European Solidarity Corps Volunteering

Are you interested in volunteering in Europe? Are you between 18 and 30 years old? Apply for volunteering with the European Solidarity Corps for 6–12 months!

The European Solidarity Corps is a program by the European Union that allows you to engage in volunteer work abroad, primarily in Europe, with EU support.

In the European Solidarity Corps, young people contribute to building a more inclusive society and support those in more vulnerable positions. Volunteer work is carried out for the benefit of the local community.

Volunteer opportunities are available in areas such as youth, disability, culture, and environmental work. Explore the possibilities and apply now!

Liitupiirroksia asfaltilla, keskellä kaksi sydäntä, joissa yhdessä Suomen lipun ja toisessa Puolan lipun kuviointia.

“When everything around me was new and in many ways different, I learned to know myself better. Getting to know new people and a new cultural environment was a rewarding experience that will surely have an impact for a lifetime. From the journey, I gained friends and a place that feels like a second home.” – Venla Ristolainen, volunteering in a kindergarten in Poland

Volunteering with the European Solidarity Corps offers you the opportunity to explore a new environment with its cultures and develop your skills in various ways.

Numerous young people have participated through us in EU-supported volunteer work. Our volunteers have worked, for example, in asylum seeker and refugee reception centers in Belgium, a school for young people with disabilities in the UK, a youth exchange organization in Austria, and a youth center in Estonia.

In the European Solidarity Corps, a volunteer is joined by a sending support organisation alongside the hosting organization. Maailmanvaihto is one of the organisations that send young people from Finland to the European Solidarity Corps. Through us, you can embark on a 6–12 month volunteering journey.

Participants are provided with accommodation, which may vary depending on the volunteer placement, such as dormitories, shared apartments, or with a local host family.

Volunteering in Europe – Where?

The available countries include Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Portugal, Poland, France, Romania, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Hungary, and Estonia. Additionally, EU-supported volunteer projects can be organized in Eastern European, South Caucasus, Western Balkans, and  Southern Mediterranean countries.

In the ICYE federation, the member of which Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland is, ICYE organisations coordinate European Solidarity Corps volunteering periods in Iceland, Italy, Austria, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, and Russia.

“In less than a year of volunteering in Germany, there were countless amazing and exciting memories, which I still recall constantly.” – Vilma-Riikka Tiittanen, volunteering in a folk high school in Germany

Who can participate?

You can join the European Solidarity Corps for volunteering between the ages of 18 and 30. However, you can register for the European Solidarity Corps as early as 17 years old.

There is no requirement for educational or work background to participate, and you don’t need to know the language of the destination country in advance. The volunteer period provides a great opportunity to explore the field of your volunteer placement and learn the local language.

All young people aged 18–30 are welcome in the European Solidarity Corps. Priority is given to young people who, due to unemployment, have fewer opportunities to gain international experience.

Support, such as an assistant, can be arranged for volunteers with mobility or sensory impairments, as well as for those with chronic illnesses. Since the support needs of each volunteer are unique, feel free to contact us, and we can discuss together whether there are suitable opportunities in the program. We have previously sent a visually impaired young person and a physically disabled young person abroad through our program.

As an example of more accessible volunteer positions, the Austrian youth exchange organization Grenzelos annually looks for a young person with disabilities to volunteer in their project called Grenzenlos without Barriers. For further information and inspriration for volunteering as a young person with disabilities, watch videos our videos Beyond Borders – Young People with Disablities Volunteering Abroad.

We require a full COVID-19 vaccination series for volunteers working with vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly or people with disabilities. In addition, volunteers must follow the guidance on vaccinations from the coordinating organization and the destination country. An exception is possible if you cannot take the vaccine for health reasons.

Six people standing next to each other and smiling.

What does EU support for the volunteer period cover?

The funding for the European Solidarity Corps volunteering is provided by the European Union. The volunteer period includes:

When and how to apply?

You can apply for volunteering with the European Solidarity Corps throughout the year.

We recommend submitting applications at least six months before your planned start date.

You can apply either to open positions with Maailmanvaihto’s partner organisations or directly on the European Youth Portal.


“As a volunteer at ICJA, I improved my German skills, gained experience of the everyday operations of an international organisation and was involved in organising trainings focused on global learning. I learnt a lot about international volunteering, also from the perspective of global power structures.” – Anna Mäkinen

Further information

Do you have questions about the European Solidarity Corps? Please contact us, and we’ll be happy to provide more details.


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