We have partner organisations all over the world. You could go to Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe… Check our partners in here
Which countries are European countries?
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom.
Which countries are considered Programme Countries?
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Turkey and Norway.
Which countries are considered Partner Countries?
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Territory of Ukraine as recognized by international law, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Territory of Russia as recognized by international law.
What types of programs are available?
We have a good variety of programmes, you could be working on a cultural project, educational project, working with kids, as a teacher in deprived areas, journalism projects, working with disabled people, in the nature, environmental projects, agricultural projects, eco farming tasks, working with animals, art, inclusion activities, communications… Check the projects in our database
What means being on a Workcamp?
Workcamp is the name of what we call International Volunteer Project or IVP (IVP) As a volunteer, you will be involved with a local community in one specific community-led activity in a country abroad. You will be surrounded by other international volunteers such as yourself to carry out a joint activity together with local volunteers.
When does the summer programme came out?
We don’t offer a summer programme, however, most of our partner organisations upload their projects to the database platform from March until June. The peek volunteering season is summer and most of the projects are held from May till September. You can see all of them here
Will it be difficult?
Most of the volunteering experiences can be challenging but not especially difficult. The projects will use your talents to help in the area that you can be more useful, everyone can join in and give a hand in something. Besides, in the description of the projects usually you can find if it is going to be physically hard or not.
Will I be able to travel around the area?
Your main tasks are going to be related with the project. Travelling, touristic and individual visits are not the purpose of the workcamps. You will be working around 8 hours per day which means you can make some short local visits during your free time. Some partner organisations secure one day for visiting other communities or interest places of the area. You can see this information in the description of the project.
Could we join a programme as a group?
Yes! We love when volunteers decide to go as groups! if you want to know more, go to ‘Group Projects’to find out more.
Can families volunteer together?
Our projects are not a substitute for vacations, the intention is to engage and work with the local community. If your intention is to travel together, create an impact and you understand the volunteering commitment, then we are happy to send you abroad! Remember that all your family members need to fit within the age range of the project. Members of the family can apply individually. However, we cannot ensure that all of them will be selected as that is the decision of the hosting partner organisation.
What is a Group Project?
An International Volunteer Group Project is an opportunity to volunteer abroad as a group in a local community. Those projects last from 2 weeks to 2 months.The group can be set up by volunteers who already know each other and also by individuals who form a “new born” group. Ideally, the group should have 8-15 volunteers. You need to be 18+ to participate in this projects. If your group us under 18, Youth Exchanges is a better option for you.
What age ranges take on this projects?
The age ranges varies from one project to another but actually we offer volunteering experiences for all kinds of ages. Youth Exchanges can be a good opportunity for people under 18, for instance. We also have International Volunteer Projects where everyone up to 18 can take part; or European Voluntary Service, where the age has to be between 18 and 30. All this information is available for you in the different parts of Volunteering Opportunities.
What is an IVP Project?
An International Volunteer Project (IVP) is an opportunity to volunteer abroad in a local community from another country with volunteers and local inhabitants. International Volunteer Projects are usually short and most of them happen during the summer. In there you would be collaborating in different tasks, the projects can be around renovation, conservation of the nature, educational activities, art, sports… There is a wide range of options.
What will be expected from me when I return from a project?
We will ask you for a feedback in order to evaluate your experience from a project. The feedback can be given in a form of either evaluation session or evaluation form depending on a type of a project. Furthermore, we would love to have something that we can share with possible future volunteers, you could create a short blog post/article/video about their experience (including information about activities and content of a project, aim of a project, own learnings and inspiration from a project).
What is Erasmus+ Programme?
The Erasmus+ is the European Union-funded programme. It aims to promote mobility within the European Union, with a big diverse amount of projects. It helps people to travel, work and live abroad bringing a European citizenship feeling. Erasmus+ aims to boost skills and employability as well as modernise education, training, and youth work across Europe.
What means EVS?
EVS (European Voluntary Service) is an international volunteer programme funded by the European Commission. It enables young to work and collaborate within organisations from other countries. If you want to see more information about this kind of programme, click here
What happens If I have a problem during my project?
You will always have a coordinator who will help you in case of something happens. Also, Xchange Scotland, as sending organisation, will support you facing the issue.
Can I leave the project at any time?
This is volunteering, no one will forbid you to leave but, you should be aware that dropping out of some projects means that the project will not be able to continue. All our projects are based on the work of volunteers, and we need you to consider deeply this decision before taken it.
Do I need to be a British Citizen for collaborating with your Organization?
For most of the short term projects we only need that you are resident in Scotland. To apply for the European Voluntary Service, you should be a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Do I need a VISA?
Some of the projects will need VISA but this aspect always depends on the country. Ask us about which country you want to be involved and we will tell you!
If you want to apply for an International Volunteer Project, you should start the process around one month to two weeks before it starts. In case you want to do it during summer, most of the projects came out around April and May.
