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Frequently asked questions

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions. Greater detail on what is required throughout the volunteer journey can be found in the how it works section of the website.

If you cannot find the answers to your questions. Please contact us.

Questions about:


Applying and eligibility

Am I eligible to volunteer?

Volunteers from UK, EU or are an EEA citizen should be: 

  • Aged 18-25 (Team Member) or 23-35 (Team Leader)
  • A UK, EU or EEA citizen, or you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and you have lived in the UK for the past year and currently have a UK address
  • Committed to spending 10-12 weeks overseas
  • Willing to live with a host family whilst on placement
  • Committed to fundraising – this shows your commitment and we will support you
  • Committed to continuing your work in your home community through Action at Home 

Volunteers interested in applying should read through our how it works section, to ensure they fully understand the commitments of volunteering with ICS

Volunteers from countries where ICS runs programmes:

Please see the ICS In-Country Volunteer website for more details on each country where we are recruiting volunteers from. 

Applying at 17

You can apply for ICS when you're 17, but we won't take your application forward until you turn 18. If you are 25, you can apply if you will still be 25 when you get on a plane to go overseas. You can also apply to be a Team Leader - you need to be aged 23-35 years old for this role.

How do I apply

Find out more about the application process. We also recommend you read through the 'how it works' section so you have all the information you need.


Diversity and inclusion

I have a criminal record, will this mean I can’t go?

Having a criminal record does not mean that you can’t go on the programme. Yes, we can accept people with a criminal record but you must declare your previous contact with the police and/or convictions at the selection day. If you fail to declare any criminal convictions that later come up on your DBS police check, you might then be disqualified from the programme. We must have received a DBS certificate for you before you are able to depart on your placement.

Will an impairment or disability rule me out?

At ICS we embrace diversity and are committed to ensuring our programme is inclusive and supportive to allow everyone to have the best possible experience. We will make reasonable adjustments throughout the journey to ensure that all our volunteers can access, participate and contribute to the programme. Read more about our commitment to inclusion. If you have any further questions. Please contact us.

Are the placements safe for people who are LGBT+?

Everyone has a unique experience of ICS and young people with different sexual orientations and gender identities are no different.  Many LGBT+ young people have taken part in ICS and have positive experiences, however there can sometimes be additional challenges on placement to consider.

LGBT+ rights vary significantly around the world and it’s important to know the context of the country you’re visiting. At ICS we will provide you with detailed information to help you to consider and prepare for living and working in a country where attitudes to sexual orientation and gender identity may differ to the attitudes you have experienced in your home country or community. Read more about our commitment to inclusion. If you have any further questions. Please contact us.


Costs and fundraising

Will the cost exclude me from volunteering?

The ICS programme is funded by the UK Government and aims to ensure that youth from diverse backgrounds can access the programme. Therefore, as a matter of principle, no volunteer will be excluded from accessing the programme due to cost.

Find out more about costs and funding

Should I be worried about reaching my fundraising target?

Please don’t be, and don’t let it put you off applying! We know how daunting it can sound to do fundraising, but our team has supported thousands of volunteers over the years and helped the majority successfully surpass their targets!

All ICS volunteers are provided a dedicated Fundraising Support Officer to help them with fundraising. You’ll have ongoing support, weekly tips, advice and online networks to access. You’ll also have fundraising sessions at your assessment day and at pre-placement training.

If you have any concerns, just email You can also find out more about how we support you with fundraising


Health and safety

Is ICS safe?

Volunteer safety and security is our top priority. Before placing volunteers into projects we take a number of steps to minimise the risk of placements. Find out more about volunteer safety and security

What steps do you take to keep volunteers healthy overseas?

Volunteer safety and security is our first priority. All those volunteering overseas must clear a medical assessment prior to departure. Volunteers will be provided with all necessary medications and vaccinations prior to travel. Medical insurance is included as part of your placement. ICS agencies maintain good relationships with national governments and local authorities, as well as with local medical facilities to ensure we can react quickly in the rare occasions this is necessary.

Find out more about staying healthy and safety and security



Will you help me with travel?

Yes. All ICS volunteers are supported to ensure they are ready for their placement, including support with travel, visas and work permits. Find out more in our volunteer travel section

I don’t have a passport, can I go?

If you have never had a passport before (either as a child or adult passport), you MUST apply for one at least six weeks before you are due to travel. Your first passport cannot be fast tracked (this is for UK passports). We can help you to do this, just make sure you let us know in time.

I have a passport but it expires soon. Can I go?

If your passport expires within six months of the end of your project, you must renew it before you leave the UK

Dfid Logo

Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

Find out more