How can I participate?

All those who want to dedicate their own time and effort for a non-profit purpose and to live in an international group for 2 to 3 weeks can take part in an international Workcamp.

Most camps take place in the summer, between June and September, but there are a few offers throughout all of the year. Here you can download our booklet on international Workcamps with all information about camps, ideas for packing and experience reports from our volunteers:

All those who are motivated to dedicate their time and effort to a charitable work project and to live in an international group for 2 to 3 weeks. In addition, language skills in English (in designated projects also in French, Spanish or other languages) are required. In some work camps there are additional requirements for participation, e.g. special age restrictions, previous experience in the work, the submission of special documents, etc. All information can be found in the individual camp descriptions.

Most of the projects are for volunteers over the age of 18 and in some projects there is an upper age limit (usually 30). There are also work camps for teenagers (mostly between 15 and 17) and older volunteers. Should there be a different minimum or maximum age in a project, this is mentioned in the project description.

Usually, the camp language is English. For workcamps in France or Spain we recommend basic knowledge of French or Spanish, in Central and South America Spanish can be necessary. Social projects often require a letter of motivation or the presentation of a certificate of good conduct ("CGC"). Some work camps might be unsuitable for volunteers with certain allergies. Such restrictions are mentioned in the project description.

Anyone who currently lives in Germany or comes from a country in which we have no partner organizations can apply for participation directly with IBG.

You can look for a work camp in our online work camp database and sign up for it directly online.

Sometimes the work camps fill up faster than we and our partners can update the database. If you put alternatives, we will try them out in turn. That wy, you and we save time if your first choice is full and we can not reach you.

Signing up together with a friend is usually not a problem if the applications are made early. For small groups, we also have three to four special projects every year. Just contact us via email for special projects. Please keep in mind, however, that a work camp is the most fun for you and the others when you are open to new people.

No, first come, first served. There is a maximum of two volunteers from one country that can participate in each work camp. Anyone who is flexible in terms of project type and country, can also find a place at very short notice.

Yes, participation in several workcamps is possible. The placement fee for the second work camp (and any other) is only half of the original fee. We recommend scheduling a few days to rest between the work camps if you join several projects.

Although we are a non-profit association and do not work commercially, we are also bound by legal regulations (e.g. travel law). Here you can find our General conditions for placement in voluntary services of partner organizations abroad.

The placement fee for work camps in Germany is € 48 and for camps abroad € 150. The fee has to be paid only when you are placed in the project of your choice and should be transferred to us within seven days of receiving the confirmation.

10% of the placement fee is a solidarity contribution which enables disadvantaged volunteers to participate in voluntary projects.

You pay your own travel costs to get to the meeting point / camp and the placement fee. Food, accommodation and a small recreational program are provided in the project, but you should bring some pocket money in any case.
In some countries, especially so-called developing countries, there is often an extra fee, as most of these organizations are not funded by the state. As a rule, work camps for teenagers often also have an "extra fee" because of the higher level of organization and support needed. The amount of extra fees is included in the project description.
Your health insurance or visa may cause additional costs in some cases.

Regardless of origin, education, income or other factors, participation in a work camp should be open to every young person. We want to enable all motivated volunteers to participate with all means at our disposal! Every year we offer various special projects, such as bi- and trinational camps, which receive special support. You can also participate in international youth exchanges, volunteering teams and trainings funded through the EU's programs Erasmus + and European Solidarity Corps (ESC). In these projects your travel expenses can be reimbursed and in ESC volunteering teams you even receive a small pocket money. There is also the possibility of receiving support through IBG's solidarity fund. 10% of all placement fees paid go into this solidarity fund, so that all volunteers placed enable other disadvantaged volunteers to participate in work camps, too. In addition, we have decided, within the framework of the funds available to us from the Federal Child and Youth Plan, to provide financial support to young people who are involved in an international work camp in certain countries and who, true to our motto "...peacing the world together" work for peace, tolerance and openness.

Since all participants of a workcamp come from different countries and regions, the journey to the project must be organized by the volunteers themselves. We can give you tips, but cannot organize your trip for you. You have to finance the journey yourself. Information on how to get from the nearest train station to the meeting point or directly to the workcamp, can be found in the project description. In some projects volunteers can be picked up from the train station.

If you decide to travel sustainably by bus, train, bike or on foot, we will be happy to reimburse part of your travel expenses. You can read about the conditions and documents required to apply for the travel grant here.

You can find good and up-to-date information on immigration and visa requirements on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office. In certain countries, special work visas (for example, voluntary service or humanitarian visas) must be applied for. We receive corresponding letters of invitation, further documents and information from our partner organizations in such cases.

We recommend all volunteers to get a travel cancellation insurance.
For work camps in all countries that are not concluded in the social security agreement with Germany, we strongly recommend that you get your own health insurance. This recommendation also applies if our partner organization provides health insurance, because usually only the time after arrival and before departure is covered in that. In EU countries, it is essential to bring your European health insurance card to the work camp. In Germany, this is usually included in the "normal" health card.

More information about your work camp, the so-called "info sheet", will be emailed to you at the latest three weeks before the start of the project. There, you will find more detailed information about how to reach the project site, the exact meeting place, accommodation, work project and what you should bring. It also contains the contact (email addresses and telephone numbers) group leaders / team members on site. If you have not received an info sheet from us three weeks before the start of the work camp, please contact us immediately.

Working hours differ from country to country and, of course, depend on the project. In most cases, you will work about 30 hours a week, but some countries (Japan, for example) often work longer, while others often work shorter hours. Usually, the weekends are free. Working hours are also reduced in teenager work camps (about 20 - 25 hours a week).

Accommodations are usually very simple. They can be, for example, in classrooms, forest cabins, tents, scout homes or town houses. Where exactly you will be staying in your work camp, is detailed either project description or in the info sheet which you get a few weeks before the camp starts.

Usually, the work camp groups cater for themselves: all volunteers take turns preparing meals for the whole group. The necessary money to go grocery shopping is provided by the partner organization via the group leaders. The food is free for you. Especially if you are not very experienced in cooking, it is very helpful to bring some easy to cook recipes (maybe typical for your country). There are also some work camps where the food is prepared for you.

In work camps, there are usually no tightly organized leisure programs and free time activities depend on your ideas and wishes as well as the location and working time table of the work camp often.

No matter where you go, you should pack warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Usually you also need a sleeping bag and possibly a sleeping mat, as well as work clothes, work boots or shoes.

More tips for planning your camp and more information about travelling and packing for the camp can be found here.