What is the weather like in Estonia?
The weather is Estonia can be very different. Summer is short but warm and temperatures have been known to reach 30 degrees! However, 20 degrees is more likely between June and mid-August. It is definitely warm enough to swim in the sea or one of our beautiful lakes or rivers. In winter temperatures drop considerably to around zero and inland there is a large amount of snow, especially in January and February.
How do I apply for a workcamp?
See section ’How Do I Apply’.
How much does it cost?
A small contribution is required to cover administration costs and food and accommodation in the project. This sum varies depending on your sending organisation but it is usually around 65 Euros.
Do I have to pay for my travel to the project?
Unfortunately we do not have funds available to pay for volunteers’ travel costs to the projects. However, travelling to Estonia is relatively cheap. Eurolines bus service operate daily to Tallinn from many European cities and Easyjet now fly direct to Tallinn from London and Berlin. Check out our section on useful links for more information.
Can I do more than one project?
There are no restrictions on how many projects you can do. We have had some volunteers who have done 3 consecutive workcamps over the summer period.
How long in advance do I have to apply?
We only have limited space for each camp and demand usually exceeds supply. It is obviously better to apply early but we accept applications up to the start date of the project as long as there is space available.
What language do you speak in Estonia?
Estonian language is the most widely spoken. It is a Finno-Ugric language, related to Finnish but unique in Estonia. Russian is also widely spoken and there are a large number of ethnic Russians in Tallinn and in the north east of Estonia. In the countryside almost all the people speak Estonian.
Is it necessary to speak Estonian or Russian?
No, it is not necessary. The project leader will usually speak one or both these languages and for most projects the language is English. Of course, it is always nice to arrive in a country knowing a few words. Here are the 3 most important to get you started: Tere! (hello!), Aitah (thank you), Terviseks! (Cheers!).
Do I get paid?
Are you serious? It’s VOLUNTARY work!!
Where do the other volunteers come from?
We annually receive volunteers from all over the world. Most come from European countries but over the last few years we have also received volunteers from Japan, Korea, the United States, Canada and Australia. We try to ensure that each project has a mix of countries represented and that there is usually no more than two people from the same country. We welcome applications from all nationalities and are happy that people want to visit our beautiful country!
Am I too old or too young?
For most of our workcamps you need to be 18 years old by the start of the project for insurance purposes. Most of our volunteers are between 18 and 26 but there is no maximum age limit. Last year we received one volunteer who was 66. EstYES also organises several camps in which teenagers can participate.
What is the language of the workcamps?
In nearly all the workcamps the language is English because it is usually the one language everybody knows. It is useful to have at least a basic knowledge of English and workcamps are a great place to improve your language skills! We also host French and German speaking workcamps.
How many hours do I have to work?
Volunteers usually work around 30 hours per week over 5 days and have two free days per week. This can vary between projects but don’t worry, the work won’t be too strenuous!
What about free time?
The camp leader will normally organize activities for the free days. This could be a canoe trip in a national park or a visit to the coast. In the evenings some other small excursions are often organised depending on the location of the project. The free time is a great chance to interact with the other volunteers and get to know each other better.
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, it is always important to get travel insurance before you go abroad. Estonia is a very safe country but it is always better to be safe, than sorry!
What do I need to bring?
See the section on practical information.
Can I apply if I’m under 18 years old?
Yes, you can. EstYES organises 5-7 workcamps for teenagers, every year . Look at the camp descriptions for info on age limits/minimums.
Can you help to book a hostel before or after the camp?
EstYES can help you to find a cheap hostel, just let us know by e-mail if you are looking for accommodation.