With the European Voluntary Service, organisations make it possible for young people (adolescents or young adults) to do a voluntary service stint from between two weeks and twelve months, which is of public benefit and gives participants a personal learning experience.

What is the European Voluntary Service (EVS)?

Young people who do European Voluntary Service live in another country for a period and work there, individually or in groups, in a non-profit-making project of benefit to the public. In this way, they gain valuable experience abroad and can further their personal development on many levels. The receiving organisations are given active support. Both sides benefit from the intercultural exchange.

The possible fields of activity for an EVS are very varied: cultural, social and health sphere, child, youth and community work, environmental protection, etc. The tasks of the volunteers should reflect their interests and their profile as far as possible. Working hours are between 30 and 38 hours a week. Voluntary service must not, under any circumstances, replace a paid job. An EVS is not a traineeship. Rather, its purpose is to help young adults to develop and flourish. The EVS is open to everyone and no professional or vocational knowledge or particular training are required.

During the EVS, the volunteers take part in Support Seminars organised by Movetia. The purpose of these is to reflect on the experiences and to support the volunteers in their learning process.

How is an EVS project organised?

In an EVS project, a distinction is drawn among three different functions that the participating organisations can assume. For all three functions, an accreditation is necessary so that the quality of the voluntary service can be ensured in accordance with the EVS Charter.

  • The sending organisation is responsible for supporting and assisting the volunteers before the EVS and for providing support after they return, but also keeps in touch with volunteers during the EVS.
  • The receiving organisation supports and assists the EVS on the spot. It includes the volunteers in the activities of the organisation and provides board and lodging as well as personal guidance by a mentor.
  • The coordinating organisation submits the application (proposal) for the EVS project and is responsible for administration. It arranges the division of duties with all participating organisations and manages the funds.

The function of the coordinating organisation can be assumed both by the receiving organisation or sending organisation and by a third organisation. 

How can organisations get themselves accredited?

Interested organisations complete the Accreditation Application (DE). The form is submitted to Movetia by email. After that, two discussions are held with two different experts for EVS. Following the successful accreditation, the project proposal for the planned EVS stints is submitted to Movetia by the coordinating organisation. All participating organisations must be accredited for EVS in their country. 

You can find more information in the accreditation manual for EVS organisations (DE)

How do EVS organisations in Switzerland find participants?

Ideally, EVS receiving organisations in Switzerland find participants through sending organisations in other countries. However, they can also announce EVS opportunities with the help of their network and their communication channels.

How can young people register for an EVS abroad?

Interested people aged between 17 and 30 can contact an EVS-accredited sending organisation in Switzerland. After clarifying interests and options, the latter arrange suitable EVS places within the framework of EVS. Movetia does not arrange any EVS places.

What does an EVS look like in concrete terms?

  • Participants: Young people aged between 18 and 30 can take part provided they are resident in one of the participating countries. In general, each person can take part in an EVS only once. However, in the case of short EVS stints, it may be possible to take part again. A maximum of 30 volunteers can take part per project.
  • Duration: 2-12 months; in the case of group EVSs (at least 10 volunteers) or EVSs with the participation of young people with special needs: at least 2 weeks. The total project duration including preparation and follow-up evaluation is 3 to 24 months.
  • Location: The EVS must take place in Switzerland (incoming project) or in the country of one of the participating organisations (outgoing project).
  • Advanced planning visit: In justified cases, a planning visit can be held before the actual EVS. This should last no more than 2 days (not including travel days). Per organisation, one person may take part or two people, if one of them is an EVS volunteer.

Please see the qualitative funding criteria on the page submit an application

How are EVS funded by Movetia?

  • Travel allowance: CHF 400.– per person
  • Organisational support: EVS in Switzerland lasting 2 or more months: standard monthly allowance of CHF 769.–; EVS in Switzerland lasting 14 to 59 days: standard daily allowance of CHF 27.–. For all other countries: see Overview of Grants.
  • Costs of stay (pocket money): EVS in Switzerland lasting 2 or more months: standard monthly allowance of CHF 162.–; EVS in Switzerland lasting 14 to 59 days: standard daily allowance of CHF 7. For all other countries: see Overview of Grants.
  • Support in the case of participation by people with a disability (special needs): 100% of the costs actually eligible for funding
  • Exceptional costs (e.g. visa costs): Incoming: 100% of the costs actually eligible for funding; Outgoing: are not funded
  • Grant for linguistic preparation: CHF 186.– per person (as required only)

For the detailed list and explanation of the contributions, please see the Overview of Grants.