The FÖJ ("Voluntary Year of Environmental Service") is a year of education and orientation and is offered by Hainich's national park authority to young people with an interest in environmental education aged 18 to 26 years. It is suited for using the time between finishing school and starting vocational training or university for gaining insights into the job market in the field of environmental education. An FÖJ provides the opportunity to develop your personality and to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in the environmental sector, e.g. lead guided adventure walks for children. FÖJ volunteers receive pocket money and a daily subsistence allowance. The FÖJ generally starts on 1 September for 12 months. The volunteers are covered by comprehensive social and accident insurance. If you are waiting for a university place in Germany, two "Wartesemester" (12 months' waiting time) are credited against your FÖJ. The FÖJ is often recognised as a pre-study internship for formations in the environmental sector. The FÖJ is funded by the federal government, the European Union, the Free State of Thuringia and the national park; the responsible body is the ijgd Thüringen e.V.
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