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  • My ICS placement set me up for a new career path in government

    Rosie Coleman, 25, from London, took a big risk – to leave the high-flying London job she wasn’t enjoying to apply for ICS. Two placements with Challenges Worldwide later, she’s back in her home city – but with a…

  • Personal and professional development

    As well as bringing about change in the lives of people in local communities, ICS furthers volunteers’ learning and personal development.

    Volunteers benefit from comprehensive training as part of the…

  • Sustained social action

    The impact of ICS endures beyond the placement.

    91% of volunteers (UK and in-country) say that their attitudes towards social action has changed as a result of taking part in ICS. With two thirds of…

  • ICS programme impact

    ICS volunteers support the work of dedicated partners on the ground. 92% agree that volunteers make a serious and positive contribution to this work. 

    In the past year, 3,334 ICS volunteers from 286 teams…

  • ICS impact

    Supporting development work on the ground, developing young volunteers and building a legacy of active citizenship. We're proud of the difference we're making.

    Find out more about our impact:…

  • These five young people are redefining how we see poverty in 2017

    For years, the media’s outdated perception of poverty has defined how the world has understood international development. But young people across the globe are changing that. This International Day for the…

  • 5 volunteers working on issues that have everything to do with the end of poverty

    Globally, over 10% of people on Earth live under the poverty line. That’s over 10% of people for whom accessing quality education, health services and clean drinking water are a challenge and who are vulnerable…

  • 6 tips for stress free (and fun filled) fundraising!

    Life can be stressful, but your ICS fundraising doesn’t have to be. We want you to make the most of this opportunity and enjoy every second! So sit back and have a gander at our top tips for stress free fundraising.

  • Interested in ICS?

    Sign up to the ICS newsletter – our free monthly email update.

    Every month we’ll update you with stories about ICS volunteers and the impact they are making, selected opportunities and ways in which you can contribute to…

  • One second a day: Georgia’s snapshot of placement life in Nigeria

    “I’m a different person now,” says 19-year-old VSO ICS volunteer Georgia Deegan. She’s been back just two weeks in the UK after spending three months in the rural Nigerian village of Oke Ode. We caught up with…

  • ICS photo competition 2019 terms and conditions

    You must read these terms and conditions before entering.  

    The competition is being run by VSO on behalf of the ICS programme. The winner and five runners up will be chosen based on the opinion of a…

  • ICS Photo and Video Competition 2017 - Categories

    You've got five separate categories to choose from - with videos being entered in their own category. Read the descriptions and check out some of the winning photos below then click here to submit your entry.…

  • ICS photo competition 2019 rules

    Open to all ICS volunteers and alumni around the world, we’re looking for entries that capture the best and brightest moments from your placement or your Action at Home.

    How to enter

    This year's …

  • What will your day bring? Check out this 360° video

    In this 360° video take a look at some of the amazing things Naseem did on placement in Kenya - compared to life back at home in Newcastle.

    Use your mouse to scroll around the video:

  • Lesson times doubled after volunteers crowdfunded school roof repair

    For many people across Nigeria, rain is a blessing. But for students and teachers at Igangan High School in the west of the country, they dread it. 

    That’s because for the last year, their school has been…

  • What will your day bring?

    Hi. I'm Naseem.

    I'm 19 and from Newcastle. This year my life was changed forever when I went to live in Loitokitok, Kenya for three months as an ICS volunteer.

    Whenever there have been opportunities, I've always been one…

  • Meet Naseem: The wrestling enthusiast turned youth activist

    19-year-old Naseem Haque from Newcastle really has made the most of his year off. Having earned a place studying Computer Games Programming at Newcastle University, he wanted to use his time in a meanginful way…

  • What’s next after working on NCS?

    International Citizen Service (ICS) provides overseas volunteer placements for 18-25 year olds and Team Leader placements for 23-35 year olds.

    Funded by the UK Government and run by respected…

  • A digital detox helped two volunteers to see life – and the stars – more clearly

    The average UK adult now spends almost 9 hours a day glued to their screens – more time than we spend sleeping! (1)

    Checking their phone up to 150 times a day, the average smartphone…

  • From making money to making a difference

    We spoke to Aly-Khan Rajan, who completed ICS with Raleigh in February 2015, and returned as a Team Leader later that same year. Aly is passionate about the importance of diversity in youth participation, and…

  • Opportunity of a lifetime

    International Citizen Service (ICS) supports projects in 8 countries across Africa and Asia.

