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International activity

European Solidarity Corps Voluntary Work

Are you 18 to 30 years old and interested in going to Europe to do voluntary work? European Solidarity Corps gives you the opportunity to go to an EU-supported voluntary service for 2 to 12 months.

European Solidarity Corps provides all people aged 18 to 30 an opportunity to participate in a voluntary service. No training, expertise or language skills are required – only the commitment to do voluntary work in the destination country. For more information about the voluntary service and other international opportunities provided by ESC, go to the European Solidarity Corps website.

Where can you go?

Our country options include Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Poland, France, Romania, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Turkey, Hungary and Estonia. EU-supported voluntary work projects can also be organised in countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Western Balkans and Southern Mediterranean.

Why go?

The voluntary service offers people an opportunity to gain international experience, broaden their knowledge and working life skills and improve their language skills. As a volunteer, you get to work for the benefit of the local community in various communities and organisations. The duties can involve working with children and young people, environmental protection and cultural projects. Voluntary work is a great addition to your CV.

Available support

  • Pre-departure training and help with practical arrangements
  • Travel support to the destination country (the participant may have to cover a small portion of the travel costs)
  • On-arrival training and regular mentoring at the destination country
  • Free accommodation and money for food are arranged at the destination country
  • Spending money
  • Any costs of visas and residence permits
  • Support for learning the local language
  • Repatriation training at the sending country and help with future plans

In order to participate, you will need a sending support organisation. The City of Lahti Youth Services acts as a sending and receiving organisation.

If you are interested, contact us via One-Stop Guidance Centre Lahti or via email at

Also read about the activities and experiences of the volunteers of the volunteer service project from our blog #YOUTHere!

Youth exchanges

Youth exchanges are international meetings of youth groups. The young people plan the youth exchanges together with the support of instructors. In youth exchanges, the young people will interactively explore topics they are interested in and learn to understand them better.

In the youth exchanges, the youth groups meet groups from other countries. The work together and broaden their world views by comparing cultures and learning about the topic they chose themselves. Youth exchange is meant for young people aged 13 to 30.

The learning outcome for the set goals, experiences, new knowledge and skills as well as attitudes gained in the exchange are talked through with the instructors. The whole group also has discussions with the help of different working methods. By discussing, the young people can see what significance new things have in their lives.

The financial support of the youth exchanges is applied from the Erasmus+ programme of the national agency, EDUFI. The support covers the activity costs, so the participants often need to cover only a small proportion of the costs. Occasionally, there is a need for a fundraiser to cover expenses such as travel costs.

If you are interested, contact us via email at

The Nordic Friendship Week for young people, NOVU, organised in alternate years in various Nordic countries

The Nordic Friendship Week for young people is a traditional series of events between the Nordic twin cities of Lahti which began in the 1940s. By the name of NOVU, the event has been organised since 1988. The event takes place each year in a different twin city of Lahti, which include Akureyri in Iceland, Randers in Denmark, Västerås in Sweden and Ålesund in Norway. The host city chooses a theme for its week. The young people deal with the theme in interactive workshops and seminars. The themes are addressed by cultural means, dance, music, visual arts and drama, among others. The programme also includes events and trips open for all participants. The activities are generally planned so that they don’t require special skills from the participants.

The event takes place every year in June/July. Seventeen people aged 16 to 20 are selected from all Nordic twin cities for the week-long city camp. To support the young people, there are youth workers from every participating city.

The theme and application instructions are published annually on the City’s website. The application period is in February and March. All applicants are interviewed, and participants are selected by April. Participation is free of charge to young people