Iceland. Reykjavik – the volunteers’ new home Reykjavík is the Icelandic capital and held the prestigious title European City of Culture in the year 2000; a welcome recognition of the energetic and colourful cultural life of the capital. The world’s northernmost capital bridges the Atlantic, between Europe and North America is framed by the majestic Mt. Esja and the blue waters of Faxaflói Bay. The population of the city is about 115,000 (40% of Iceland’s population) in the metropolitan area and over 180,000 (around 60% of Iceland’s inhabitants) including its suburbs. Reykjavík is a dynamic, moderncity in harmony with beautiful nature, using renewable energy sources, geothermal power and glacial rivers. It is an International city with a lively Cosmopolitan cultural scene. The volunteer will be living mainly in Reykjavík, although he/she will spend app. 2-3 months, divided in several trips, staying between 2-4 days at other franchised HI hostels around the country (between 15-20 hostels, to be decided together according to requests and needs from hostels). An exact visit plan will be agreed with the volunteer during the project. While at the affiliated hostels, the volunteer will mainly work with the hostel´s manager and key staff in capturing the essence of that particular hostel. In Reykjavik, a working space in HI Iceland’s main office, Borgartun 6 will be provided which is located in 105 district, app. 5-7 min walking distance from the city centre and app. 15-20 min by bus from the volunteer’s house. Although this location is used mainly as a base to edit the photos/videos, the volunteer is encouraged to spend most of the time on the field, attending events during different hours, catching the vibe of the hostels, meeting guests and staff, recordind testimonies and feeding the media channels with photos from the events. The volunteer is encouraged to explore his/her own ideas and vision and bring suggestions to the project coordinators who will offer permanent guidance and support in developing and finalizing the project activities. Also, the volunteer will spend time with the hostel’s staff: from reception, housekeeping, management etc. in order to capture their activities in photos/videos/testimonies. The Reykjavik Hostels have app. 60 staff, out of which app. 10-15 at City Hostel, varying from summer to winter periods, therefore the volunteer will be living in a very international environment – both at work and in the apartment – surrounded by staff and volunteers with different cultural backgrounds. In this way, we strongly believe that the significant intercultural-learning side of the project will be one of the greatest benefits for the volunteer. The work is mostly intellectual.
1st of October 2016 until 30th of September 2017.
10 April 2016
‘Life at the hostels’ project aims at spreading eco-conscious behavior through photos, videos and testimonies from travelers
The main objective of the project is to offer visual information-promotion of applied sustainability at the HI Iceland hostels and to promote the role of hostelling and youth in sustainable tourism and their contribution to the global movement towards sustainable development.
Life at the hostels project enables one motivated and enthusiastic volunteer to grow personally and professionally and build strong practical experience in the photo/video field by:
– recording interviews with the travelers – guests staying at the hostels, collecting testimonies about their view on the Icelandic nature and sustainability practices noticed at the Iceland hostels
– taking photos
– shooting videos with the daily – regular quality and sustainability practices of the Icelandic hostels
– recording and promoting concerts, workshops
– feeding the social/media with images and posts from the events
– capturing the sustainable/social/fun vibe at the hostels
– presenting the hostels as a social place to meet travelers and share life experiences
– attending and organizing events at the Reykjavik Hostels, promote local culture and music (organize concerts, workshops, panel discussions etc.)
