European Voluntary Service – Instructions for use

I am young and would like to do an EVS. What steps to take?

If you are between 17 and 30 years old, want to get involved and wish to have an exceptional experience in Europe, the European Voluntary Service (EVS) is perfect for you!

What is EVS?

European Voluntary Service is a unique opportunity for all young Europeans between 17 and 30 of age, who would like to commit themselves to a cause of general interest and volunteer in a foreign country. The goal is to allow young people to discover another culture and to gain new, useful competences for their academic and professional life. No language level, diploma or training is required. EVS enables volunteering in another country, within an association, an NGO or a community. It is an action of the Erasmus+ programme. Unlike honorary service, voluntary service is a full-time commitment under contract (generally between 24 and 35 hours per week) for a limited duration, with a mission of helping others. At the end of your EVS project, you will receive a certificate – the Youthpass – which proves your participation and describes your contribution. You will benefit from ongoing support in form of a training cycle, tutoring and language training.

What are the project themes?

You will join a non-profit structure (association, territorial community, NGO…) in a foreign country and will accomplish a project of general interest in different areas. The proposed missions concern various fields: culture and art, social issues, environment, heritage protection, media and youth information, fight against exclusion and racism, health, solidarity economy, sports…

What is the project duration?

The proposed missions usually last from 6 to 12 months, but shorter durations are also possible.

What are the criteria?

– To be between 17 and 30 years old
– No training or diploma required
– No experience required
– No knowledge of language required (a basic level of English is often recommended)

What is provided?

– Outward and return journey
– Insurance
– Accommodation
– Pocket money (from 50 to 125 € per month according to the country)
– Food
– Online language support and a possible language course

The volunteering is subsidised by the European Commission. The project does not cost the volunteer anything, aside from their personal expenses.

In which countries?

As French volunteer, it is not possible do an EVS in France, but in the other countries of the ERASMUS+ programme:

– Countries of the European Union
– Countries of the European Economic Area, except Switzerland: Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway
– Candidate countries for the European Union: Turkey, Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia
– Countries of South-East Europe: Kosovo
– Countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia, Russia, Ukraine
– Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Syria, Tunisia


The EVS is NOT an internship, a training, a youth employment, a linguistic or touristic stay, an exploitation of cheap labour or a study or professional training period abroad.

How to participate?

An EVS project is a partnership between several promoters (organisations), which are responsible for the recruitment of volunteers for their projects. The volunteers participate in an EVS through a sending organisation established in their country of residence and a hosting organisation which receives them during their service. The sending structure organises your information and preparation before the departure, the follow-up of your mission and your arrival.

  1. Contact a sending organisation (at least 6 months before submitting your application)

You will have an individual appointment or you will participate in an information meeting where all the necessary steps will be explained.

  1. Search for your hosting project and apply (at least 4 months before handing in your application)

This is an individual step. You will select the projects which interest you. The research is done according to different criteria (countries, themes…). Afterwards, you apply to the structures by sending a CV and a letter of motivation. If you speak the language of your chosen country, it is be advisable to write the documents in this language.

  1. Prepare your application (at least 1 month before submitting your application)

As soon as a hosting organisation replies to you positively, you should contact your sending organisation, which will take charge of all the administrative steps for validating your project.

  1. Date of handing in your application

February, April, October (specific dates are available on the website of Erasmus+ youth)

It often takes up to 2 months to receive an answer from the hosting organisation.

  1. Sign your contract and leave for your EVS (at least 3 months after handing in your application)

It is possible to leave from 1st of January, 1st of May or 1st of August.

As soon as you receive a positive answer, you can start the preparation of your trip and sign the contract of activity.

EVS sending structures in the region of Centre-Val de Loire

– Maison de l’Europe Tours
97 bis boulevard Jean Royer – 37000 TOURS
Tel : 02 47 20 05 55
E-mail :

3 allée de Lombardie – 37000 TOURS
Tel : 02 47 66 15 47
E-mail :

21 rue Loigny la Bataille – 28000 CHARTES
Tel : 02 38 53 70 66
E-mail :

34 rue de la Bretonnerie – 45000 ORLEANS
Tel : 02 38 53 70 66
E-mail :

– Relais Brenne Initiatives Jeunes
1 bis impasse de l’Etang – 36800 OULCHES
Tel : 02 54 28 59 64 – 06 86 87 89 46
E-mail :


For more information:

Infomation booklet (in French)

EVS factsheet

European Youth Portal

Database of projects on Facebook

French Agency of the European Erasmus+ program

Discover the testimonies of French volunteers on the blog « Parlez-moi du SVE »