VSS News

March 23, 2018
VSS First Registration is open

The second step of the VSS registration is open now. If you have been confirmed by your national AFS organization and received a notice on that, go ahead and register your room wishes and further details for this years' Volunteer Summer Summit. Just go to the "My Summit" section and follow the instructions.

Feb 28, 2018
Meet the Prep Team of the VSS in 2018!

In this video you can find the prep team members with their names, their tasks and some answers on special questions.

Men Speaker

About the VSS

Whether your origins in AFS were as a programme participant, a host-family or simply as a world citizen, if you’re an active volunteer in AFS in Europe, this event is for you!

The initial idea of having a Summer Summit assumes bringing together around 250 AFS volunteers in order to share best practices in AFS volunteer work, to exchange tools, tips and tricks, and to create a spirit of international unity.

A large scale meeting, targeting a wide group of AFS volunteers of all backgrounds and ages, is an important need recognised and addressed by EFIL. Next to the usual smaller European training activities for specific volunteer groups, in 2008 EFIL introduced a yearly Summer Summit for all interested AFS volunteers, both from within and outside Europe. A meeting of this shape contributes not only to enriching their skills but also to creating a stronger spirit of international community between national and local volunteers from different countries.

VSS Theme "Civic education against extremism"

This year’s VSS will take place on the island of Utøya in Norway and will focus on the topic of "Civic education against extremism". Although this might seem like a bold choice, a long reflection has gone into why it is appropriate to host the event there. After the tragic events that took place in 2011, Utøya has been reopened as both a place of memory and a workshop for democracy and civic education; it now hosts organisations to empower people to stand against extremism through learning, reflection, dialogue and the purposeful re-habitation of the island in the face of extreme violence. The theme has been thoughtfully chosen to reflect the history of the island and to act as a catalyst for an open and honest discussion about extremism in its many forms, and how to counter it through civic education. As AFSers, committed to creating a more just a peaceful world, and an active citizen, we believe participants of the VSS have a role to play in making our society less polarized, less extreme, less violent, and more inclusive. At the VSS they will have the chance to gain motivation, knowledge, tools and most importantly relationships to have a real impact. The programme of the Summer Summit is designed to offer many different settings and activities to explore the theme, get to know each other, learn more about Norway, about Utøya and give back to our host community.


Through a track system participants will be able to choose 2-4 workshops that will focus on one aspect of the topic and explore it from different specific angles. Following a track will offer the chance to go in depth and guide participants on a coherent journey through the topic. This year´s tracks are:

  • Intercultural Learning in Civic Education [ICE]
  • Shaping Public Opinion [SPO]
  • AFS as a Stakeholder in Civic Education [ACE]
  • Civic Global Activism [CGA]
  • Peace through Inclusion [PTI]




Call for Participants


Click the sunflower to view or download this years' call for participants!


  Start End
Step 1: Participants' Application 1-Feb 15-Apr
Step 2.1: 1st confirmation from offices 16-Mar 23-Mar
Step 2.2: 2nd confirmation (for those who applied after the 1st confirmation) 16-Apr 27-Apr
Step 3: Registration Part I (rooms etc.) 23-Mar 15-May
Step 5: Payment 23-Mar 25-May
Step 6: Final registration (workshops, travel) 27-Apr 10-Jun

VSS registration step by step

Step 1: Apply
By logging in to MySummit here on the webpage, you can register for the VSS in a few minutes! Once you have filled in all the required information, you will receive an e-mail from EFIL confirming your registration.

Step 2: Confirmation e-mail
Your national AFS organisation has to confirm that you are a volunteer and that they approve your application. Once we have a reply by the office, you will get an email telling you whether you have been approved or not for participation.

Your office might have a selection process to decide which volunteers they sponsor and which not. Approval to participate in the VSS doesn’t mean your office will contribute financially so make sure to check with your AFS organisation. - In case you cannot participate to the VSS because you did not get a scholarship, you still have to cancel via email to alma.rikardsdottir@afs.org. Only cancellations to this email are valid!

Step 3: Register
As soon as you get your confirmation email to the VSS, you have to fill in the online registration form with your My Summit account. Here you will have to choose your room type, inform about dietary restrictions etc. Do it soon as there is limited number of beds in each category.

Step 4: Make the payment
The payment can either by done via bank transfer or PayPal.

Step 5: Book your means of travel to the VSS
Please make sure to keep ALL receipts and tickets for your travels to and from the venue as you will need to hand them in once you arrive at the VSS.

Step 6: Finish the registration
After the confirmation of your payment, you can sign up for workshops. You will only be able to sign up for workshops once you have transferred the registration fee and provided us with your travel details.

Step 7: Get final confirmation
If the final registration is done correctly, you will get an email with the final confirmation including your workshops and room type.

Participation Fee

The fees are set according to the table below. Be aware that you will have to pay them in advance to the event and that, by doing so, you agree to the cancellation policy.

Lodgings type Fee (EUR)
Tent 290
More-bed Cabin 330
New more-bed cabin en suite 370
Double bed room 710
Single bed room 820
Add-on for volunteers of AFS organizations outside EFIL (applies to all categories) 50
(All fees are calculated per person. No early/late application fee applies.)

Tents: Participants will stay in tents equipped with portable pop-up beds and sleeping bags. All tents will have access to bathrooms and showers. The tents are tall and fit for camping in Norway in summer.

More-bed cabin: The cabins are equipped with bunk beds and share bathrooms with other cabins and tents. Bathrooms are located in common areas.

