What’s next? Opportunities for working, learning, volunteering and something more…

What next? Working, learning, volunteering, something

Denys Nevozhai via unsplash.com, License: Creative Commons

  
“What’s next?” lists opportunities for living and working abroad, learning and volunteering opportunities. Staying at home or taking off living and working abroad? Looking for a temporary job or starting a career? Continue studying, gaining some practical work experience or learning something new? Engage in another volunteer service, local or abroad? Traveling and discovering the world?

  
In certain moments of your life, you may ask yourself “What’s next?” Volunteers, who came to Poland to support a local project or organisation, ask themself often, what comes after their voluntary service. In our seminars and trainings for volunteers, we often address future-related questions concerning life after their voluntary service: What’s next? What will you do after your EVS (European Voluntary Service)? Are you going back home, stay in Poland or settle down somewhere else? Are you looking for a job and starting a career? In your own country? In Poland? Somewhere else abroad? Do you want to learn something new? Continue your studies? Engage in another volunteer service? Discover the world? Etc.

We consider future as a sea of possibilities, where one can steer his/her boat in several directions:

  • working,
  • learning,
  • volunteering and
  • something more…

“What’s next?” lists opportunities for working, learning, volunteering and something more. This list of ideas and inspiration is work in progress. It grew over years. Older links became obsolete and new ones had been added. Feel free to share your experience with some of the organisations and programmes and let us know, if you can recommend some more. Share your experience in the comment sections right under the article.

 

What next? Working opportunities

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Working opportunities

 

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Confucius

Working abroad

Nowadays it is not only an opportunity, but – looking at the statistics of youth unemployment rates in Europe – often a necessity to leave your region and find work elsewhere. If working abroad is an option for you, you might check out various job websites and portals.

Job websites and portals (European Union)

EURES | EURopean Employment Services

EU-Careers | European Personnel Selection Office

EuroBrussels | The European Affairs Website

EurActive | EurActive Job Site

Tip: Create your CV with Europass

If you want to apply for a job position in EU-Europe, you have to decide, if you stick to the national standard (of the country you apply) or choose to use the European standard: Europass .
Europass is a set of documents: CV, Language Passport/Portofilio (self-assessment) and Mobility Passport (to document your non-formal learning experiences). Europass aims to set a Europe-wide standard. You can create your documents online, or download templates in all European languages.
Especially international operating companies, organisations and NGO’s might request a Europass CV. So, better be prepared.

Job search platforms (worldwide)

indeed | Job Search

Monster | Job Search, Career Advice and Hiring Resources

SimplyHired | Job Search Engine

jooble | Searching jobs around the world

iAgora | Globalise your CV

Worth trying could be also professional social networks, like: linkedIn . Based on your profile, linkedIn sends out regularly news about companies, that look for candidates with a similar profile in your region.

Working in Poland

A lot of volunteers also consider to stay in Poland after finishing their service. Just a few words about their starting points: A lot of them start off doing something with their own language, e.g. language teaching or translations services. They are quite successful, if they avoid bigger cities. Others find some English speaking jobs or internships around International Organisations in Poland, e.g. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations Development Programme (UNPD), European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML), EU Delegations, Diplomatic Missions, Greenpeace, etc. Another strategy is to look for job offers from international corporations, which have their seat in Poland.

But… sooner than later, you have to know the language.

Job search websites and platforms with their equivalent in Poland

EURES in Poland | EURopean Employment Services EURES activities in Poland include organisation of information meetings, consultancy days and job fairs. Addresses and phone numbers of offices authorised to provide EURES network services can be found here (mostly Wojewódzkie Urzędy Pracy).

The corresponding world-wide job search platforms are indeed Polska , Monster Polska and jooble Polska .

Tip: Recognition of certificates

At some point, it might be important, if your exam, diploma, certificate is recognized in another Country. For Poland, you can find out more information about the recognition of qualifications here: The Polish National Agency for Academic Recognition (NAWA)

Country-specific job portals for Poland

GazetaPraca

Jobpilot [since 2016 redirecting to MonsterPolska]

pracuj

GoldenLine

Some of these sites (pracuj.pl, goldenline.pl) work like linkedIn: you can create your own profile online and you receive regularly job offers related to your qualifications.

Some platforms concentrate on local job offers in Poland. Gumtree and OLX are both platforms to buy and sell anything, but have also listing of smaller job offers.

Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) you find in Poland under one roof: Portal organizacji pozarządowych (ngo.pl ).

Or, check out the facebook group Work in Poland

Tip: Formalities

Migrating to another country brings a lot of paper work: registering your stay, applying for a permission to work, study, stay. Information about migration related issues Migration in Europe you find on The European Job Mobility Portal (EURES ). The section „Living and Working Conditions” contains details on finding accommodation, finding a school, taxes, cost of living, health, social legislation, comparability of qualifications, etc. A NGO in Poland that provides information and support is migrant.info.pl .

