Allianssi Youth Exchanges
Allianssi Youth Exchanges promotes intercultural learning and global understanding. Our aim is to give young people a
chance to do concrete work with others from different backgrounds and ethnic origins. Allianssi Youth Exchanges is owned by the Finnish Youth Co-operation Allianssi which is the umbrella organisation of Finnish youth and educational
organisations with 127 nationwide member organisations.
Usually most volunteers in our camps are 18-25 years old even though there is no upper age limit. The volunteers come
mainly through our European partner organisations, but in every camp there is usually representation from other parts of
the world as well. This year we have also a family camp, six camps for younger volunteers with the minimum age of 16 years and some camps with age limits such as 20+ or 25 +.
The work is very often manual like painting, renovating, organising activities or landscaping/gardening; but one of the main
aims of the camps is to encourage and increase intercultural learning between the volunteers and the hosting community.
No special skills are required. The working hours are about 30-40 hours per week. Most camps are arranged in small
communities in beautiful Finnish countryside.
An Allianssi camp leader is present in most camps. (S)he is either a volunteer with work camp experience or a student of
youth work. In some camps there is a local camp leader nominated by the camp host.
There are plenty of opportunities to visit local places of interest and enjoy Finnish countryside, lakes and forests. And
Finnish sauna, of course! Most of our camp hosts are municipal youth offices or local associations so there is usually local
involvement in the activities.
Registration Fee/Extra Fee
Due to imbalanced volunteer exchange and no public funding we are forced to ask the incoming volunteers to contribute
towards our administration costs by paying a registration fee of 30 euros. The partner organisations are requested to
collect the registration fee from volunteers on application and Allianssi will invoice the partners at the end of the season or
the volunteers pay to us through bank transfer before the camp. There is no registration fee on teenage camps and
Punkaharju camps which have extra fees (50-150 euros) to be paid directly to the host due to special nature of the camps.
In some camps volunteers are insured against accidents but there are many camps where the volunteers are not insured
at all. Since the travel to the work camp and theft of personal property are also not insured, we expect all the volunteers to
take their own travel insurance. In addition, we advise all volunteers from EU countries to take the European health
insurance card with them. No drugs are allowed at Allianssi camps under any circumstances. The use of alcohol might be
restricted in some camps.
The language on all our camps is English and all volunteers are expected to be able to communicate in English. It is quite
widely spoken, so you will manage in English almost everywhere in Finland.
What to take with you
Since the work is usually practical/manual we recommend that the volunteers bring with them sturdy shoes/boots and
working clothes and gloves which can get dirty. Bring enough warm clothes for cool evenings. Swimming gear is important
to bring with since there are plenty of opportunities for sauna and swimming in a lake. A sleeping bag is a must for most
camps. Some music, cooking recipes and photos from the home country are always worth taking with, especially for the
Finland became an independent state on 6 December 1917.The theme of Finland’s centenary celebration year 2017 is
‘Together’ and there are tons of activities related to the this special year and volunteers are welcome to join the celebration
s in many camps also. This is the very year to visit Finland http://suomifinland100.fi/info/?lang=en
Finland; Suomi in Finnish, is situated between Sweden to the west, the tip of Norway in the north, a long border with Russia
to the east, and Estonia to the south, across the Gulf of Finland. Finland is the northernmost country in the world after
Iceland. But the climate is not as freezing as that might suggest, partly because of the warming influence of the Gulf
Stream. During summer sunbathing is even possible as temperatures range from 16°C to 25°C. There may be some
rainy and chilly days, and therefore the volunteers should have proper outfit for working outdoors. Finland has a long
coastline. The archipelago to the south and south west of the country contains around 30,000 islands. Finland is also the
land of lakes, almost 200,000 at the last count. Two thirds of the country is covered by forest. In terms of land area, Finland
is the seventh largest country in Europe while the population is only about five million. Finland has two official languages:
Finnish and Swedish. The currency unit in Finland is the Euro.
http://virtual.finland.fi (General information about Finland including links for local travel options
https://www.facebook.com/AllianssiYouthExchanges (Our official Facebook page in English)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1494127330606179/ (Allianssi work camp volunteers 2017, a group for the incoming
volunteers for chatting and getting to know each other)