Volunteer abroad, Gap year in Oslo


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 usually do not pay any salary or wage. However, there are programs where volunteers (especially for international programs) pay a program fee that covers the cost of the program, accommodation, meals,and sometimes airfare.

Volunteering in Norway

Voluntary organizations first became popular in the middle of the nineteenth century. Social changes were occurring at this time, and a decline in participation of religious organizations led the way for interest in public service.

There are many different organizations in which to volunteer :

Norwegian Centre for Voluntary Work/FRISAM- This is a government site that offers information about opportunities and organizations.
Postboks 8135 Dep.
N-0033 Oslo, Norway
+47 22 24 85 69

Stavanger Chamber Music Festival- this annual festival requires many short term helpers to pull it off. Volunteers help out with ticket sales, transportation, catering, and office work, and get free access to many of the concerts throughout the week.

World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms(WWOOF) offers positions with hundreds of farm work opportunities all over the world.

Volunteers for Peace in Norway- This program can last from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Volunteers work together to complete local community service projects.

Green Peace- this internationally recognized organization has a Norwegian office. Greenpeace Norway offers environmental volunteer positions and opportunities.

Camphill Communities offers placements to volunteers on their workcamps around the world. Work involves assisting in the running of community centres for adults with special needs. There is a 6-day work week with a small amount of pay and free accommodation and food. The Camphill community Corona in Ranheim has jobs available throughout the year in workplaces and health food shops.

European Voluntary Service (EVS)

The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a European Union program, 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. Participation is free for the volunteers who also get board and lodging, insurance cover and an allowance for the duration of the project. This opportunity a sending organization, a host organization and the volunteer.

How to proceed: Find an organization that will assist you individually along the procedure (you can find contacts through you National Agency, your National Coordinator or international volunteer organizations). Start contacting potential host organizations through your sending organization. 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 organizations and the Youth organizations. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/youth/youth-in-action-programme/doc82_en.htm

Insurance abroad

Travelling can leave people open to unique threats on their safety, health, and belongings. Travel insurance attempts to minimize your risk from these threats. Travel insurance can be purchased at airports and convenience stores, but usually at a higher premium than if purchased in advance.

Note for citizens of the UK: A reciprocal agreement exists between UK and Norway under which British nationals are covered for emergency treatment while visiting Norway as long as they hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

You might also look at our other articles on Summer Jobs and Internship abroad on the left column of this page.

Update 16/08/2010


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