Voluntary ecological year

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The voluntary ecological year in Germany (abbreviated FÖJ) is an educational and orientation year for teenagers and young adults of ages 16 through 27. The FÖJ can be attended only once and usually lasts 12 months (from 1st of August to 31st of July of the following year). This service was accepted as an alternative service to military service during the period of conscription until 2011 and universities accept it as a semester on leave.

The service is financed and realized by the federal states and some agencies. The agencies also organize 5 seminars per year which must be attended by the participant. Apart from that, the participants have to be self organized.

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