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Volunteer abroad, Gap year in Riga


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What is a Volunteer Job?

Volunteer service contributes to the well-being of an individual and the community, and is usually coordinated by a non-profit or public sector organization. These positions rarely offer any salary or wage.

Volunteer work can be a good way to gain new skills and experience while learning more about the country and acquiring some local language skills. Volunteering internationally offers a native's perspective into a country, a chance to work with people from around the world and unparalleled experiences.

Unfortunately, the culture of voluntary work is only beginning to develop in Latvia and it is a small country so finding a project to volunteer for may be a little difficult. Your best chance is the European Voluntary Service - read more about it below.

Programs

The European Voluntary Service (EVS)

The European Voluntary Service is a European Union program that offers young people (between 17 and 30) the opportunity to work as a volunteer for two weeks to twelve months in a non-profit project abroad. Three partners are the key partners of an EVS project: the volunteer, the sending organization and the host organization. Your accommodation, food, and insurance will be covered, and a monthly allowance provided. However, you might have to cover a part of your travel costs.

How to proceed: Start with the Database of Volunteering Opportunities to find projects that suit your interests. Alternatively, you can directly search EVS Accredited Organizations to find an organization you would like to work with. You need to find both a sending organization in your country that will assist you with the procedure, and a host organization in Latvia that is carrying out a project that you can volunteer for. Currently there are around 80 receiving organizations in Latvia, around 10 of them in Riga, the capital.

Insurance Abroad

Many volunteer programs also handle visa arrangements and include insurance coverage in their program fees or as part of their compensation.

If they do not, you will need to shop around for rates and coverage. Consult our section on "International Healthcare & Medical Insurance" to find out more about your options or compare companies on our services site, Expat-Quotes.


Update 26/08/2015


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