New more-bed cabin en suite: These are the new, more modern, cabins. Equipped with bunk beds and shared bathrooms inside of the cabin.

Double bed room: These rooms are in a hotel on the mainland across from Utøya. The participants staying in this accommodation will be transported between in the morning and the evening.

Single bed room: These rooms are in a hotel on the mainland across from Utøya. The participants staying in this accommodation will be transported between in the morning and the evening.

Cancellation Policy

In case you cannot go to the VSS or decide to withdraw your registration, you will need to cancel your registration by sending an e-mail to Alma Rikardsdottir in the EFIL office. Please note that these cancellation fees will be charged:
  • If you cancel after the 2nd of May 2018, we will require a 50 Euro fee.
  • If you cancel after the 1st of June 2018, you will be charged 50% of the registration fee.
  • If you cancel after 18th of June 2018, there will be no reimbursement.
Once you register on the website, we assume that you will be a participant and accept the terms and therefore the cancellation policy.
If the cancellation fee is not paid, we will have to exclude you from other EFIL activities. Exceptions can be arranged for visa applicants.

Social media

To stay up to date with the event’s preparation you should follow the VSS Sunflower on Facebook and on Instagram and Snapchat (@efilvss). Looking forward to share pictures, expectations and ideas with you online!




The EFIL Volunteer Summer Summit will take place on 10 - 15 July 2018 in Utøya, Norway. The theme will be Civic Education Against Extremism.

My Summit

Please note, that this is an event
only available to AFS volunteers!

Step 3 (first registration) is open:
Register your room wishes and more now

If you have been confirmed by your national AFS organization and received a message from the EFIL office on that, you are able to continue with your registration now. Just enter your email address, date of birth and password exactly like with your application before, and you will be asked for your room wishes, dietary needs and further information we need in this step of the registration process

Step 1 (application) is still open:
Apply to participate now

Just fill in your data (be accurate, you will have to come back with exactly this data in your further steps) and start the application process.

If you check in for the first time, please set your own password and confirm it by typing the same password a second time. If you return later, you only need to type your password once. Make sure that you keep your password in mind, there will be no chance to change it later.



Date of birth:
  Confirm password:

Next step for you:
Pay the indicated participation fee
and buy your flight or train ticket

After EFIL has received your payment, you will get a notice, and after April 27, 2018 you will be able to access your final registration step.

VSS FAQ 2018

Q: How do I recover my password to MySummit?

A: Send an email to Alma (alma.rikardsdottir@afs.org), she will help you.

Q: Will I be supported by my AFS organisation?

A: - There will be two rounds of confirmations by offices. After each deadline those who have applied will be notified by Alma if they have been confirmed to participate or not.
   - Regarding financial support of AFS organisations this is up to each individual organisation and is not in the hands of EFIL. Please refer to your national organisation with questions regarding financial support.

Q: How do I contact EFIL if my flight is delayed and what do I do in that case?

A: - If your flight is delayed by a short time there is no need to notify anyone.
   - In case your delay is long enough to affect your transfer to the venue on arrival day please contact Alma via email (alma.rikardsdottir@afs.org) or the EFIL phone.
   - This information will be in the info booklet which we encourage you to have on your phone or printed with you during your travels to the venue.

Q: How will the weather be at the VSS?

A: - Unfortunately the EFIL secretariat does not have an especially tight bond with the weather gods.
   - What we can tell you is that the event is hosted in the middle of July and the average temperature at the venue in this time of year is somewhere between 12°C and 23°C. There is a chance of rain and it might get quite cold in the evenings. If we are lucky it might also be sunny and nice.
   - We recommend preparing for different weathers. Dress like an onion, then you can rather take off layers if it gets too warm than being cold.
   - We also recommend keeping an eye on the weather. You can find the weather forecast here: https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Buskerud/Hole/Krokkleiva/

Q: What is the attire for the event? Formal? Casual?

A: The attire is completely up to you. There is no dress code at the VSS but to give an indication, people tend to dress rather casually at this event. On the other hand, we do recommend taking the weather into consideration when packing for the VSS.

Q: Can I bring my spouse or other family members to the event?

A: - If they are AFS volunteers and have registered, gotten confirmed and payed the registration fee: Yes!
   - If not: The VSS is an event held exclusively for AFS volunteers that are registered participants. It is therefore not possible to bring external people to the venue.

Q: Is it possible to book my own accommodation outside the venue?

A: A part of the VSS is staying together at the venue and in the offered accommodations. It is not an option to stay outside of the venue.

Q: Can you recommend any budget hotels?

A: - We recommend checking www.booking.com, www.hostelworld.com or other similar webpages to find budget hotels to stay at before and after the event.
   - Such bookings have to be made individually and EFIL is not a part of this process.

Q: Can you arrange pick-up for us at the airport?

A: - All participants will travel individually to the centre of Oslo. Participants will be transported to and from the venue from there. The meeting point and time there will be announced later.
   - Please make sure you put in Mysummit your travel information so you can be assigned on a bus that fits your travel plans.

Q: How long does it take to get to Norway?

A: - This depends on your location. We recommend using www.google.maps.com to find your route.
   - We recommend, if possible, that participants look into alternative means of travel to flying. This can be trains, busses, ferries, private cars, bikes, etc. These are all more sustainable ways to getting to the VSS and this makes our green hearts happy.
   - Websites like www.skyscanner.net, www.dohop.com and www.momondo.com can help you book your travels in case you are flying.


AFS Norge
European Youth Foundation
Council of Europe