The Incoming program is designed for motivated, socially committed women and men of 18 years and up whose permanent residence is outside Germany .
Are you interested in helping people with special needs? Would you like to spend 12 months living and working in a foreign country, experiencing a new culture and getting to know the mindset, work ethic and social structure of Germany? If so, you are heartily invited to acquaint yourself with Incoming on the next few pages!
The Federal Volunteer Service (in German: Bundesfreiwilligendienst – BFD) is a special voluntary program initiated by the German government, which started in July 2011.
be at least 18 years old (there is no maximum age).
have permanent residency outside Germany.
be socially motivated and show dedication to your work or engagement.
know at least the basics of the German language. For those working in the fields of curative education (children with disabilities) and senior care (homes for the elderly), a good to excellent knowledge of German is a must. If at all possible, you should provide a certification of your studies or other official proof of your German language skills. It also expected that you be prepared to improve your German during the duration of your voluntary service.
have already gathered practical experience in working with people with special needs or with the elderly. Should you not have this experience, you will be required to carry out a 2-week internship or training program at a qualifying institution in your home country. The Friends of Waldorf Education will be happy to assist you in making contact with organisations that fulfil these criteria.
be prepared to work for 12 months in a full-time capacity. Shorter terms of service are not possible.
be entirely open to living together with the residents and patients of an institution for curative therapy (children with disabilities), social therapy (adults with disabilities) or a home for the elderly.
be eager for personal development and be ready to integrate yourself fully in a new culture and work environment.
show initiative and a strong sense of social engagement, as these fields of work will, at least in part, be quite demanding. Additionally, most of the institutions are located in rural agrarian areas.
Before and during the period of service, volunteers receive the following benefits:
Support with visa application (official invitation) prior to service
An allowance of at least 150 euros per month during the duration of the service
Free room and board while in Germany
Free health, accident and liability insurance
Contractually regulated holidays
Educational and administrative backing and support through the Friends of Waldorf Education during the voluntary service
20 accompanying seminar days, free of charge, at the beginning, during and at the close of the voluntary service, as well as transportation costs to and from the seminars
Travel costs to and from Germany must be covered by the participants themselves!
Applicants from Brazil and South Africa can receive support, advice and preparatory assistance from their local Friends of Waldorf Education.
The volunteers themselves are expected to pay for a possible preparatory seminar in the volunteers’ home country, according to a solidarity cost model.
An internship of at least two week’s duration is the most important preparation for your voluntary service in Germany.
This practical work experience will help you find out, if you have the right motivation to work in a social field.
As a fringe benefit, you will ease into your life in Germany a little better, if you have the head-start of knowing your field of work.
That way, not every aspect of your ‘new life’ (e. g. culture, language, etc.) will be foreign to you.
If you haven’t completed your internship yet, you may nevertheless apply. However, you should substantiate how you plan to go ahead in order to find a suitable internship. You’ll find more detailed information on the mandatory internship on our application form. Should the Friends have a partner organization in your home country, we urge you to apply for an internship there. We’ll be happy to help you, and provide you with the contact details of any affiliated institution you would like to apply to.
Application deadline and beginning your service
People of all nations are invited to apply for voluntary service in Germany sponsored by the Friends of Waldorf Education.
Most volunteers (approx. 75 people) will begin their service in August/September . Another group of approx. 50 volunteers will begin in February.
Deadline for applications for the August/September start date is normally in mid-March. However, more than half the available positions are typically filled by January. Applicants from countries that do not require a visa (European Union, Japan, Korea, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel) may submit their applications until mid-July to the Friends of Waldorf Education.
Deadline for applications for the February start date is the end of July of the year preceding the planned volunteer service. Applicants from countries that do not require a visa may submit their applications until the beginning of October to the
Friends of Waldorf Education.
PLEASE NOTE : If a volunteer withdraws from the program during the 8 weeks prior to beginning or during the first four weeks of voluntary service, he or she is required to pay 150 euros to cover costs already paid on his or her part by the Friends of Waldorf Education.