Farfuglar ses – Hostelling International (HI) Iceland is a non-governmental and non-profit membership organization established in 1939. The organisation is a member of Hostelling International (HI), a global network of Youth Hostel Associations, of over 4000 hostels with members in more than 80 countries. Membership means that the Icelandic hostels fulfil the international standards for HI Hostels. Its mission as stated in its constitution: Opening the World to Youth: “To promote the education of all young people of all nations, but specially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world, and as an ancillary thereto, to provide hostels or other accommodation in which there shall be no distinction of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions and thereby to develop a better understanding of their fellow men, both at home and abroad.” Since its inception the organisation’s main goal has been to promote and encourage people of all ages to travel and to increase their knowledge and appreciation of nature and culture. The Hostel network enables young people of different nationalities, cultures and social background to meet informally, share experiences; learn about themselves, each other and their surroundings. Hostels foster a remarkable international awareness about current issues such as environmental issues, sustainable tourism and sustainable development as a whole. Hostelling also has a fundamental, but unofficial, role in the development of young people as future employees in a global market. The hostel environment encourages social awareness and the importance of living in a community, plus it develops the kind of self-discipline skills that result from experiencing different situations, having to make individual decisions and learning from them. Hostelling International (HI) Iceland has been hosting EVS volunteers at the Reykjavík Hostels since 2006, in the Green Hostels project (2013 – ISL -1) done in collaboration with SEEDS and Life at the hostel is now in its 3rd year. After over 13 years of positive experiences in the Green Hostels project with 17 long-term volunteers hosted and 2 years with 2 volunteer in the Life at the hostels project, HI Iceland relies on sufficient experience, confidence and capabilities to continue to coordinate and host at the same time volunteers. HI Iceland has the possibility to support the volunteers and provide them with a meaningful learning experience during their stay. The organization has slowly but surely grown, owning now 3 hostels in Reykjavík (Reykjavik City Hostel, Downtown Hostel and Loft), having another 30 franchised hostels around the country and managing the Reykjavík Campsite for over 16 years. Every year we are doing better and becoming more ambitious in our work towards sustainability. HI Iceland would now like to expand and capture all current practices in videos, photos and testimonies, meant to inspire and encourage others to contribute with their share for the benefit of our common planet. Additionally, HI Iceland, has already experience in working with Youth and also hosting volunteers during the last 13 years: through an agreement with Dutch, Latvian, Finish and German Universities – every year 4 to 8 volunteers arrive to the Reykjavík Hostels for periods of time between 3 and 6 months. These volunteers are in the same age range as within the Youth in Action Program (between 18 and 30 years old) and they are doing their internship in reception, housekeeping, breakfast etc.
HI Iceland will provide the volunteer with technical equipment to record/take photos and an adviser on how to use the equipment accordingly, although the volunteer can use his own equipment if he/she would like to.
The project requires previous basic background in the field and together with the project’s activities, the volunteer will develop solid practical experience that can help him/her in his/her professional carrier further.
The volunteer will be living mainly in Reykjavík, although he/she will spend app. 2-3 months, divided in several trips, staying between 2-4 days at some of the other franchised hostels around the country (between 20-30).
An exact visit plan will be agreed with the volunteer after his/her arrival.
By taking part in the proposed activities, at the end of the project the volunteer will have a complete portfolio consisting of 20+inspiring short videos (2-3 min each), invaluable travelling experience in the beautiful Icelandic nature, contacts of a big international group of people and plenty of media coverage on the online platforms (newspapers, facebook, pictures etc.)
The team working at the Hostels is an international group with different background. Working in such an environment, the volunteers will highly develop their skills in communicating in a foreign language. The volunteers will here get to know environmental practical work applied in the accommodation sector, which is special since it deals with people moving constantly and brings certain issues regarding the modern consuming world. The volunteer will get the chance to explore several ways of taking photos and editing videos, developing in this way his/her learning to learn abilities and sense of initiative and entrepreneurship.
The volunteer will have the chance to organize his/her own learning, self discipline and self motivation. Working with flexibility in changing or developing situations will play an invaluable role in their professional life further. Also, a high cultural awareness and expression will be developed as a result of this international environment.
The volunteers will learn to actively engage in conversations, spread values through their activities and the sustainability concept and create positive change.
Also, being in contact with different international key actors within the Hostelling International network, helps volunteers to broaden their global perspective in relation with environmental and social issues.
Based on the learning opportunities described above, during this project, the volunteer will develop strong skills in the next fields:
Communication in foreign languages as the daily language used will be mainly English.
Learning to learn as the volunteers will have the chance to organize and develop his/her own learning and will always look for ways to capture/promote sustainability aspects in interesting ways.
Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship as the volunteer will have the chance to materialize their dreams and implement their ideas in an engaging and motivated environment.
Cultural awareness and expression by living in an international environment and also by learning to integrate step by step in the Icelandic society.
Social and civic competence will be highly developed through meetings, interviews and daily engagement with staff members, guests staying at the hostels, and other partners.