If you are applying for the European Voluntary Service, there are three deadlines per year, our recommendation is start considering options at least 6 months before you want to leave.
Can I apply If I am under 18?
You can apply forEuropean Voluntary Service if your are 17. If you are younger, we have other types of project like Youth Exchanges. Send us an email and we can search for an options that fits with you!
Can I apply If I am 30+?
Yes! International Volunteer Projects are for people from 18 to 99+. Unfortunately , European Voluntary Service is a program for people between 17 to 30.
Yes! We recommend you to do it. This projects ask for participants from all over the world, If you want to have more chances to be selected, apply for more projects which suits you.
What else do I need to prepare?
After being selected, we will take care of the rest aspects of your stay. In case you need to do something else, we will contact you. Don’t, worry!
How likely is that my application is successful?
It is a 50-50 chance. What we can tell you is that sooner or later you will find a project where you will be chosen, sometimes It will be the first one, sometimes It will take a little bit more of research. We can help you on this.
What happens if my application is not successful? Will I be refunded the registration fee?
Talking about International Volunteer Projects, in case you are not chosen and you don’t want to choose any other project, your fee will be reimbursed.
How long does the application process take?
For the International Volunteer Projects, it takes around two weeks. For the European Voluntary Service, It takes around 6 months and requires active approach from a volunteer during this period.
No, the projects that we manage look for volunteers, not internships. If you decide to join the long term experience ‘European Voluntary Service’ your cost of living will be covered and you will receive a small amount of money while you are living there. But that is the only exception. Still, the amount of money is not a salary.
Are meals included in the cost?
Yes, all the projects cover food and accommodation. Otherwise, we will mention it in the Information Sheet.
Which is the fee in European Voluntary Service Programme?
There is no fee for this project. The European Commission funds all the cost except for the travel cost. For this, they have a specific amount of money which has been decided per kilometer of distance from one country to another. If this amount cover all the cost of your trip, you will not have to pay. If it is not enough, you will have to pay the rest. Usually it cover all the cost or at least the 90% of it
Why European Commission funds some projects?
Some of our projects are under the Erasmus+ programme which was created for the European Commission. Because of that, they provide some money to cover the cost of delivering this projects in the different countries of the European Union and overseas.
Do I pay the fee after being accepted on the project?
For the International Volunteer Projects, we need you to pay the fee before being accepted to start the administration process. If you are not selected, we will help you to find another project. In case you will decide then that there is no other interesting project for you, we will reimburse your money.
Can I fundraise for this project?
Yes! You always can fundraiseto go abroad if you don’t have the money. This option is especially good for groups. If you need advice on this, send us an email here and have a look on ourfundraising guide.
Do I pay for my own transportation?
In the European Voluntary Service Project the transportation from your house to your work place will be provided, It could be a pass for the local transport, a bike or tickets for the local bus. Depends on the Hosting Organisation resources.
In the case ofInternational Volunteer Projects, yes, you will have to pay for the transportation.
This could be different for some other projects but that information will always be provided in the Information Sheet.
Where goes the money?
We have split the information of how we use the fee that volunteers need to provide us in here
Why this charity cost less money than others?
We put all our efforts to create a social benefit, our money doesn’t go to increase the organisation or the salaries, every penny goes to increase the value of the projects, the impact in the society and the amount of people that we can reach.
Also, we consider that everybody should have the chance to go abroad and live this kind of educational experiences. It doesn’t matter your background or your capacities, we want to be inclusive because everybody is a potential volunteer. Every person should collaborate within the community, locally or internationally, and money shouldn’t be a barrier.
None! Just bring your passion and ideas, I’m sure you can help in something and you have more talents that you think. Within the projects you will learn new languages and increase many of your soft skills. Be ready to learn and keep an open mind.
Will I get a qualification?
If you are participating in the European Voluntary Service you have the chance to have a recognition of the skills that you gain which is the Youth Pass. This certificate will be delivered during your project. In a national level we are working to get a qualification which will prove your intercultural learning, citizenship and soft skills after the project.
Volunteering abroad is going to give you a new perspective, improve your capacity of communication, it will make you gain self-confidence and develop new passions and dreams. Engaging a new culture as a volunteer is totally different that doing it in a normal trip. Also, it will be very positive for your career.
Can I talk with other volunteers from the same programme before going abroad?
Yes! Some of our past volunteers has left their stories in here Also, all the members of Xchange Scotland has been volunteering in some way or another. We are more than happy to tell you our experiences as well.
Do I need to speak English or the language of the country?
No, the aim of this projects is to make you learn new things. If you don’t speak the local language, I’m sure you will be back with some new words and understanding of it.
What can I do If I have more questions?
Send us an email!We will answer you as soon as possible. We can also arrange a face-to-face meeting in our office to have a wee chat together. Also, you can contact us in Facebook, Twitter or by phone.