Volunteer Abroad > Workcamps (2 to 4 weeks) > Standard Programme
The Standard Programme involves those exchanges that evolved out of the post war reconstruction projects in post 1945 Europe. These exchanges between the European, North American, Japanese and South Korean organisations are the most highly developed and popular.
The voluntary work projects of the Standard Programme are based on the principle of reciprocal volunteer exchanges. In this case the hosting organisation and the local projects bear in most cases all the costs of hosting the volunteers.
Volunteers pay a placement fee to the sending organisation to cover their administrative costs, food and accommodation during the project, and some other programme costs. They also pay their travel and personal expenses. There are very occasionally additional fees on special projects.
As a rule projects are filled on a quota basis per country. Each hosting organisation places equal a balance of sexes as possible and as wide a range of nationalities as possible on each of its projects. Therefore, the chance of being placed on your first choice of project will depend on when you apply and the number of remaining vacancies. This is why we ask you to be flexible with your application, to make as many choices as possible and not to be disappointed if we have to look for an alternative.
We encourage volunteers to go alone, to maximise the experience and to allow the group life to develop easily without subgroups forming. However we do welcome placing family and friends on the same camp, especially those with large groups. If two or more people travel together they must take great care to integrate into the group.
The essential qualification for participation is a positive attitude. Ocasionally there are language and experience requirements and these are stated in the project description.
Age limits vary. In general workcamps are open to all people over 18. The average age of volunteers is usually between 18 and 27. Older volunteers must be happy to live with a generally younger group. There are some upper-age restrictions where the hosting organisation or particular projects are funded by the national youth ministry but in general all ages are very welcome.