What's next? Learning opportunities

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Learning opportunities

Learning Never Exhausts the Mind.
Leonardo da Vinci

Learning opportunities abroad enclose studying (off- and online), internships/traineeships, volunteering activities, youth projects, language learning and teaching, etc. Three sites to start with, that provide various opportunities: GoAbroad, Transitions Abroad and Study Abroad.

Studying abroad

Finding opportunities to study abroad, you may join a exchange programme offered through your University, use the services and programmes of third party providers or you directly enroll with a University abroad/overseas.

Studying in Europe (EU)

Within Europe, you can use the Erasmus+ programme. Information about universities and business schools you may find on iAgora.

Erasmus+ | Erasmus study

iAgora | Universities & Business Schools

Information about tuition fees around Europe you may find at the European Youth Portal .

Read more…

The best places to study for a degree in Europe by @tessreidy
14 Countries Where You Can Study For Free (Or On A Budget) by @SimoneFluckiger

Studying in Poland

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education provides information about the system of higher education in Poland. Information about studying in English you may find on Study in Poland or directly on a separate website the University of your choice.

Ministery of Sience and Higher Education | Higher Education

Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange | Studyfinder

Tip: Scholarships and grants

Searching for scholarships and grants make take you a lot of time. Try out first the university, where you would like to study. Find out, what opportunities they offer for students from abroad. Second, you own country might support you studying abroad. So, check at your embassy or consulate, if there is a programme. Third, check out one of the follwing platforms that collect information on scholarships and grants: East Chance , Edu Active or MladiInfo .

Online learning

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has had a profound effect on how we learn, broaden our knowledge and develop new skills: Online courses and so called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have become more and more popular. Universities and educational institutions invested in online learning platforms and offer online learning opportunities, that allow us to dive into any topic you, like from computer science, programming, Greek history, business, marketing, philosophy, psychology, meditation, self-development, and many more.

Find out more in this Blog Post:
Online learning opportunities | Learn Something New Anytime, Anywhere!

Internships

Internships and traineeships are temporary learning experiences, from 3 months to a year. They are a great opportunity to apply the knowledge you’ve gained during your education in a real workplace setting. While familiarising yourself with the working world you are able to gain practical experience and skills for your future career. Internships and traineeships should offer you exposure to an occupation, industry or career field, with a clear focus and specific project for you to complete. Make sure, your tasks and the expected learning outcomes are specified in a written agreement.

The European Youth Forum has drafted a Charter towards quality internships and apprenticeships, a document that aims to establish legal quality criteria for traineeships and calls on providers to commit to quality standards.

Internships in Europe (EU)

The European Youth Portal lists traineeship opportunities in European Union Institutions, e.g. the European Commission and Parliament. ErasmusIntern provides a place where companies and organisations can publish their internship offers and search for interns, and where students that want to do an internship abroad can have their profiles, search and apply for internships vacancies.

European Youth Portal | work & learn

ErasmusIntern | Internships, Digital Opportunities Traineeships and Volunteering Opportunities

European Union | Traineeships for graduates

Check out the Guide on EU Traineeships (EU Careers).

Internships worldwide

Three sites to get started worldwide…

Internship | Internships

GoAbroad | Intern abroad

Idealist | Internships

Non-formal Learning

Information and opportunities for young people who are living, learning and working in Europe/European Union provides the European Youth Portal .

European Voluntary Service

see the chapter on volunteer opportunities

Youth Exchanges and Youth Projects

Youth Exchanges and Youth Initiatives allow groups of young people from different countries to meet and work together on a topic for up to 21 days. Young people participate in activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities, etc.

Erasmus+ | Youth Exchanges

Eurodesk | Information for young people

Last minute offers for projects abroad are provided by Eurodesk

Qualification for international Youth Work

Eurodesk and the Erasmus+ MOOC online course provide information on Non-formal Education and how to use Erasmus+ fundings for youth mobility projects. The SALTO-YOUTH Network Website lists seminars and trainings for developing International Youth Work comptence.

SALTO-YOUTH Network (SALTO) | Training Calendar and Toolbox

Erasmus+ MOOC | MOOC on Erasmus+ Funding Opportunities for Youth

What's next? Volunteer opportunities

Alejandro Alvarez via unsplash.com, License: Creative Commons Zero

Volunteering opportunities

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Mahatma Gandhi

Volunteering in another country is a great opportunity to help others and support a local project/ community. It allows young people to live and work abroad and experience and explore a different culture, whilst learning new skills that could be helpful in the future.

Many organisations offer volunteering opportunities in form of group programmes (like International Workcamps) or individual programmes (short- or long-term volunteering, online volunteering).

Erasmus+ Volunteering Opportunities

The situation of volunteering in Europe differs from country to country. While some countries have a long history of voluntary service, in others the voluntary sector is still about to spread and develop. In 2011, during the European Year of Volunteering the efforts of volunteers and people involved in volunteering activities has been celebrated.
From 1997 till 2017, the European Voluntary Service (EVS) has become the best well known programme that allowed young people to support local communities with their support. From 2018 EVS will be continued under Erasmus+ Volunteering Activities and the new programme European Solidarity Corps (ESC).

