FAQ goVienna

Here you can find the answers to frequently asked questions.

Where will I live?

As a volunteer in Vienna, you are usually accommodated in an apartment or student dorm. Every volunteer has a room of their own, but facilities like kitchen and bathroom are usually shared with flatmates or other residents, for example other ESC volunteers or students.  

We try to satisfy everyone with their accommodation, but please be flexible!  

Basic things like a pillow, blanket, bed sheets, and basic kitchen equipment will be provided. Each room is also furnished: there is a bed, table, a chair, and a wardrobe. The accommodation will not be luxurious but be suitable for all basic needs. There is usually a washing machine in the apartment or in the house, but you might have to pay 1-2€ per laundry. Wifi is usually not provided and must be organized/paid for by the volunteers themselves. 

The details about your accommodation will be sent to you via e-mail a few weeks before your arrival. 

How much money do I get?

Every volunteer in Vienna gets 6€/day pocket money, this is standardized by the European Commission. Besides that, every volunteer gets a monthly ticket for the Viennese public transport. With this card, you can travel freely with public transport, in Vienna by bus, tram, subway, regional train and night buses. You also receive a monthly amount of money to cover your expenses for food. How much this is, depends on whether your project provides meals for you or not. 

The maximum amount of monthly food money is 250€. Depending on how many meals you receive in your placement, this amount will be reduced accordingly.
This means that you will receive approximately 180€ pocket money and up to 250€ for food allowance every month, in addition to the public transport ticket and accommodation.

What about a language course?

The first thing you will notice is that the Austrians speak a little different German than the Germans. But don’t worry, after your volunteering activity here you will be able to speak German well, but probably with an Austrian accent. Every volunteer will be provided with a budget (up to 200€) which they can use for a language course chosen by themselves. Grenzenlos will of course help you to find a suitable course, if needed. You will also have access to the Online Linguistic Support (OLS), the online language course provided by the European Solidarity Corps.

What are my working hours and do I have holidays?

You will work between 30 and 38 hours per week. The exact days of the week that you will work and the days you will have off depend on your hosting organization. It is possible that you will work evenings and weekends if your project is open or needs help at these times. If this is the case, you will have other days off. Generally, volunteers work 5 days per week in their project, and have 2 days per week off. Additionally, you have 2 vacation days per month. When you will take your vacation days must be discussed and coordinated with the hosting organization. 

What other services will I get as a participant of MELANGE (ESC volunteering projects in Vienna)?

The Melange program gives special support to volunteers with for example administrative matters and integration in Austria. At the beginning of your volunteering activity, you will be invited to “Welcome days”. It is a 1-2 day meeting where you will receive all the important information about life as a volunteer in Vienna, your ESC project, your accommodation, the financial conditions, etc. You also get the chance to meet other international and local previous ESC volunteers.

Grenzenlos also sometimes offers non-formal courses for volunteers, returnees and other people involved or interested in MELANGE, for example a Youthpass workshop, mentor trainings, etc.

How to get to know Austria and the Austrians?

Well, that will be mostly up to you, but Grenzenlos will support you! Within the Melange program we organize a monthly Jour Fixe: it is a monthly meeting where we invite our current ESC volunteers, former ESC volunteers from Vienna, co-workers from Grenzenlos, and all people interested in the ESC and Melange program. Furthermore, we also organize a leisure time program. Every month we will invite you to 1-2 activities, for example, visiting a museum together, having a BBQ, going to a Viennese ball, hiking together, etc. This way you will get to know your host country and for sure will make some new friends! We are also open to hearing your ideas and wishes for the leisure time activities, so just let us know what you would like to do, and we can tell you if it is possible!

Rights and duties

It is not always clear what a volunteer must or must not do, what are a volunteer’s rights and duties? Before starting your volunteering activity, you will have to sign a volunteering agreement. In this document, your rights and duties, as well as the responsibilities of the partner organizations (hosting, coordinating, and supporting organizations) as well as the financial and administrative conditions of the project are agreed upon,. If you have any doubts or questions about your rights and duties as a volunteer and/or the volunteering agreement, please contact your support organization or Grenzenlos, and we will try to clarify.

Is it possible to additionally work or study if I am abroad?

The European Solidarity Corps volunteering program is an educational program for non-formal (extra-curricular) education. To work additionally is not possible, because you do not have work permission. Also, studying is not possible, because the European Solidarity Corps is a program for extra-curricular education and a 30 to 38hour volunteering obligation per week. This means that your focus during your ESC volunteering activity should be your volunteering work, not your studies or another job. You are, of course, free to take courses, trainings or additional language lessons during your volunteering stay. However, you will have to pay for these expenses yourself!

I have a disability/ impairment – can i do an European Solidarity Corps volunteering activity?

YES! Anyone between the age of 18 and 30 who is residing in a European Solidarity Corps program or partner country – no matter their (dis)abilities, level of education, language skills, social background, etc. –  can participate in a European Solidarity Corps volunteering project!

The program offers various possibilities and special funding to support your inclusion and participation in a European Solidarity Corps volunteering project. For example, it is possible to receive personal assistance during the volunteering activity, have (sign) language interpretation, receive additional language training, and/or personal support and reinforced mentorship, if needed. These are just a few examples. We will discuss together with you what measures/aids are going to be needed to support your participation.

It is, however, important that you inform us about your needs already when you apply for a project. This way, we can make sure that the project you applied for is suitable/accessible for you, and we and the host organization can plan our resources and organize the needed support measures in time for your project-start. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any doubts or questions!

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