How to apply for long-term volunteering?

Detailed instructions to apply for long-term volunteering

1. Application periods
2. Filling in the application
3. Motivation letter
4. Sending the application
5. Interview
6. Training
7. Fees and paying
8. Acceptance
9. Programme fees in the volunteering project
10. Pocket money
11. Travel expenses
12. Information after applying
13. Visa
14. Insurance
15. European Voluntary Service

1. Application periods

Normallt you can apply to projects all around the year. Some projects have their own application period, which is mentioned in the project description. If there is no deadline, this means the application period is ongoing.

It is good to apply several of months prior to your departure, even though leaving may sometimes also be possible with shorter notice. You also need to see when the trainings are organized by KVT, and make sure you are able to take part in one before leaving. It is obligatory to attend a training before long-term volunteering.

2. Filling in the application

The long-term volunteering database contains all the voluntary work projects that SCI offers, and that are open for application. The database is constantly being updated. Check back in a couple of weeks, if you can’t find a project that interests you the first time you look.

When you know you wish to apply, download the form: application form LTV, and fill in the required information. The volunteers are chosen for the projects based on their applications, so describe yourself and your motivation thoroughly, and answer the questions carefully.

3. Motivation letter

Some projects ask for a separate motivation letter alongside the application. We recommend writing a motivation letter even when it is not required, because it gives you a better chance of reflecting your own motivations and being accepted to the project.

4. Sending the application

When you have finished your application, send it to the KVT office as a word-file at You don’t need to sign the application. Before sending the application, please pay KVT’s membership fee 10/20 euros and the co-ordination fee of 270 euros, and send the receipts for these payments with the application.

5. Interview

We interview all applicants before sending their applications to the receiving organization. When we have received your application, we will contact you within two weeks to set a time for the interview.

6. Training

All volunteers who intend to do long term volunteering abroad, need to take part in a training. These are organised a couple of times each year. The next training will be on Saturday the 13th of January, 2017. During the training, we will discuss practical matters relating to the volunteering period, think about what it is like to adapt to a foreign culture, reflect on the meaning of volunteering and listen to former volunteers’ experiences.

7. Fees and payment

  • Co-ordination fee 270€
  • KVT’s membership fee (if you are not already a member): Membership 20€ / Membership for students, unemployed or retired people 10€. KVT’s membership is renewed annually.

Pay the fees to KVT’s account FI98 8000 1200 0695 17. When you make the payment, write your name, date of birth, address, phone number and e-mail address in the message box, or add your information through this form on KVT’s website. We need the information for KVT’s member register.

You need to pay the membership fee and the co-ordination fee when you send your application to KVT. The co-ordination fee mostly covers administration fees in Finland, such as processing the application, liasing with the volunteer and the receiving organisation, the interview, the training as well as the personal assistance and support during the volunteering period. If you do not get the volunteering position you wished for, and we cannot find you an interesting alternative, we will return the co-ordination fee to you in full (the membership fee will not be returned). If you for any reason need to cancel your departure after sending the application, please inform the KVT office about this. In this case, KVT can only return half of the co-ordination fee for, if you have pressing reasons for your cancellation.

8. Acceptance

Normally you will know if you are accepted within two days to two weeks’ time after sending the application to the receiving organization. In some cases, the volunteer needs to send a criminal records extract to the KVT office after being accepted. Normally this is when the volunteer will be working with children,  youngsters or people with special needs. The extract costs 12 euros. After the acceptance, KVT will send the volunteer further instructions on how to order the extract.

9. Programme fees in the volunteering project

In Europe, the United States and Japan, there is no programme fee, and the volunteers normally get food and accommodation, plus a small weekly/monthly allowance.

Volunteer projects in the Global South usually have a monthly programme fee (covering food, accommodation, on-arrival training and support, plus some other expenses depending on the place), which is mentioned in the project description. The programme fee is normally 130-300€ per month, and is paid to the receiving organization or the volunteer host. Depending on the project, the programme fee is either paid on arrival, or once a month. The programme fee is never paid to KVT.

10. Allowance

In some volunteer projects in Europe and the United States and Japan, the volunteers sometimes get a small allowance. This is mentioned in the project description. There is no such allowance in the projects in the South.

11. Travel expenses

The volunteers are responsible for their own travel expenses to the destination country, and mostly also for all travels within the destination country. In some countries, the programme fee may include expenses for picking up the volunteer from the airport, and transportation to the project location. Information about this will either be found in the project description, or in the infosheet.

12. Information after application

You will receive an acceptance e-mail within two weeks from sending your application. In some cases getting this information may take longer. If it takes very long for you to receive a reply, please contact KVT’s office at

When you have received the information about your acceptance from KVT office, you can start to arrange your travels and visas. We will send you contact information to the receiving organisation with your acceptance e-mail. You will also receive an infosheet, in which there is information about the project’s background, your daily schedule and arriving in the destination country.

13. Visa

If a visa is required to the country you are going to, the receiving organisation will send you a visa invitation and other required documents. You can apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you are going to. You can find information about the offices online. Acquiring the visa and all fees for the visa are the responsibility of the volunteer.

You can check which countries require a visa at the foreign ministry website.

14. Insurance

The volunteer is responsible for getting insurance and paying for this. We recommend making sure your insurance also covers volunteer work. When going to an EU country, the volunteer may also get the European Health Insurance Card, which can be ordered for free from Kela.

15. European Voluntary Service

The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a part of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. Through this programme 18 to 30-year-olds can volunteer free of charge for 2 to 12 months. To take part in this programme the volunteer must have a sending organisation in their home country, and a receiving organisation in the destination country. KVT send EVS volunteers mostly to projects hosted by our sister and co-operation organisations, but we can also be the sending organisation for volunteers leaving for other organisations’ projects. EVS positions are informed of on KVT’s website (uusimmat vapaaehtoistyöpaikat), Facebook, Instagram and newsletter.

Applications to EVS projects are sent to KVT’s office in the same way as applications to other SCI’s volunteer projects. EVS applicants pay KVT’s membership fee, but there is no need to pay the co-ordination fee. The project funding covers the volunteer’s travel expences, insurance, visa, food, accommodation and monthly allowance, the size of which depends on the country.

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