Digital competence by compiling and processing the videos/portfolio for each hostel. During the project, part of the communication will be conducted online, through emails and written materials on the social media like facebook etc.
Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology will be mainly developed during the video shooting planning and during the sustainability training.
Communication in the mother tongue might not always be applicable.
We would like volunteers applying for this project to have a strong motivation and dedication for working inside an international group in order to capture in inspiring photos and videos the essence of the quality, environmental, responsible tourism, educational and practical activities. Volunteer’s enthusiasm, creativity and interest in order to engage with people, to work in team but also willingness to accept personal responsibilities are highly appreciated. A readiness to work with flexibility in changing or developing situations is essential, as well as an ability to occasionally work in high-pressure situations.
Particular interest in environmental issues, in sustainability, culture and responsible travelling might be very useful when developing the script and gathering testimonies from the guests staying at the hostels.
English language skills are of a big advantage, while Icelandic is not a requirement.
Gender is of no importance, but the volunteer has to be between 18 and 30 years old and ready to live one exciting year in Iceland, in a daily international environment.
Ethnic groups, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion are not taken into account.
Previous basic background in photography/video recording is needed plus an open minded and enthusiastic attitude.
1. On arrival training and getting to know more about the practical life at the hostels (October 2016 – 4 weeks)
During the first days of the volunteer’s stay in Iceland, he/she will have several introduction and training meetings. a. On-arrival training with the coordinating and hosting organization, HI Iceland. Here the volunteer will get to know more about the EVS project, Iceland and the Icelandic culture as well as getting to know other volunteers, trainees and staff at the Reykjavik Hostels. b. After getting to know the team and practices at the Reykjavik Hostels, the volunteer will get a deeper insight in the hostels work from the Heads of Receptions from all 3 Reykjavik Hostels. c. On-arrival training organized by the Icelandic National-Agency. After these steps have been completed, the volunteer will get training from the project coordinators about the organization and about the chain of hostels. He/She will be given enough information and resources as knowledge on the association, its aims, philosophy and Sustainability Policy. Part of the orientation should be to live in the Hostel, talk to the guests from their side, take part in the activities that are in offer outside of the city and from the Hostel Team, getting to know the Reykjavik Hostels as the main work field. In order to get familiarized with the hostel’s principles, the volunteer’s enthusiasm, curiosity, willingness to engage in conversations and activism are of utmost importance. 2. Working at the Reykjavík Hostels (November 2016 -April 2017; app. 24 weeks) After the first month of training in which the volunteer will get a close insight into the life at the hostels, he/she will start the practical work at the Reykjavík Hostels. In the winter time there are numerous activities and happenings at the Hostels, from music festivals, movie nights, workshops etc. a. Gathering material – recording interviews with the travelers/guests staying in the hostels, collecting testimonies about their view on the Icelandic nature and sustainability practices noticed at the hostels (eg. ecolabelled consumables, recycling system, energy/water saving equipment, information about local fauna and flora etc.) – shooting videos with the daily -regular quality and sustainability practices of the Icelandic hostels – recording and promoting concerts, workshops (clothes/books swap, reusing wax from old candle lights, poetry nights etc.) During/after the events, the volunteer will help promoting/ feeding the social/media with images and posts from the events – presenting the hostels as a social place to meet travellers and share life experiences through guests and staff testimonies – the volunteer will get the chance to also organize events at the Reykjavik Hostels in order to promote the local culture and music (organize concerts, workshops, panel discussions etc.) b. Taking photos – taking photos to increase appreciation of Icelandic nature and culture and collecting them in specific folders. The photos will be used to highlight the hostel’s vibe and character. c. Editing the material gathered in short promotional videos 2-3, mentioning the particularities of each hostel. Here the volunteer will work in close collaboration with the project coordinators which will offer guidance and feedback in compiling the material gathered in a final version for winter 2016. 