Friends of Waldorf Education- Paid volunteer Internship in Germany 2015

Apply for Incoming program      https://www.freunde-waldorf.de/en/community-service/incoming-voluntary-service-in-germany/apply-for-incoming-program.html

Application deadline and beginning your service

People of all nations are invited to apply for voluntary service in Germany sponsored by theFriends of Waldorf Education.

For a voluntary service starting in August 2015 please apply from 1st  November 2014 until 28th February 2015. The earlier you apply, the better are the chances to find a suitable volunteer position for you

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.

Application documents

You have decided to do a voluntary service in an anthroposophical institution in Germany? We will wholeheartedly engage in the task of finding you a suitable position. In order to do this, we would like to coordinate your expectations, ideas and dispositions with the requirements of possible places of assignment. Your application will be the basis for a counseling interview. For this purpose, we ask you to view your application as the basis for further dialogue with us.

Please send us your COMPLETD application for the German voluntary service ONLY via e-mail (incoming[at]freunde-waldorf.de):

A completed application includes the following documents:

1. Application form 1
2. Application form 2
3. Checklist
4. Photo in jpg format (max. 250 KB)Passport photo
5. Reference for a social internship (further details about the internship)
6. German language certificate (minimum level A1, with minimum score “Good”) (further details about the German knowledge)
7. A legible copy of your passport
8. References from your host family (if you have worked as an Au Pair in Germany or another German-speaking country.
9. Confirmation for the attendance of Waldorf education seminars, certificates of job training, job references if you have already worked in Waldorf institutions before and would like to undergo further training (only for applicants to Waldorf schools and kindergartens)
10. A copy of your driver‘s license (if applicable)

We only follow up on completed applications!

Selective criteria

A decision about your admission to the program is made on the basis of:

  • The application documents, which should validate your social motivation. Please communicate your needs and requirements in a straightforward manner.
  • Your commitment to learning German (certificate/s, ongoing German language course, e-mail communication in German)
  • The report of your practical skills, respectively your two-week internship and the references from the institution in which you’ve been (e.g. one of our partner organizations abroad).
  • The e-mail or telephone communication with you: A reliable and fast communication is important to us.
  • Your willingness to meet with a German volunteer our a former participant of the incoming program in your home-country; depending on the possibilities of your location.

The Friends of Waldorf Education will preselect suitable applicants.
The final decision is made by the places of assignment.

Areas of service

The majority of our volunteer positions are in anthroposophic communal homes for people who, due to various special needs or disabilities, require special care and attention. The work with children and young people is known as curative education, while similar work with adults is called social therapy. This therapeutic work and care is based upon the principles of anthroposophy and Waldorf education, both founded by Rudolf Steiner.

The cooperative life in these communal homes developed from the basic idea that all people, regardless of their abilities, are full-fledged, worthy personalities with a right to a meaningful, free and dignified existence.

These communities have made it their goal to fully realise these ideas in everyday life. They endeavour to create living conditions in which the residents come to terms with their conditions or disabilities. Opportunities are made available for the full realisation of their talents and skills. As a result, these living communities offer unique educational experiences, work areas and places to live. A social environment is created in which the members treat one another with friendship and respect. Each individual is viewed as a distinct personality, with all his or her respective strengths and weaknesses.

Requirements for applying to Incoming

You must

  • 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.

Financing

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.

Preparatory Internship

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 theFriends 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.

German Skills/German course

The ability to communicate in German is a prerequisite for your participation in the voluntary service. All accompanying seminars will be conducted in German. Depending on the needs of your placement site, your language capabilities need to be more or less refined.
When working in fields like curative education (children with special needs) or care of the elderly, your language level has to be good to very good (level B1 to B2). There are also other areas that require good German language skills. Due to this reason, language training is a very important aspect of your preparation for the German Federal Voluntary Service. Your German language skills (level A1, A2… etc.) should be attested by a certificate or substantiated in some other form (e.g. by a reference of your German teacher).
Many placement sites offer complimentary German courses, which take place after the regular working hours. The Friends take it up on them to give every volunteer the opportunity to visit a German course and we offer to pay as much of the incurring expenses as we can. However, we demand that during their stay every volunteer shows the willingness to improve his or her German skills as much as possible, therefore we also ask for your own initiative.

Residency permit/Visa

A special residency permit is bound to the participation in the German Federal Voluntary Service. Applicants need to apply for their visa at the German consulate or embassy in their home country or their country of residence. The application process will take 8 to 10 weeks. It is not possible to change a visa which grants you permission to work as a volunteer, into a scholarly-, touristic or any other kind of visa.
Unfortunately, there are few cases in which a visa application is declined. Therefore it is important that you file your application as early as possible, and that you are as disciplined and straight-forward in the application process, as possible. When necessary, we will help you with your application for a visa.

Health

Working in a social field, especially in pedagogy and working with people with special needs, requires exceptional physiological and mental strength. Volunteers need to take this into account when applying in these fields, and consequently refrain from applying in areas of work that could overburden them.
The move to a foreign country could trigger the outburst of a latent chronic disease through cultural and environmental changes.
Should you have a pre-existing illness, we ask you to consult with your doctor, whether a long stay abroad and a physically and psychologically demanding work is advisable for you. We ask you to seek this consultation before you apply for the German Federal Voluntary Service.
Organizing your voluntary service in the best possible way is important to us. Should you have any pre-existing physiological or psychological disease, this does not automatically lead to your exclusion from the program. However, your placement site and we might have to organize your volunteer service separate from the general program.
Should this be the case, we will do our best to find a place that is suitable to your health condition. We therefore ask you to answer the questions about your health straightforward and to confide in us.

Contacts

Your contacts in our office in Karlsruhe are:

Department Manager Incoming
Jaromir Palmetshofer

Coordination Incoming
Diana Grözinger
Eva-Marie Schneller

Pedagogical Support Incoming
Anna Lehmann
Carolin Ebbinghaus
Fritz Ritzmann

Tel.: +49 (0)721-354806-100
E-Mail: incoming[at]freunde-waldorf.de

Applicants from Brazil and South Africa can receive support, advice and preparatory assistance from their local Friends of Waldorf Education.

Contact in Brazil:
Reinaldo Nascimento
Av. Tomás de Souza, 552
Jd. Monte Azul
05836350 Sao Paulo
Brazil
Tel.: +55 (0)11 5853 8080
r.nascimento@freunde-waldorf.de

Contact in South Africa:
Tobias Wrona
Centre for Creative Education
McGregor House
4 Victoria Road
Plumstead, Cape Town
South Africa
Tel.: +27 (0)76 378 3042
t.wrona@freunde-waldorf.de

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