European Voluntary Service (EVS)

EVS on facebook | Volunteering in Poland, EVS Poland and EVS in Poland

EU Aid Volunteers | Humanitarian aid programmes

European Solidarity Corps | Volunteering opportunities

Read also the following article: 
Volunteer opportunities: The New European Solidarity Corps (ESC) Programme

Tip: How to choose a good voluntary service? (I)

Once you decide to volunteer, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my expectations / my goals?
What kind of project / tasks am I looking for?
What are my strengths? What can I offer?
Where would I like to go?
How much time do I have available?

Workcamps | Workcamp-Organisations

An International Workcamp is a group of 8 to 20 volunteers from different countries who work together to help a local community or organisation for 2-4 weeks. The camps are hosted by local communities, non-govermental organisations, environmental groups, non-profit associations, and others who are interested in the impact that an international group can have on their community. They are a great way to support a meaningful project, make new friends and increase your intercultural understanding.

Service Civil International (SCI) | International Voluntary Projects / Volunteering for Peace

Alliance Network | The Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations

International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE)

SCI, ICYE and many Alliance partners offer also mid- and long-term volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer oportunities (search platforms)

Cross-cultural Solutions | Volunteer abroad

Volunteersbase | Volunteering

Worldwide Helpers (WWH)

Idealist

Tip: How to choose a good voluntary service? (II)

Check out the voluntary organisations: their programme, philosophy and project offers. If you have the chance contact the hosting projects and speak to the coordinator and former volunteers that have already been there.
Remember, that a lot of websites provide volunteering opportunities from various organisations. However, you should make sure that these organisations exist and are reliable. Especially search platforms, that gather information around the net not accountable for the credibility of the organisations that advertise on them.

Online volunteering

If volunteering is particularly difficult for you because of a disability, obligations at home, at university or at work, you could consider volunteering online. If you have access to computer and internet, this might be the option for you.
Your tasks as an online volunteer will depend on your skills and expertise. You can design title pages of publications or flyers, maintain a web site, translate texts, edit videos, do some research or manage social media activities.

Cyber Volunteers | International Communications Volunteers (ICV)

Help from Home

UN Online Volunteering

Professional development co-operation

Erasmus+ | EU Aid Volunteers (European Youth Portal)

National Programmes (within EU) | Polska Pomoc (Poland) | weltwaerts (Germany) and others

FidesCo

UN Volunteers (UNV)

What's next? Something

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Something else…

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Alice in Wonderland

Not into working, learning or volunteering? – Maybe this section holds something for you….

Joining a community

Are you looking for a group of people that share the same values and world view with you, then communities might be something. Ecological Communities range from 2-3 families living and working together on a small farm till larger villages of 200-300 people. Some might be more political, some more spiritual, while others are more pragmatical oriented. While Eco-Villages focus on ecological and sustainable lifestyle, other international communities like L’Arche focus on people with and without disabilities living and working together or Emmaus working with homeless people.

Arche Communities | L’Arche Internationale

Emmaus Communities | Emmaus UK

Global Ecovillages Network (GEN)Network of Eco-Villages

Visiting communities is always inspiring and giving you food for thoughts on how to organise everyday live, or what structures, procedures and rituals for community building are necessary.

Working & Traveling

Would you like to travel the world, but on a low budget? Then you should look for options that combine working and exploring the country. „wwoofing” gives you insight on ecological, sustainable farming and lets you discover a country from smaller places, while other platforms provide smaller jobs, volunteering opportunities and other options. Remember, be sure to check the reliability of the offers.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms | Bringing people to a more sustainable way of life

Workaway

Working abroad | Humanitarian, teaching and environmental volunteer projects worldwide

Help Exchange (HelpX)Opportunities for volunteer helpers

Finding an accommodation

Platforms to find accommodations and get easier in contact with locals and local communities have been growing over the last years. Sine couchsurfing has been growing (and lost partly its idea to bring travelers and hosts together), a few other sites making offers for specific communities.

Couchsurfing | Stay with Locals and Meet Travelers

The Hospitality Club | Brining people together

BeWelcome | Open your door to the world

Trustroots | Travellers community / Hitch hiking

Warm Showers | A community for cyclists and hosts

Something more….

You still don’t know, what’s next? – Do you want to pick up a new sport? Run a marathon? Travel the world? Start learning a language? A new instrument? Conquer a fear? Start a business? Fall in love? Flying with a balloon? Diving?

Celestine Chua lists 101 inspiring things to do, including lots of further links to gather additional information… Bucket List Ideas: 101 Things To Do Before You Die by Celestine Chua (Celes)

Tip: Create a Bucket List

Start creating your own bucket list! “Bucket lists” are all about your dreams, goals and experiences you want to have, abilities and skills you would like to develop, places and people you would like to see, etc. before you „kick the bucket”, before you die. But it can also be a bucket list for the summer, for the next year, before you settle down, … – What’s on Your Bucket List?

Missing anything? Please add you favourite in the comment section!

Michael Kimmig

Michael Kimmig

trainer | coach | life-long learner

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