We at Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland are very happy to welcome you for a volunteer period in our Northern country.
Whatever your reason for choosing Finland is – whether you are interested in observing the Finnish education system in practice, you are fond of nature and looking forward to seeing the Northern Lights or you love Finnish music – we hope that you will have a positive experience in Suomi, Finland! We welcome volunteers to Finland for 6–12 months.
We invite you to take the time to learn and experience living in Finland as a volunteer! The aim of the voluntary work periods is to create grass-root level contacts and understanding among people with different kinds of backgrounds.
Work done by volunteers is important and valuable – work that probably otherwise would be left undone. Instead of monetary compensation, volunteers receive an intercultural learning experience.
“Finland has given me many experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I’ve also met not only new friends but people I could call my family.” – Isaura Hernandez-Navarro, a volunteer from Costa Rica
The volunteer brings stimulation and fresh views to the everyday working life of the voluntary workplace. Both the volunteer and the work community have a great chance for intercultural learning and language exercise. Maailmanvaihto’s volunteers have, for instance, given many disabled people a chance to experience international contacts which otherwise would not have been possible.
We coordinate two voluntary work programs in Finland:
The differences between the two are the volunteers’ countries of residence and the funding of the program. The ICYE program is meant for volunteers coming from ICYE countries from outside Europe, and the volunteers take care of the program costs themselves, whereas the European Solidarity Corps volunteering is meant mainly for young Europeans and is funded by the European Union.
Maailmanvaihto’s volunteers work in non-profit communities or other organizations able to offer meaningful activities and guidance to volunteers – day care centers, schools, civic organizations, foster homes for people with disabilities or the elderly, schools and workshops for people with special needs, cultural centers, youth centers, and eco-centers, for instance.
Some of the volunteers working in Finland are accommodated in a host family and others have more independent living arrangements.
Volunteering in Finland will surely be an important intercultural learning experience for you. You will be learning about the Finnish lifestyle and different cultures – and also gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and your own cultural background! Volunteer year is full of adventures and new friends, but also everyday life with its challenges, and that is often where the deeper learning happens. So, in addition to warm clothes, please remember to bring with you a positive and open mind!
“I would suggest for everyone to try to do some kind of volunteer work and explore the world while doing something good for the community and yourself.” – Miroslava Sloviakova, a volunteer from Slovakia
“I dare to say my volunteering in Finland has been very enriching in many ways. It has been a very personal process that I needed before coming here.” – Daniela Vázquez Sánchez, a volunteer from Mexico