If you want to learn more about people living in Europe, becoming a EVS student is a great way to do this.
EVS stands for European Voluntary service.
Find out more through the Youth in Action Program.
Atlantic Bridge both sends and receives volunteers.
Find out more about the EVS program here.
Are you between 18 and 30?
Do you want to live for 7 to 12 months in another country?
Join Atlantic Bridge’s internships program! Share your culture, lifestyle and convictions with others and learn more about theirs.
Live and work with other Europeans and Americans your age Meet and work with young people from all over Europe General Requirements flexible friendly motivated take initiative try new things work well in a team good level of English enjoy meeting people want to work with youth adapt to cross-cultural setting want to serve and help others learn and practice effective communication present your culture, background and convictions accept Atlantic Bridge’s methodology of relational youth work accept and respect those from other cultures, backgrounds and beliefs understanding of (and preferably active involvement in) a church community.
Research and Promotion Phase
Summer Activity Phase
The first phase of the internship involves a 3-5 week Training Phase to prepare the intern for the tasks related to the Regional Youth Contact. Key elements of this training are: language and culture learning, training in promotional activities, creative presentations of programs and the philosophy and methodology of Atlantic Bridge. The training is done together with all new volunteers so they all learn together and support each other. Much of the language and culture learning will be through experience: meeting young people; actively participating in the youth culture; observing and discussing Dutch culture and practicing the language through regular interaction with Dutch people.
After the training phase the interns start a 2-3 month Research and Promotion Phase where they visit schools, youth clubs, town halls, churches and other places where young people are found. These contact visits include: presentations of their cultural background, European interest topics, cultural topics related to building bridges (interns present themes for discussion and consideration) and promotional presentations to mobilise interest in Bridgebuilders Clubs and EVS (interns build relationships with young people to encourage them to become global citizens interested in other cultures).
In the presentations each intern has a specific task, depending on his/her talents and skills. This research phase can also take the form of a youth research project where interns learn about the lifestyle, culture and mindset of youth in one particular area and then present their findings in a report (Marco Polo Project).
During (or at the end of) the promotional phase, the intern settles into a town or region to discover and get acquainted with one local community. During this 3-6 month “Stranger in Town” Phase, the intern builds deeper friendships with youth and learns about various aspects of community life. This is also the time when the intern is involved in a Bridgebuilders Club and begins to prepare the participants for exchange activities in the summer. During the Bridgebuilders Clubs meetings, the interns and local youth will exchange their culture and background as a way of preparing for the summer exchange, using Atlantic Bridge’s cross-cultural training program.
The activities of the intern end with the Summer Activity Phase in July and August. The interns are actively involved in an exchange with their Bridgebuilders Club. This club either hosts a group from another country or travels to another country where they are hosted by a local youth group. The interns also participate in a week-long International Youth Festival at the end of the summer.
The specific methods of how each phase will be carried out in each region will vary, depending on that region.
Within the projects, there are three specific tasks:
- Bridgebuilders Coordinator - helps to coordinate the Bridgebuilders program by: creating publicity materials for the recruitment of team members, coordinating presentations and meetings with groups and planning activities.
- Expression Coordinator – helps to coordinate a form of expression (drama, theatre, dance, street-dance, music) that enables the Bridgebuilders Clubs to make a presentation about their area that they present to others.
- Events Coordinator – helps to coordinate and organise special events, such as a montly Meetpoint where various groups come together.
One element of the project is the administration and planning of tasks. Planning for Bridgebuilders Clubs, the Youth Research Project and other youth activities involves making phone calls, co-ordinating promotional activities, organising youth events, processing research information, etc. These various tasks are divided among the interns and other local volunteers and staff, depending on their talents and skills.
A little glimpse into life for interns...
Kruiningen is a small village in the southwestern part of the Netherlands with a population of 4.000. It’s a typcial Dutch village with several café’s and restaurants. A supermarket, post office / bakery, bank, bicycle shop, appliance store, gift shop, drugstore, hardware store and two hair salons make up the rest of the shopping centre.
The major industries are a french-fry making factory and potato- and onion-packing plants a few kilometres from the village. A camping area, indoor and outdoor pool, sport hall and playing fields provide opportunities for sports and relaxation. A 15th century church and a picturesque windmill built in 1801 (that still runs!) complete the charm of this rural village.
Kruiningen is about two kilometres from the Westerschelde, where a canal cuts through the peninsula and connects inland harbours to the North Sea. A train station two and a half kilometres away connects Kruiningen to the national train system. The closest city is Goes (pop. 27.000), a 10-minute train ride and 15 kilometres away. Antwerpen, Belgium is 50 kilometres to the south and Amsterdam 170 kilometres to the north. Once an hour there is a direct train to Amsterdam Central Station; the trip takes about two and a half hours.