European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a fantastic opportunity for you to carry out a period of full time voluntary service abroad from 2 to 12 months.  The programme is open to all young people aged 18-30.

How does EVS work?

EVS is based on a partnership between a host project, the volunteer and a sending organisation. Volunteers carry out their volunteering placement in a host project outside Italy. Volunteers choose from accredited EVS projects that interest them.  Host projects select volunteers for the vacancies they have.  Applications for funding are made on the volunteer’s behalf by either the host or sending organisation.


•gain confidence and independence

•experience a different culture

•learn new skills and develop competencies

•contribute to the local host community

•enhance employability (Youthpass certificate on completion).

How much will it cost?

•It’s free!  There is no cost to the volunteer at any stage.  Travel, accommodation, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant. You will even receive a small personal allowance each month.

Do I need any qualifications?

•No.  There are no qualification requirements.  Basic language knowledge will help, but is not necessary

Young people with fewer opportunities

EVS is inclusive for all young people.  Those volunteers with fewer opportunities who do not feel able to complete a longer term placement can take part in EVS for a short term project from 2 weeks to 2 months.  Extra support is available if you feel that this would be needed for you to carry out your project.

For definitions of fewer opportunities download the European Commission’s descriptors from their inclusion strategy.

Volunteers who complete a short term EVS project are eligible to apply again for a longer placement. The total duration of both projects cannot exceed 12 months.

Themes of the projects

There are a huge range of EVS voluntary placements across Europe and beyond. Project themes include: youth, sport, culture, social care, environment and more. Think about what interests and motivates you before you contact host organisations.  It will help if you are as open minded as possible.

•For up to date information on current vacancies register free at Youth Networks.


•You can also search for projects by country or theme by visiting the European Commission’s project database (however, do note that some projects may not have EVS placements available).

Database EVS



All volunteers are entitled to a Youthpass certificate on completion of an EVS placement.  The certificate is based on behavioural competencies and is a record of your achievement.  This validates the volunteering experience and is useful when approaching employers.