Ostwärts

Through various activities such as language courses, stays with host families, internships or long-term engagements within the ‘Ostwärts’ program, participants get a deeper insight into everyday life in the host country, its language and culture. From 18 years old. Duration: 1 – 12 months (note visa requirements)

We support teachers and others interested in organizing study and cultural trips for groups. Individual programs are possible and may contain various activities. 14 years and older. Duration, as desired, 5 – 14 days.

With participants under the age of 18, at least one accompanying adult (or, depending on the size of the group, more than one) must be present.

Countries: Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia or Ukraine.

For advice or if you have any questions, please contact Theres: theres.baertschi@scich.org, 031 381 46 20

Projects

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Language course

Take a language course during your stay and learn the language of your host country

Stay with a host family

Living with a host family for some time means seeing the host country through their eyes

Group study trip

Discover Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine or Belarus with your class, club or group

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Internship

With an internship of 1-6 months you will get to know Russia, Ukraine or Kyrgyzstan

Au Pair

You live and work as an au pair in a Russian family. Your job will be to look after children

CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION

  • Minimum age: 18 years
  • Depending on the type of program, knowledge of Russian is required. A Russian course can be attended on site.
  • Composition of a report on your engagement on returning
  • Interest in the respective region and in the work of SCI Switzerland
  • Participation in a preparatory seminar (if there is enough time)
  • Pass on your own experiences to new volunteers after the assignment

COSTS

  • Participation fee long-term placement, language course and staying with a family:  CHF 690.-
  • Participation fee for the regular workcamp (2 weeks) in Eastern Europe: CHF 290.-
  • There is a reduction of CHF 30.- for those with no or little income.
  • Costs in the host country: administration fee (called “extra fee” in the project description), plus any program costs for a host family stay, language course, etc.
  • Travel expenses (you will have to organize the trip yourself).
  • Costs for visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, etc. (visa service via SCI).

SCI SWITZERLAND AND ITS PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS OFFER:

  • Food and lodging on site
  • Assistance by SCI Switzerland before departure, during the assignment and after returning
  • Invitation letter for visas if needed
  • Preparation and evaluation of the assignment
  • One-year membership with SCI Switzerland (incl. SCI newsletter, reduction of seminar fees, etc.)
  • Visa service if desired

CANCELLATION POLICY:

If you cancel a program you must in any case pay 60% of the participation fee. If we receive the cancellation later than three weeks before the start of the program, or in the event of a no-show or early termination of the program, you will pay the entire registration fee.

Why pay for volunteering?

SCI Switzerland is a non-profit organization. In order to organize and arrange volunteer placements, as well as for the preparation and evaluation of the volunteering and the camp coordinators’ work, we are dependent on participation fees. In contrast to tourism-oriented arrangements, we are organized as an association and are committed to volunteering, local charitable projects, etc.

REGISTRATION

If you are interested in participating in the ‘Ostwärts’ exchange, you have to take steps well in advance: depending on the country and type of assignment, two to six months before the desired assignment starts.

STEPS TO THE ‘OSTWÄRTS’ EXCHANGE:

  1. Read the terms and conditions carefully (above).
  2. Decide on your program with the help of our program descriptions for the projects, or, for workcamps, of the search engine.
  3. Inquire about travel expenses, visa requirements and health matters.
  4. If you have any questions, please contact Theres: theres.baertschi@scich.org. (Theres will answer phone calls: Mon and Wed, 1pm – 5pm). Make an appointment for a consultation.
  5. Request the registration form, fill it out carefully and send it to Theres. Your registration is final, cancellation fees will apply. You can register for workcamps directly on the workcamp search engine.

WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

We will check your registration carefully. If you meet the conditions for participation, we will forward your registration to our local partner organization. This will decide on the inclusion in the project. As soon as we have received an answer, we will inform you and discuss the next steps with you.

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