Have you ever heard about International Work Camps? If you are looking for a short but intense volunteering experience abroad, this kind of opportunity might be for you. International Work Camps are a great opportunity for young people over 18 years old to experience a short period in another country, helping out the community while discovering a new culture.
An international work camp is a group of international volunteers from different countries who work together around a community project aimed to help a local community with a project for generally 2 to 4 weeks. The camps are based on an educative and participative approach and are hosted by local communities and organisations such as peace organisations, environmental groups and community action groups.
Reasons to join? There are many.
Not only the chance to travel and exit your comfort-zone, but also the opportunity of making new friends, and giving your contribution to a community in need. Plus, it will give you international understanding.
Work camps are generally open to all young people from 14 to 30 (there are also opportunities for people above 30). No specific skill is required, you simply have to be very motivated.
In a work camp, volunteers are expected to work around 30 hours a week on activities that should serve the local community or benefit the environment. Local inhabitants often take part in the projects. You can spend your free time relaxing, preparing meals and talking, and on activities and excursions with other volunteers and the local community.
The conditions vary according to the camp. Food and accommodation are usually provided, so you will need money only to cover your travel costs, the application fee to the sending organisation, and some pocket money. If you join an association, your social security will most probably be covered. You should be prepared to live and work in a communal environment, where living conditions are often simple and work can be strenuous but fun and rewarding.
Different organisations are offering work camps, the conditions and costs differ from one to another. Make sure to carefully check the offers.
Here are some interesting links to get you started. Keep in mind that this is a non-exhaustive list, you should check the country pages dedicated to volunteering on the European Youth Portal where you’ll be able to know more about national organisations and their projects: