Volunteering is almost never fee-based and not always profession-related and so is not considered an implicit complement to a successful career. However, volunteering is not just the way to change your environment, or get relaxed, or make friends. Volunteering can become a real find for your career development after graduation. Though not usually covering your transfer and airfare, volunteering can nevertheless become almost expenditure-free owing to such organizations as the European Voluntary Service.
European Voluntary Service: pay only 10%
The European Union has created a customized organization – European Voluntary Service, which donates to volunteering around Europe. Each student aged 18-30 is eligible to apply only once, the handicapped are but provided with two opportunities. English is a must, and the language of the target country is encouraged. All the EU countries are available, as well as Turkey, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland. You may opt for either a long-term project – for 6 months, for example (12 months is the longest), or a short-term program – say, covering the summer holiday. Look closer to the term you are choosing: mind a weekly workload – normally 35 hours. Consider if you endure a couple of months full of work.
A variety of projects offers quite a choice, especially for those specializing in social sciences: childcare, social care, environment protection, animals, website development, sports, entertainment, arts & culture, etc. The European Voluntary Service doesn`t bind you upon a certain area – this is you who selects the activities.
Volunteering is not remunerated, but the European Voluntary Service compensates for 90% expenses related to visa, travel insurance, return ticket, food and accommodation, travels within the target country, language course if any, as well as overheads of approximately EUR 150‑200 a month. You are required to pay the remaining 10% of the fee.
How volunteering can help with your career
When volunteering, you acquire a unique experience of working abroad, in an unknown cultural environment; learn a team play; get new hard and soft skills, and study or improve a foreign language (besides, for this reason, you are recommended to opt for the country where people speak the language different from your native one – get an impetus to study a new language adding value to your future career credentials). Besides, notwithstanding the fee-free nature, volunteering organizations do need the staff, and if you impress them, they will be likely to offer you a position, or refer its partners to your application. If your volunteering is somehow related to your future profession, and on top it fully satisfies you with its nature, you will thus kill two birds with one stone.
About the author: Ann Aldrich, a freelance analyst at 24writer.com
in the area of international studies. Ann`s research is based on scientific degree differences worldwide. As a secondary area, Ann writes more down-to-earth articles about student volunteering and exchange programs. Her hobbies are yoga, fitness and morning jogging.