When can I leave?
EVS projects are primarily funded by the European Union (EU). Therefore, a grant application needs to be submitted to the EU. The EU has 3 fixed deadlines each year to submit a grant application. The next deadline to apply for a grant is the 15th of February 2018. Because the processing of grant applications in Brussels takes a few months, you will only be able to begin your grant in the summer of 2018. We encourage you to not wait until right before the deadline to find a project that suits you, as the deadline will come up on you quickly! In the next few steps you will find out how to apply and how you can search for projects.
Can’t wait to start your volunteer work and want to depart sooner? Let us know! There might be projects available which are already subsidized but do not have a volunteer yet. In this case, you can start a project ahead of the regular schedule for 2018.
How do I apply?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining your interest in participating in the EVS. A member of the Smile To The Future Travel Department will contact you as soon as possible and plan an introductory meeting. During this meeting, you will discuss all your possibilities and you can ask any questions you may have.
How does the application process work?
If the introductory meeting goes well and you still want to participate, you can apply for EVS through Smile To The Future. Applying with us has many advantages. First of all, you will be assigned a committed supervisor (usually the staff member that you have your introductory meeting with) who will help you to select a nice and suitable project, and who will answer your questions, before and during the project. Secondly, Smile To The Future will send you mail from partner organisations from EVS countries that are currently looking for volunteers. Finally, you will have an organization in the Netherlands that will provide support to you (a sending organization).
With these advantages in mind and the time our volunteers spend making sure you have a positive EVS experience, we ask for a deposit as a sign of your commitment to follow through with the project, which is between 75 to 165 euros. After completion of the project, the entire deposit will be reimbursed to you.
How do I find a project?
Finding a project can be compared to searching for a job. You can respond to posts from organizations that are looking for volunteers, but you can also send an organization with which you would like to volunteer an inquiry asking if they are looking for volunteers. It is most convenient to approach organizations that are already approved by the EU as EVS accredited organizations. In the following database you can find an overview of these organisations: europa.eu/youth/volunteering/evs-organisation_en.
This database is very large and unfortunately is not always up-to-date. Fortunately there are other ways to find current vacancies, for example through a smaller database, which will be discussed during the introductory meeting. Smile To The Future is in contact with many partner organisations across Europe. These partner organisations regularly contact Smile To The Future if they are looking for an EVS volunteer, and such opportunities may not appear in regular databases. We call such solicitations for volunteers “open calls,” and they are sent to interested EVS participants as soon as possible. This gives you an edge in finding the EVS project that is perfect for you.
How does the grant application process work?
If you have found a suitable project and everything else has gone smoothly, we will arrange the grant application for you. We will ensure it is submitted before the deadline. This means that you need to have found and ‘’matched’’ a project one month before the deadline.
So when can I pack my bags?
About two months after the you have submitted the grant application, you will receive a notification about the status of the subsidy. Fortunately this almost always goes smoothly, so this is the moment when you can pack your bags. Before departure you will receive training in the Netherlands to ensure you are well-prepared. This training is given by the NJI. This organization executes all tasks belonging to the Erasmus+ National Agency, commissioned by the two involved ministries.
How will I be supervised during my project?
Your most important occupation during your stay abroad is the EVS project, on which you will spend between 30 to 36 hours a week. In addition, you will receive two trainings (one at the beginning of and one halfway through the program) that will provide you with tips how to make the most of your time as an EVS participant and how to get to know other EVS participants. Your language skills will certainly improve and you will get to know yourself better. On-site you will be assigned a supervisor. Finally, you will have your Smile To The Future supervisor with whom you will have contact on a monthly basis and who you can share experiences and questions with.
What happens when I return home?
After completion of the EVS project, you will have a wrap-up conversation with your Smile To The Future supervisor. In addition, the EU expects you to write an evaluation of your experience. This paper is needed to finalize the EVS project.
Can I share about my experience?
Please do! We we love to hear about your EVS adventure and we would like to share about your unique experience on our website. EVS is not very well-known in the Netherlands, so you will be doing your community a favor by publicizing your story and informing other young people about this amazing opportunity. Please contact us if you want to share your story.