Here you can find the answers to frequently asked questions.
Where will I live?
Every volunteer has a room of his/her own, ususally in an apartment or student dorm, and will live with an Austrian landlord/lady, with students or with other volunteers.
We try to satisfy everybody with their room, but please also be flexible about this! Every room is furnished, there should be a bed, table and seats and a cupboard. You share kitchen and bath with your flatmates. Normally there is a washing machine in the flat or in the house. You have to pay 1-2€ for a single wash.
Don‘t bring pillows or blankets, these are provided in your rooms. We will tell you your exact adress a few weeks before your arrival.
How much money do I get?
Every volunteer in Vienna gets € 5/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 busses. You also receive a monthly amount 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 € 225,- Depending on how many meals you receive in your placement, this amount will be reduced accordingly.
What about a language course?
The first thing you will notice is that the Austrians speak Austrian, a language which sometimes does not seem very similar to German… But don’t worry after your European Solidarity Corps Volunteering Project here, you will be able to speak German, most probably with an Austrian accent. Every volunteer has a budget available for language courses and with this budget is free to choose the course of German he/she wants to. Grenzenlos helps to find a suitable course.
You will also receive access to the Online Linguistic Support (OLS) provided by the European Solidarity Corps program.
What are my working hours and do I have holidays?
A guideline for the number of hours you are supposed to work: about 35 hours per week. Which days you will work and which are your regular days off, is up to your organisation. So it can happen that you work in the evenings and weekends if your project has its opening hours then. In this case, you are free on other days. Usually you work 5 days a week, and additionally you are entitled to 2 days of holidays for each month that you are an European Solidarity Corps volunteer. The holidays have to be agreed upon with the host organisation.
What other services will I get as a participant of MELANGE?
Grenzenlos sometimes offers extra non-formal educational courses for all volunteers, ex-volunteers and other people involved and interested in MELANGE. These seminars can have topics like: ‘how to apply for a job‘, ‘intercultural learning’ ‘communication’ etc.
There will also be a leisure time program and Jour Fixes (1 meeting per month) offered by the MELANGE program to you and all other European Solidarity Corps volunteers in Vienna.
How to get to know Austria and the Austrians?
Well, that will be mostly up to you. Grenzenlos helps also a bit: we organise a monthly Jour fixe, where we invite our former European Solidarity Corps volunteers from Vienna as well as volunteer co-workers from Grenzenlos and all people interested in being involved in MELANGE. Furthermore, we also organise a leisure time programme in which we show you some parts of “typical” Austrian culture, we go skiing, hiking, go to a typical Ball… We are also open for your ideas on 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 that clear what a volunteer should or shouldn´t do, what his rights and duties are. If you have any doubts or questions about this, please turn to your supporting organisation in your home country or to Grenzenlos and we will try to help you. The European Commission has also worked on this and has written a document on rights and duties of European Solidarity Corps volunteers.
Is it possible to additionally work or study if I am abroad?
The European Solidarity Corps is an education programme for non-formal (extra-curricular) education. To work additionally is not possible, because you don´t have a working permission. Also, studying is not possible, because the European Solidarity Corps is a programme for extra-curricular education. But, it’s up to you to attend courses or trainings, such as an additional language course during your volunteering activity. However, the costs for such extra activities have to be covered by yoursef.
I have a disability/ impairment – can i do an European Solidarity Corps volunteering activity?
Everyone, between 18 – 30 years, despite his/her education, disability, language skills etc., can do an European Solidarity Corps volunteering project! It is possible to apply for further supportive grants, f.e. interpreter for sign language, personal assistance (…) in advance to guarantee accessibility and appropriate conditions (work environment, accomodation, etc.) for you. This usually requires a longer planning phase, but is definitely possible. Please inform us about any special needs you have when you apply for any of our ESC volunteering projects, and do not hesitate to contact us, if you have further questions, doubts, or uncertainties.