How to go for an EVS

If you are asking yourself how to go for an EVS, don’t worry. We gathered our experience and made a guide for you. Here you will find all the information you need about going for an EVS. Every method was verified by our current volunteers, a good and reliable source. Enjoy!


First of all, you need to understand how the whole process between NGOs and the European Commission works:

Accredited organisations that want to receive EVS volunteers submit their projects by February 4th, April, 26th and October 4th.

Until these dates, organisations can submit projects in which they ask for new volunteer(s). Organisations usually search for their candidates while writing the project proposal. This allows them to customise the activity for the volunteer and include their name on the proposal. Thus, you can expect more open calls close to those dates. It takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks for the proposals to be approved by the National Agencies (EC’s representatives in each country). After this, the hosting organisation will prepare for your arrival. This means arranging your workplace, making sure your transportation is set, and that you have a place to live. Your EVS will start no earlier than 3 months after the deadline for that proposal’s submission. Because it’s a long time, it is not uncommon for organisations to lose the volunteers they had chosen during the application process due to unforeseen events. Some organisations will be looking for somebody last minute. That’s why there is no such thing as a bad time to look for EVS. You can find opportunities all year round.

Use this portal!

The most important website you can use, the European Youth Portal. Here you can find the volunteering opportunities database. Choose the country you want to go to, check what the project is about, see if it aligns with your interests and needs, and apply before the given deadline.

Be proactive!

You can also use the European Youth portal to search for accredited organisations.

You can filter the organisations by name, country, city, topics, etc. This will give you a list of organisations that may interest you. You can contact them to ask if they need volunteers and send them your CV or cover letter. You need to be careful when searching for EVS this way. It’s not the most effective way to get through. Some of these organisations receive a lot of e-mails like this. If you do choose this method, make sure you send a good CV and motivation letter.

When they agree to host you, you will need a sending organisation from Portugal. Agora Aveiro will gladly help you. Write to us when you’re approved!

Keep an eye on!

A better option is to filter organisations by choosing your country (Portugal) and a sending organisation. It will load a list of organisations from your country that SEND volunteers abroad. Check their contacts and websites. Like their Facebook page. See if they have open calls for EVS on their “news” section. Subscribe to their newsletter. If they don’t have one, write them an e-mail and ask to be updated with news from them. Imagine, that your dream EVS was created in your dream country and that they were looking for a sending organisation to partner with. Only the sending organisation would receive this information. And they are the most likely to be responsible for the pre-selection process. If they get an email from abroad calling for EVS volunteers they will forward it to the people on their database. You need to keep an eye on their news about open calls.

Agora Aveiro is one of these organisations that sends volunteers abroad. Check our website and Facebook to be up-to-date. Also, you can subscribe to our newsletter.

Use websites!

Besides this, there are also several websites, where you can find EVS vacancies. They are:

Remember, social media is a powerful tool!

Here you can find links to pages and groups where open calls are posted. Be sure to check them daily:

marginalvoluntariado (very useful for Portuguese volunteers)
Exchange network
EVS application deadline information

Tip: use Facebook’s search box and type things like “EVS opportunities

Start volunteering right now!

Wondering what it’s like to do EVS? Start by being a volunteer in an organisation close to you. Be active in your local community. This way you will see how the organisations works, develop skills, meet new people and make contacts! EVS is becoming a more popular way to get some first job experience, thus more and more people apply for that. You have a lot of competitors. Working with a local organisation is a good way to get noticed and earn extra points that help you to stand out.

Joins us at Agora Aveiro, we have plenty of activities where you can develop new skills and grow.

Take the first step abroad

You don’t need to go for a long term EVS right away. There are plenty of youth exchanges which only last for a few days. During that time, groups of people from different countries meet up to develop a short project or participate in workshops. By taking part in these exchanges, you can meet the representatives of organisations abroad. One of them might be preparing to look for a new EVS volunteer! Show your best side!

Agora Aveiro cooperates with partners from many countries and sends volunteers to take part in this kind of exchanges, as well as organises its own events. Follow us on Facebook to get information about upcoming opportunities.

Tell everybody

… that you’re searching for EVS. One of your Facebook friends might come across an opportunity that he can forward to you!


You can go for a project from 2 weeks to 12 months.

You can go for a short-term EVS (a short project which can last from 2 weeks to two months).

You can go for a long-term EVS (from 2 months to 12 months).

You can go for both the short term and long term EVS, as long as you do the short-term first.

New rules say that you can do up to 14 months of EVS when combining short term and long term EVS. For example, if you organise an event in Milano, Italy for 2 months, then go to Bursa, Turkey for 12 months, that’s 14 months of EVS.

To better understand what EVS is and how to participate click here