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Volunteer abroad, Gap year in Frankfurt


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If you are looking for a summer job or a gap year, voluntary work abroad may be the perfect way to gain a valuable experience abroad. With a volunteer project you will get professional and personal experience, and improve your career. But an experience abroad will allow you also to learn about another culture and encourage personal development, co-operation, tolerance and open-mindedness.

There are many organizations that will help place you in the perfect work experience job. We will give a list of different organizations throughout this article, focusing on volunteer organizations.

You will find more information on summer jobs, holiday jobs or internship abroad in our other articles on the left column of this page. You will find also details on visa and health insurance in those sections.

What is a volunteer job

Volunteer service is offered by choice - it is not mandated or coerced. It contributes to the well-being of an individual or the community, and is usually coordinated by a non-profit or public sector organization, and in theory it does not pay any salary or wage.

Volunteer work is often equated with unpaid work, and people who contribute their time and energy freely to build a better community don't necessarily get the support systems and recognition they deserve. However regarding people working as volunteer during their summer holiday, they will get accommodation and often a small amount of money for their personal care.

The European Voluntary Service (EVS)

The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a European Union programme, set up by the European Commission in early 1996. It offers young people (between 18 and 25) the opportunity to work as a volunteer for six to twelve months in a non-profit project abroad. Three partners are the key partners of an EVS project: the volunteer, the sending organisation and the host organisation.
The European Commission take in charge the travel costs for the young, the insurance (health, accident, public liability) and provides a monthly allowance from 140 to 220 euros.

How to proceed: Find a sending organisation that will assist you individually along the procedure (you can find contacts through you National Agency, your National Coordinator or international volunteer organisations). Start contacting potential host organisations through your sending organisation. Keep your fingers crossed and persevere in your search as the difficulty is not to find a suitable project, but to find a project ready to host you within the time limit you have planned.

You can have a look at the European database on accredited host organisations and the Youth organisations.

More information also on the website http://www.britishcouncil.org

Volunteering in Germany

You may find less agricultural job opportunity in Germany than in other European countries.

However you can contact WWOOF (http://www.wwoof.org/) , a dedicated organisation helping those who would like to volunteer on organic farms internationally. When you join a WWOOF organisation, you will be put in contact with host farms. It is then up to you to contact the host farms that interest you and make your own arrangements with them.
Workers are provided with board and accommodation and must pay an annual membership of £10.

As well as volunteer opportunities available on agricultural projects, a number of organisations arrange social work projects, such as Concordia (http://www.concordia-iye.org.uk) which encourages international youth exchange as a mean of promoting personal development, greater cultural awareness and international understanding and enable young people to participate in volunteer projects throughout the world.
Projects last for several weeks, in the summer months.
All volunteers are supplied with food and accommodation and are required to pay a fee of £75 to register with Concordia.

Insurance

Wherever you go, it is recommended to subscribe a travel insurance. It will cover any event that might occure when you are abroad. Morever this is mandatory for a lot of work in "exotic" countries.

We have selected below a series of companies to help you in your choice. Of course you might find others on the Internet.

  • Coverworks Worldwide Travel Insurance: Coverworks Travel Insurance was established to specialise in providing dependable and affordable cover, for both the backpacker and for the independent traveller.
  • Insure & Go: Cheap cover online for gap years & backpacking, skiing, adventure travel, single trips & annual travel.
  • Down Under Insurance: Offers travel insurance to residents in the UK, the USA, Australia & New Zealand.
  • Go Travel Insurance: This is a leading provider of online travel insurance for UK & Irish residents (backpackers insurance is about £150 for 1 year in Europe).
  • Travel Insurance Online: It can cover UK or US residents from £40/year, depending on the garanties requested.
You might also look at our other articles on Summer Jobs and Internship abroad on the left column of this page.

Update 13/05/2005



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