European Voluntary Service (EVS)

Important Infomation

Please note that Volunteer Ireland are not currently accepting EVS volunteers at this time

What is EVS?

European Voluntary ServiceEuropean Volunteer Service or EVS is an EU funded program that allows young people aged between 18 – 30 to volunteer in different European locations without having to forgo the cost of travel and accommodation.

EVS is a part of Erasmus+, a European Commission funded programme for lifelong learning and volunteering in Europe.

European Voluntary Service (EVS) provides young Europeans with the unique chance to express their personal commitment through unpaid and full-time voluntary activities in a foreign country within or outside the EU. In this way, it seeks to develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, thus contributing to reinforcing social cohesion in the European Union and to promoting young people’s active citizenship

Volunteers with EVS can volunteer in another European country (not just EU countries but many other countries involved in the Youth in Action program) form 2 up to 12 months.

What makes an EVS placement?

There are thousands of different projects to chose from in the EVS database but they all must comply with the following:

  • must take place in a country other than where the volunteer lives;
  • must be non-profit-making and unpaid;
  • must bring an added value to the host organisation and the local community;
  • must not involve job substitution nor be a substitute for military service.
  • must last for a limited period, normally between 2 and 12 months.

EVS should:

Promote universal peace, dialogue, tolerance and solidarity;
Contribute to building long-lasting and solid partnerships;
Include exchange of youth work expertise and know-how;
Give participants a better understanding of their own situations and cultures and help them explore their identities;
Contribute to developing the voluntary sector and civil society.



  • EVS is not occasional, unstructured, part-time volunteering.
  • EVS is not an internship in an enterprise.
  • EVS is not a paid job and must not substitute paid jobs.
  • EVS is not a recreation or tourist activity.
  • EVS is not a language course.
  • EVS is not exploitation of cheap work force.
  • EVS is not a period of study or vocational training abroad.
  • EVS is not simply a funding scheme, but a quality model of transnational voluntary service.

Erasmus+ Programme