Nantes is the 6th biggest city in France. Located in the Loire estuary, 50 kms from the Atlantic coast. The metropolis with its airport is close to many touristic destinations such as the Atlantic coast, Britanny, Anjou and Vendée. Nantes also is the administrative capital of the region « Pays de la Loire » and the « Préfecture » (main city) of the department of Loire-Atlantique. There are around 350 000 inhabitant in Nantes, 35 % of them aged under 25. Nantes is a very dynamic town culturally rich with a calm and pleasant environment. Nantes is a student city where meeting cultural, social, sports place no shortage. It’s a rich and fulfilling context for volunteers. Daily life is also facilitated (shopping, health, public transport, leisures times).The House of Europe is located downtown.
The organization: House of Europe
The House of Europe/ Europe Direct Information Center of Nantes is a local organization that aims at federating all European projects being founded in Nantes and Loire-Atlantique, especially by civil society. It provides information, advices, training and resources to educate people to the great challenges of today’s Europe.
Information and awareness
– Conferences, workshops, lectures, debates
– Information sessions
– Educational programs directed at schools
– Development of local European initiatives
– Organization of networking events with the organizations based on the territory
– Networking and Partnerships
– Advisory and support to projects
Europe Direct Information Centre
– Individual assistance to guide researches and approaches to the EU
– Dissemination of educational materials (brochures, posters, exhibitions, …)
– Provision of a specialized library and a meeting place
The House of Europe in Nantes is led by a team of volunteers gathered at the Board ofDirectors. It is daily run by a paid staff consisting of a coordinator, two project officers,an assistant accountant and occasionally one or more trainees.
Our work aims at informing all people in Nantes and Loire-Atlantique, but a special attention is paid to a target group: the young audience: from 3 to 30 years.
European voluntary service
As a resource center on European initiatives in Nantes and Loire-Atlantique, the House of Europe brings together all kinds of projects and initiatives on Europe. As it allows us to network with many rich and varied projects throughout the year, the volunteer will have regular exchanges with French and European partners, develop interpersonal and languages skills.
The volunteer will have the opportunity to work in cooperation with the European associations active in the field of media (EuradioNantes, Journal Europa), culture (Nantes Europe Express, Graine d’Europe, European Cultural Centre, european film festivals…), civic engagement (European Movement, European Youth movement, European Youth Parliament) and also with institutional partners of the Maison de l’Europe (Nantes Métropole, Conseil General de Loire-Atlantique, Region Pays de la Loire, European Commission, University of Nantes, …).
Learning the French language will also represant important opportunities. As taking part in the daily work in a French environment, and receiving French lessons, the volunteer will develop comprehension and expression skills, both speaking and writing. As the House of Europe is used to be in contact with many Europeans people in Nantes, the volunteer will also be able to exchange with other languages.
Taking part in the action proposed all over the year by the House of Europe, the volunteer will have the opportunity to learn on how to communicate and disseminate information on Europe (from diverse audiences). He will also be able to consolidate his knowledges on the European Union. Far from being fixed, intern projects will have the possibility to be modified in a joint reflection. The volunteer will come in support of initiatives taken by the 4 members of the team, and become part of the overall projects led by the House of Europe.
Finally, the volunteer will be invited to attend all training sessions, conferences, debates, organized by the structure throughout the year (debates, meetings with the Houses of France, training day for associations, …) The volunteer will have the opportunity to follow a “citizen path”, discovering local and cultural organizationsas well as the political and administrative organization of the area. The volunteer will also have the opportunity to spend time during the working time to develop a personnal project, half a day will be dedicated to this every week.
Role and activities of the volunteer
Within the House of Europe, the European volunteer will be accompanied by the 4 members of the team, according to their missions, to realize the following activities:
- Answer to the requests of citizens (resources and learning material on Europe, mobility in Europe, general questions on Europe). As the House of Europe is a place open to the public during specific hours, the volunteer will help with welcoming the citizen and answering their requests (for instance giving some leaflets to a teacher)
- Animations about the intercultural and European questions (the volunteer will lead animations on Europe, on its own experience abroad and about his country, especially towards young people in schools. He will be assisted by the team of the House of Europe.)
- Realization of communication tools (writing articles for the website, radio programs…)
- Organization and help with the organization of events of the House of Europe (conferences, debates, animations…)
- Development of a personal project
The House of Europe is located in the city center of Nantes, close to tramway and bus stations as well as all the facilities (shops, retaurants, cultural places, the Erdre river…). The volunteer will spend the main working hours in the House of Europe, with the working team.
The selection process for the EVS will not be carried out on the basis of compulsory and specific skills. However, the volunteer welcomed by the House of Europe will have to demonstrate a clear interest for questions connected to the european citizenship and will have general knowledge about the European Union. A basic French knowledge is an asset (B1).
As the House of Europe is working with numerous partners, it is important that the volunteer testifyes of a good contact with the public and especially the young people. The volunteer will have mainly to be motivated by transmiting his knowledge, especially to young people. He will have to also be dynamic, to make actions of animation. He must be open minded. A special attention will be paid to applicants appreciating contact with the public, showing abilities for communication and initiative. The volunteer must be also be curious and have an easy contact and the taste for teamwork as he will work with the entire team of the House of Europe.
The volunteer should have the desire to work in cooperation with other volunteers on a very regular basis as he will be actively part of a collective project. The EVS will last from the 1st of September 2015 to the 30 of June 2016. The volunteer will be asked to spend his holidays during July and and during Christmas time as the House of Europe will be closed. Other holidays and days off will be negociated according to the volunteer will.
The volunteer will be backed by 2 mentors : one in the House of Europe, dealing with regular activities and managing the godd integration of the volunteer, and one foreign from the House of Europe, dealing with daily life and checking that the volunteer feels fine and appreciate his experience.
For the selection of the volunteers we will need:
– Europass CV with picture (made in the last month)
– 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.
Remember to write in the motivation letter that your sending institution is “Asociación Building Bridges”.
All documents written in english you can send to: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “EVS France Nantes”
The deadline to apply is on Thursday, 9th of April.