What can go wrong while doing your EVS?

Before going to EVS, everything seems to be perfect. You think that the accommodation, work, and people around will be great.

Actually, your dream has come true – you are going to another country and you will be staying there for a long time: learning the language, gaining new experience and meeting new people.

But, when you start doing your EVS, everything can be not that ideal. Of course, these situations are a kind of exception but you have to be prepared to face some difficulties.

So, what can happen? And where the problem might be hidden?


While reading the project description, you are sure that you will do lots of interesting work and gain an amazing experience.

But…something may go wrong…

  1. Your project may change and you will have to do different work.
  2. You come and…oops.. there is no work for you.


Yes, there will be some problems with the accommodation. The conditions of life may not be that good: cold in the flat, lack of cutlery/crockery.

  1. It may happen that your accommodation is super far away from the subway and your office. It is not a good experience when you have to spend more than an hour just to get to the center or the place you work at.
  2. Your house is super old and when you sleep the ceiling may fall down on you or in winter it is so cold so that you can`t live there.
  3. You lack necessary staff in your home: pots, cutlery, crockery etc.
  4. You don`t have enough space because the flat is too small for a number of people who live there.
  5. There are lots of insects that you can`t get rid of.


This is one of the most important things, I think. Because with good neighbors even not good accommodation will be better.

With good neighbors, your volunteering life will be brighter and more cheerful.

What you may NOT expect from the EVS:

  1. Your neighbor doesn’t follow the house rules: they don`t care about them at all.
  2. Your neighbor doesn’t keep the house clean: wherever they come, there is a total mess. And you ask all the time to pick up the rubbish but it doesn’t make any sense. Unfortunately, you can`t change such people.
  3. Your neighbor invites guests all the time without your permission. I mean that it is ok if they come like normal guests but if there are parties hard all the time, it is not acceptable.
  4. Your neighbor smokes in the flat and you can`t stand the smell 😦
  5. Your neighbor thinks that he doesn`t need to wash the dishes after he/she eats.


  1. Your organization thinks that you are a cheap workforce and you work like an employer, not volunteer.
  2. You work extra hours because you can`t manage all the work you have.
  3. You feel that you are pushed to do work that you don`t have to do.

All the problems described are not that common but you have to be prepared for it.

Just understand, that everything may not be that perfect.

And don’t expect too much from your EVS.

Otherwise, you may be disappointed.

Just take it easy and enjoy the project =)

By Daria Babik


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