3. Planning and visiting the franchised hostels to gather material (May- Mid August 2017, app. 18 weeks) In this stage of the project, the volunteer, together with the project coordinators and the franchised hostels will start planning short trips to the hostels. The franchised hostels are only opened a few months per year, and starting April they are opening their doors one by one. After the experience developed at the Reykjavik Hostels, a script will be made that can be applied on the franchised hostels (focus areas, ways of shooting, questions for travelers etc.) and this template will be followed in gathering information for the final 2-3 min promotional videos. The visits to the hostels will take between 2-4 days and sometimes more hostels can be visited at a time, resulting in app. 2 weeks trips at a time. The volunteer will have time to process the material gathered after each visit. 4. Reykjavík Campsite (During June- August 2017, app. 2-3 weeks) Reykjavík Campsite is open during the summer months (15th of May-September 15th) and is located in a green area in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and right next to Reykjavik City Hostel. Around 600 guests stay at the campsite per day during the busiest months of July and August. At the campsite there are diverse facilities for guests such as cooking, showers, bike hire and a reception where they can book day tours and get information on travels in Iceland
As the Reykjavík Campsite is being managed by HI Iceland for over 16 years, it has benefited from all the sustainable practices developed at the hostels and therefore in 2012 the campsite successfully reached the Earth Check Assessed benchmark. Here the volunteer will have the chance to spend few hours in several days to take photos, take testimonies from staff and customers and film promotional videos. 5. Editing the information gathered (Mid August-Mid September 2017, app. 3 weeks) Following up from the previous stage, the volunteer will use these last weeks to finalize the editing of the material gathered for each hostel visited and compile one overall video for HIIceland with highlights of each hostel and one video outlining his/her EVS experience. This period is also used for reflection, finalizing the Youth Pass and assessing the volunteer’s learning objectives which are set at the beginning of the project and monthly reviewed with the project’s coordinators. HI-Iceland will provide the volunteer with technical equipment to record/take photos (video/photo cameras)and an advisor on how to use the equipment accordingly, although the volunteer can use his own equipment if he/she would like to. If the volunteer decides to use his/her own equipment an insurance will be made and covered by Farfuglar throughout the project. The project requires previous basic background in the field and together with the project activities, the volunteer will develop solid practical experience that can help him/her in his/her professional carrier further. By taking part in the proposed activities, at the end of the project the volunteer will have a complete portfolio consisting of app. 20-30 inspiring short videos (2-3 min each), invaluable traveling experience in the beautiful Icelandic nature, contacts of a big international group of people and plenty of media coverage on the online platforms (newspapers, facebook, pictures etc.). 6. Evaluation and final reports (app. 3 weeks ) In the final weeks of the voluntary service, the volunteer will have the time to evaluate her/his whole experience and the results of the work. At the end of her/his stay in Iceland, he/she shall prepare a SWOT analysis. Evaluation, further advice and guidance concerning the project’s stages and relevant sources of information, contacts and gathered data should be collected in order to smooth the transfer of responsibilities with the next volunteer
Candidates will be asked to send us a carefully prepared Europass Curriculum Vitae (CV), the EVS Candidate Questionnaire filled in (to be found in available downloads) and a portfolio with previous projects, ideas and vision.
The HI Iceland staff conduct Skype interviews with the candidates, and make decisions based on the combination of materials presented and the aforementioned conversation.
Kindly note that only complete applications are taken into consideration (European CV (Europass), EVS Candidate Questionnaire and portfolio).
The work involved in this project:
1. Might be physically demanding as it requires traveling and a reasonable level of physical fitness and health are needed.
2. Can be intensive and demanding so both commitment and patience are required.
3. Involves shooting outdoors sceneries and activities and, as weather conditions in Iceland are variable and often cold, we recommend volunteers to be prepared for possible harsh (very cold) situations.
We will study carefully all application and selected candidates will be invite for Skype interview. The selection of volunteers will take place in the coming weeks.
For the selection of the volunteers we will need:
– Europass CV with picture (made in the last month) with skype name included
– Motivational letter, writing that your sending organisation will be “Building Bridges”. We ask all candidates to send a specific letter of motivation – why they want to volunteer with us rather than just a general EVS one. The volunteer is chosen according to his/her motivation and interest to the project and to the activities. It will be paid special attention to cover letters.
Remember to write in the motivation letter that your sending institution is “Asociación Building Bridges”.
All documents written in English you can attach below with subject “EVS Iceland Hostels. YOUR NAME. YOUR SURNAME” to asociacionbbARROBAgmail.com –