ESC – European Solidarity Corp

ESC – European Solidarity Corp

European Solidarity Corps

 The ESC is an EU funded programme. Once you are accepted onto an ESC project, all your expenses (rent, food, transport, insurance, visa procedures, language classes) are covered by the project, and you even get a bit of pocket money to enjoy your experience fully! Your travel costs are also covered although there may be a minimal contribution towards travel required.

  1. Register with the European Solidarity Corps
  2. Create a profile – take some time to fill in the personal information on your profile, and to attach an updated CV. Take good care of it, it is your way of being interesting for the receiving organizations! We can always help you with this!
  3. Search the ESC database – all of the ESC vacancies/ opportunities are listed there.
  4. Find a Sending Organisation here in Ireland – your Youth Information Centre (us!) can help you with this.
  5. Contact the Overseas Organisation (host) – Your sending organisation will help you with this!
  6. Send your CV and a motivational letter (about half a page) describing why you want to do ESC with this organisation.  Remember, ESC is not about the qualifications you have or how much work experience you have. Projects are looking for volunteers who are motivated, willing and enthusiastic, who will make a good fit with their organisation.
  7. Plan & prepare: It can take from 2 – 6 months in total to plan an ESC project. Your sending organisation is there to explain everything to you and support you throughout the process. Your sending organisation will carry out some pre-departure training with you. The content will depend on you!  
  8. Projects can range from 2 – 12months. However, it’s also worth noting that under special circumstances an EVS duration can be less than 2 months.

So Get Started Early & Get Focused!!!!



What is DiscoverEU?

DiscoverEU is an action of the Erasmus+ programme that gives you the opportunity to discover Europe through learning experiences. Travelling predominantly by rail (there are exceptions to allow those living on islands or in remote areas), you will discover Europe’s stunning landscapes and its variety of cities and towns. You can apply during the two application rounds which take place each year. Successful applicants are awarded with a travel pass.

As an 18-year-old resident of the European Union or of one of the third countries associated to the Erasmus+ Programme like Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey, DiscoverEU offers you the opportunity to participate in a travel experience that will enable you to explore Europe’s diversity, learn about its cultural heritage and history, and connect with people from all over the continent. Furthermore, DiscoverEU enables you, as a young person, to develop life skills of value to your future, such as independence, confidence, and openness to other cultures.

As of 2023, the selected participants will receive a DiscoverEU discount card with discounts on cultural visits, learning activities, sports, local transportation, accommodation, food etc.

What is covered financially?

The cost of the rail ticket is covered & you will be given two options.

Fixed: travel between 2 Countries or 2 Cities in 1 Country.         


Flexi: as many countries as you can fit in up to 30 days. (At least one Country other than your home Country)

How to apply: –

  • DiscoverEU gives young people age 18 the opportunity to Interrail around Europe for up to 1 month (30 days)
  • Young people can apply to travel alone or in groups of 5 @
  • To enter in the general deadline you will be asked to complete a 5 question quiz
  • When the application process closes you will receive an answer by email, good luck

How does it work:

You will have 7 travel days max in the 30 day period;

For example: depart Ireland to France = 1 travel day. Stay in France for 3 days then depart France to Spain = 2nd Travel day

Results for the October round will be announced in January 2024 and applicants will be notified accordingly by email.

The next application round is planned to open in spring 2024 (specific dates will be announced later). If you are 18 or about to turn 18 in the first half of 2024, watch this space for your DiscoverEU travel pass.




Eurodesk provides free information on opportunities-such as travelling, working, studying and volunteering in Europe–for young people aged 13 – 30. 

They are part of a large network of European Eurodesk points, with over 1,200 offices throughout Europe, with headquarters in Brussels. You can check out the European-wide Eurodesk website: 

Eurodesk Ireland

Should you have any further questions please contact KDYS Youth Information Officers.


Europe is Open to You

Europe is Open to You

This booklet has been compiled by Euro Guidance Ireland and Eurodesk Ireland, so if you are interested in studying, working, volunteering, other opportunities, qualifications & skills, language supports, useful resources & tips and Stories from the Road, then this is a must for you.   If you would like to have a chat why not drop into KDYS Youth Information in Killarney or Tralee and make an appointment with one of our Youth Information Officers, contact number 087 7801575 or 085 8075996.



ESC Volunteer with the KDYS

ESC Volunteer with the KDYS

Meet Nicolas Lelorrain, KDYS’ European Solidarity Corps volunteer from Metz, France who, due to the ongoing COVID19 crisis, is unable to return home until travel restrictions are lifted.

The European Solidarity Corps brings together young people from across Europe to build a more inclusive society and respond to societal changes. By participating in volunteer placements, young people are offered an inspiring and empowering experience and can help them develop both as a person and future youth work professional.

As part of his year-long placement with eurÓg European Youth Centre in Killarney, Nicolas had been helping to run KDYS youth cafés, delivering a Human Rights Education programme, and assisting youth workers to run training programmes for young people in the community.

When the COVID19 crisis deepened and KDYS closed its youth centres to the public in adherence with public health guidelines, coupled with France taking the decision to close its borders, Nicolas was left stranded in Killarney without being able to contribute to his placement in the normal fashion. However, in spite of this, Nicolas has responded to his situation by producing 2 videos with the support of KDYS staff.

The first piece describes Nicolas’ experience of signing up to participate in the European Solidarity Corps and his time in Killarney. He hopes his advice will be useful for any would-be volunteers in the future, particularly if they are interested in volunteering in Kerry or elsewhere in Ireland.



The second details how COVID19 has impacted on Nicolas’ placement, his hopes for the future, and how this experience has deepened his understanding of the concept of solidarity. Through this video, Nicolas hopes to re-connect with other ESC volunteers he met through training events organised by Léargas, the national agency with responsibility for European Erasmus+ exchanges.

The videos present a unique take on a young, European volunteer’s perspective of life in Ireland in the middle of this worldwide pandemic. They will be launched through KDYS Social Media Platforms throughout the week.

Furthermore, Nicolas has undertaken to paint a new mural on the grounds of eurÓg Eurpoean Youth Centre, which marks his participation with the Solidarity Corps in Killarney during these trying times. Weather permitting, this art work is due to be finished this week.

While KDYS centres are closed to the public, all youth work programmes are operational remotely, with additional community support services in place, such as community food parcel distribution. For contact details, please search KDYS on all social media platforms or see