I had high expectations from the EVS program, thinking it will be professional as it is described in the website of the European Commission. I understand I wasn’t so lucky with my host organisation but also I think the age and experience factors are so important to consider.
My EVS didn’t coincide with my expectations, as I was indirectly prohibited to do my project (as it can be one of the host organisation’s future projects), I wasn’t allowed to have any contact with any other organisation having an activity that it may be interesting or helpful to me. I won’t go through details as I don’t think anyway that it will change anything in the program process… the personal project seems to be very secondary to hosting organisations, what the host organisation wants is a replacement for an employer that they don’t have to pay; they don’t take neither the EVS program nor the coordinating organisation for serious and they utter it. It seems that taking part in the program allows them to get some funds for their projects. It is a pity how this program is going on. I did meet people from different cultures and that was fulfilling.
I do recommend EVS to others, after all it is a life experience, even if I wasn’t so lucky with my host organisation. EVS can be great only if the volunteer closely knows the host organisation and its activities. I advise any potential volunteer to the EVS program to get in touch with ex-volunteers in the host organisation they wish to volunteer in and to discuss with them their experience in there. What he will be doing exactly is important to be defined before signing the contract, making sure that what is written in the contract isn’t only words that an organisation writes in order to take part in the EVS program and funds for its activities… I honestly don’t advise any person who is over 27 and has work experience to do this program unless he has other than professional enhancement expectations.