    Funded by the UK government ICS offers young volunteers, aged 18-25, the chance to volunteer overseas on…

  • Thanks for contacting your local media

    Your press release is now on its way to your local newspapers.

    We’ve emailed you with some next steps.

    Following these will increase the chances of your story getting published! 

    Find out…
  • Five reasons volunteering impresses employers

    With many students receiving results this time of year, it’s a great time to think about next steps – and how you can stand out from the crowd where employers are concerned.

    We talked…

  • ICS reports

    ICS takes a different approach to international volunteering. By bringing together young people from the UK to work side-by-side with young people from developing countries, we believe change lies in the hands of young people.…

  • About ICS

    ICS is an overseas volunteering programme for 18-25 year olds (23-35 for Team Leaders), led by VSO and funded by the UK Government.

    ICS is a development programme that brings together young people from…

  • 9 reasons why you definitely shouldn't volunteer abroad this year

    1. You'll miss Netflix
  • ‘I gave everything to my work – when I got home I was more confident’: Izak's story

    At 20, Izak Lees thought life wasn’t worth living. The youngest of five children growing up in Norfolk, he was bullied at school and suffered depression as a young adult.

    In 2015 he spent three months in…

  • From marriages to sisterhood: four unlikely friendships from placement

    It's fair to say ICS is a pretty life changing experience for most volunteers.

    You've got the opportunity to work on projects that make a difference, challenge yourself to develop as a person, and meet a…

  • Volunteer overseas as a Team Leader

    We're looking for people aged 23-35 to lead teams of volunteers on challenging projects overseas. 

  • Take on the ICS challenge

    Your ICS experience won't be easy. But we can promise you'll discover strengths you never knew you had.

    Maybe you've just finished college and you want an alternative to the boring gap year experience…

  • Making a difference

    On your ICS placement, you'll be helping to make a difference in one of eight countries across Africa and Asia.

    Unlike other providers out there, we're not into 'voluntourism'. On ICS, you'll be…

  • Fundraising summary

    If you're accepted onto ICS, you'll need to fundraise a small amount to contribute back to, and show your commitment to the programme.

    For most volunteers, this will be £800. But don't panic.


  • Media centre

    Sharing your ICS story with your local media is a great way to let people know what you’re doing and why.

    This can help boost your fundraising, get support for your Action at Home, demonstrate the…

  • 1.2 billion people are about to reach reproductive age: don't ignore the youth

    With 1.2 billion teenagers about to reach reproductive age, the world stands on the precipice of a population explosion – and a sexual health disaster.

    Max Son, 25, headed to London’s…

  • Edna Adan is the mother of Somaliland. Here’s what Africa’s ‘Iron Lady’ means to me

    Edna Adan is a fearless activist. For the last four decades she has campaigned against female genital mutilation in her motherland and across the world. She turns 80 this year.

  • Do I tick the box? Why we need diversity now

    Watch VSO ICS returned volunteer Takyiwa Danso's impassioned speech about achieving a diverse society we can be proud of, produced as part of Almeida Theatre's Figures of Speech project.

    I was inspired…

  • Workshops and talks

    This information is from the World Youth Skills Day event held on Saturday 15th July.

    On the day you'll be able to choose between a number of workshops and talks. You'll be able to take part in one workshop per session and spaces…

  • Keynote speakers & workshop facilitators

    This information is from the World Youth Skills Day event held on Saturday 15th July.

    Join our keynote speakers and workshop facilitators at our World Youth Skills Day event in Newcastle. They'll be passing on their knowledge and…

  • Here’s how I ended the global ban on hijabs in basketball

    Basketball coach, actor and spoken word poet Asma Elbadawi, 27, didn’t understand why a head covering should stop fellow Muslim women and girls from playing basketball professionally. Recently, as part of a group…

  • Your own personal development

    Watch the Team Leader films below to help you with your own personal development.

  • Building relationships

    Watch the Team Leader films below to help you build relationships.

  • Supporting learning

    Watch the Team Leader films below to help you support learning. 

  • Managing your team

    Watch the Team Leader films below to help you manage your team. 

  • ICS volunteer moves to Greece to help refugees

    At six, Usaama Kaweesa moved with his family to the UK from Uganda. As an immigrant leaving a country of extreme poverty, the refugee cause is one that’s always been close to his heart. Now 27, he tells us why he…

  • World Youth Skills Day 2017

    We held a free event in Newcastle on Saturday 15th July for ICS volunteers to develop vital transferable skills.

    The day was jam-packed with useful training, workshops and motivational speakers to help develop both personal…

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Funded by the UK Government

ICS is funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) which leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty.

Find out more