ICYE: Applying Instructions 2021-22

The first step in applying for ICYE voluntary work is to fill in the application form which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. We invite all applicants for a selection interview.

Selection criteria

Participants are selected for the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) programme based on their application and an interview. In the selection, the main focus is on personal suitability. The participants need to have an interest in different cultures and people as well as motivation for voluntary work. In addition, openness, flexibility and ability to adjust as well as the ability and desire to learning new are important during a voluntary work period.

In order to get selected an applicant must have a rather good idea about which sort of program and conditions they are applying for. One does not have to know the culture of the destination country widely, but one must have some sort of a picture of the prevailing living conditions.

The minimum age limit for participating in the ICYE program is 18 years. The upper age limit varies according to the destination country. The age limit of each country is stated in the country introductions.

Participation fees

The participation fee includes accommodation and daily meals, insurance, trainings (pre-departure orientation camp in Finland, a training on the language and culture in the destination country and two evaluation training (in periods of 6 months one evaluation meeting)), daily travels to work, the support of ICYE office in Finland as well as in the destination country, small pocket money, and a meeting of the returnees in Finland after the return.

NB! The participant also needs to pay for the flights and the visa to the destination country. The participant is responsible for organizing their travels to the destination country.

NB! In case extra costs are caused by the Coronavirus situation (quarantine costs when arriving in the destination country, for instance), the participant needs to pay for these costs.

Maailmanvaihto grants the participants stipends (maximum of 500 €) on economic basis.

Applying and starting times

Regarding the ICYE volunteering periods, which will begin in January–February 2022, the measures regarding the application process have been adjusted, due to the coronavirus pandemic:

If you are interested in heading abroad for ICYE volunteering in January–February 2022, after receiving your application, we will gladly negotiate with the ICYE organization of the country of your interest about the possibilities to organize the co-operation. For us, the last day to receive applications from applicants is the 1st of September, 2021. We will interview the applicants online.

In case due to the coronasituation, you cannot travel to the destination country you had planned, you can change the destination country, postpone your departure or cancel your participation without costs (see cancellation terms in more detail).

Application form and attachments

Download the application form: ICYE Candidate Application Form (doc)

Please include into your application the following documents:

Send your application via e-mail to the address maailmanvaihto(at)maailmanvaihto.fi or via mail to the address Maailmanvaihto ry – ICYE Finland, Oikokatu 3, 00170 Helsinki.

Cancellation terms in a coronavirus situation

If due to the coronavirus pandemic, Maailmanvaihto cannot organize for you the planned ICYE volunteering program abroad (if the destination country limits the entrance to the country or if the foreign ministry recommends avoiding to the country, for instance):

In case the situation in your destination country is worrying but neither the entrance to the country is limited nor the foreign ministry recommends avoiding traveling to the country, you can

In addition, it is worth finding out from the flight company, with which kinds of costs the flights would be possible to postpone or cancel if needed.