. Once your profile is completed, you can browse the different projects available and apply directly online. You can find more detailed information on how to apply to projects on this page.
How much will volunteering cost me?
Through ESC, all/most of the basic expenses are covered! The program will allocate funds for your hosting organization to find you accommodation and pay for your food, but the program will also cover expenses related to your visa, your travel to the hosting country, and even for language classes! In addition to that, you will receive pocket money every month.
Do I get support in my visa application?
You do. Your supporting organization can help you through the process, and your hosting organization can also help from the side of your hosting country. You will still need to get through the necessary appointments in the relevant embassy. All the costs related to visa applications are covered by the program.
How do I get insured during my time abroad?
Your sending organization will register you into CIGNA, with an international insurance plan for the whole duration of your project. All expenses are covered, but it should be used in a proper way, only in required circumstances.
I have a bad knowledge of English. Can I still volunteer abroad?
You absolutely can. ESC is a multilingual program, and knowledge of the English language is not at all mandatory. Of course, some organizations might require you to know English, or another language, because it is needed for their activities. But you can find projects that do not require any specific language skills.
I do not have a diploma, and I do not have any work experience. Can I still take part in a project?
You can, and you should! The organizations do not require any education background, nor work experience of any kind. When a potential host organization will consider your application, what they will look at is your motivation. This is what you should have!
Will volunteering help me find a job after my project?
One of the goals of ESC is to increase your employability by giving you valuable skills through your working experience. Even if your project is not a regular job, it will give you the keys to know more about certain topics, to learn some technical/practical skills but also some “soft skills” (how to work in a team, speak to a crowd, work with people with needs, etc.) At the end of your project, you will be able to produce your Youthpass, a certificate listing everything you learnt through your volunteering experience.
How many projects can I volunteer in?
You can only take part in one long-term volunteering project (between 2 and 12 months) but multiple team volunteering projects (between 2 weeks and 2 months). If you are considered a person with fewer opportunities, you can take part in an individual activity between 2 weeks and 2 months, and benefit from a “Preparatory visit” before the beginning of your project.
To which countries can I go volunteering to?
You can go volunteer in any EU country (except Spain), as well as Turkey, Iceland, North Macedonia. Switzerland is not part of ESC, but has its own European Voluntary Service which you can take part in.
Once in my project, is it allowed to travel around?
You will have to discuss your time off with your hosting organization. By default, in addition to two consecutive days off per week, you can cumulate two days off every month, which can be used to travel in the region. Please mind that ESC is not to be used solely as an opportunity to travel. Your motivation needs to lie with the solidarity project you take part in. If your application focuses on your wish to discover the hosting country and its region, your application will most likely not be accepted.
Once in my project, who do I contact if I have a problem?
You have multiple possible contacts to support you during your project. In your new place, you should rely on your assigned coordinator, who is there to guide you for activities but also for integration in your new environment. You also have a mentor, a local person to whom you can talk to, to understand more the local culture but also to reflect on your volunteering experience. Sadly, it can happen that you have issues with the hosting organization and/or the mentor. You can then contact your supporting organization, the organization from Kosovo which sent you abroad.
I have never traveled abroad, I have never lived by myself, is it a good idea to join an ESC project?
It is an excellent idea! This is the perfect way to be supported in such an adventure. Taking such a big step can be stressful, but you will be actively assisted by your hosting and supporting organizations before, during and after your project. Your supporting organization will organize a pre-departure training so that you know what to expect during the implementation of your project. At the beginning of your project, you will participate in an on-arrival training. If your project lasts more than 6 months, you will be able to reflect on your experience in a mid-term evaluation meeting. The program is thought to be accessible for everyone, starting at the age of 18, so you should not worry about your lack of life experience!
Can I terminate my project before the planned end?
This can be done only if reasonably justified, and if all means of mediation (in case of conflicts) or improvements (in case of dissatisfaction for instance) have been attempted. But PLEASE before you apply, be sure to be available for the whole duration of the project. Do not apply to projects overlapping with your studies or job opportunities. An ESC project is a commitment, and you have responsibilities as a volunteer.