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  • Here's why women belong in the cabinet, not the kitchen

    Amelia Womack was just 29 when she was elected as The Green Party’s Deputy Leader in 2014 – the youngest ever in political party history. Two years and one re-election later, she’s more vocal than ever about the power young people…

  • Protecting the environment

    Climate change will affect the world’s poorest the most. Extreme weather and natural disasters – like drought and flooding – are likely to increase as the world gets warmer, and poor communities struggle the most to cope with these…

  • Staying healthy

    ICS volunteers are ideally placed to reach out to other young people, particularly on issues like sexual health. Projects also focus on making sure people have decent toilet and washing facilities, which can hugely reduce sickness…

  • Working for a fairer world

    We want to make sure that people around the world know their rights and can make their voices heard.

  • Getting a good education

    Every child deserves a good education.

    More and more young people are getting the chance to go to school, but some are still excluded.

  • Earning a decent living

    Helping people to support themselves and their families.

    Supporting small businesses

    We believe that everyone should be able to earn a decent living and become self-sufficient, because no one wants to…

  • Data Protection and Privacy Statement

    International Citizen Service is a development programme led and managed by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).

    VSO is committed to safeguarding your privacy online. This statement explains how we will collect, use and…

  • Cost and funding

    The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) funds 90% of the ICS programme. The other 10% is funded by volunteer fundraising.

    You don’t have to pay for ICS, but volunteer…

  • Safeguarding

    ICS takes its responsibility for safeguarding and child protection seriously. We will do all we can to ensure, as far as possible, the safety and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in ICS.

  • Getting ready

    An ICS placement is a big undertaking but we’re here to help you get prepared, from providing training and travel arrangements, to making sure you’re fit to travel. 

  • Department for International Development

    The Department for International Development (DFID) funds ICS – representing a significant investment by the UK Government in young people.

  • Why volunteer with ICS?

    All you need to volunteer with ICS is the ambition to make a difference.

    International Citizen Service (ICS) is a UK Government funded programme providing volunteer placements to 18-25 year olds and Team…

  • NCS graduates

    If you've done NCS then you're guaranteed an invite to an assessment day,

    Providing there is space and you're eligible, all NCS graduates are guaranteed an invite to an assessment day.

    With your…

  • ICS quality principle: Active citizens

  • ICS quality principle: Supported learning

    ICS volunteers visit Upendo enterprise, a local garment making company in Lindi, Tanzania
  • ICS quality principle: Community integration

  • ICS quality principle: Shared working and learning

    ICS volunteer Dan Hensman playing his guitar to his fellow volunteers and host home family members…
  • ICS quality principle: Project impact

    VSO ICS volunteers in Banteay Char, Cambodia meet with the leaders of the local Agriculture Co-operative…
  • ICS quality principle: Personal development

    Cathryn Tomnay with team of volunteers prepare for their school training session with pupils as part of the…
  • ICS quality principle: Diversity

  • Seven quality principles

    ICS is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and delivered by a consortium of organisations led by VSO.

    Different ICS agencies work in different ways, but they all work to seven agreed quality…

  • Nepal

    As one of the world’s poorest countries, Nepal’s economy took a huge hit following the devastating earthquake in 2015 which killed thousands of people and damaged much of its infrastructure.


  • What you could do

    ICS makes the most of the unique contribution young people can bring to development – passion, energy and the ability to reach other young people.

    All of our projects are carefully planned to be…

  • Safety and security

    Volunteer safety and security is our first priority.

    Is ICS safe?

    Volunteer safety and security is our first priority. Each placement has been rigorously checked using risk assessments led by experienced…

  • Liberia


    Unfortunately we are unable to offer placements in Liberia in 2018-19.*

    Placements are available in:

    Bangladesh Cambodia Kenya Malawi Nepal Tanzania Uganda

    *If you have already been placed, your…

  • Living overseas

    As a volunteer you will live and work alongside local communities. This is a key element of how ICS works - and really helps to make stronger bonds and our projects more successful.

    Host families

    In most…

  • Volunteering overseas

    Volunteering overseas with ICS is a life-changing experience.

    You'll spend 10-12 weeks supporting a development project overseas as part of a team of British and local volunteers. 

    You will live and work side-by-…

  • Our partners

    ICS is funded by the UK Government and run by some of the most experienced and respected development organisations in the UK.

    ICS is run by professionals with years of experience in international…

  • Selection day

    Becoming an ICS volunteer is a big commitment, so every applicant will be invited to a selection day to help ensure that ICS is the right programme for you.

    After we receive your application

    Once we…


    VSO's vision is a world without poverty.

    We bring people together to fight poverty. As an international development organisation with over 60 years' experience, we know that when passionate volunteers are…

  • Restless Development ICS

    Restless Development is the youth-led development agency.

    Our mission is to place young people at the forefront of change and development. Our strength comes from being led by young people, from the…

  • Raleigh International ICS

    We believe that when local communities and young people work side by side to create positive change, it empowers them. And it’s the energy and motivation of empowered people that creates lasting change.

  • Fundraising support

    When you are selected to take part on ICS, you will be assigned one of our experienced team to help you get to your target. 

    From planning a bake sale to hopping up a hill dressed as a giant rabbit, they have seen it all…

  • Why fundraise?

    Fundraising is part of your placement

    Fundraising is an important part of the volunteer journey. While your placement is largely funded by the UK government, by raising funds you contribute back to ICS and show your commitment to…

  • Fundraising

    The UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) funds 90% of the ICS programme. The other 10% comes from funds raised by volunteers.

    If accepted onto the programme you must fundraise…

  • Contact us

    General enquiries

    If you have any questions or queries about ICS, get in touch:

    Tel: +44 (0)20 8780 7400


    Family liaison

    If you have any questions out of hours in relation…

  • Meeting your needs

    Our commitment

    At ICS we are committed to delivering a diverse and inclusive programme and will make reasonable adjustments throughout the journey to ensure that all volunteers have a positive experience of international…

  • Ghana


    Unfortunately we are currently unable to offer placements in Ghana.

    Placements are available in:

    Bangladesh Cambodia Kenya Nepal Tanzania Uganda Zambia


  • Country offices

    ICS programmes work by pairing UK, EU or EEA volunteers with national volunteers in seven countries around the world. You may be able to take part in ICS if there are programmes running in your country.

  • Applying for ICS

    When to apply

    We recommend you apply six months before you wish to go overseas - but if that's not possible, at least three months before. This gives you enough time to fundraise, get all your necessary vaccinations, go to…

  • Cambodia

    Although tourism is expanding, Cambodia is still one of the world’s poorest countries, with its economy dominated by garment-making and agriculture.

    There’s tough competition for jobs. ICS volunteers with…

  • Burkina Faso


    Unfortunately we are currently unable to offer placements in Burkina Faso.

    Placements are available in:

    Bangladesh Cambodia Kenya Nepal Tanzania Uganda Zambia


  • Bangladesh

    One of the world’s most densely populated countries, Bangladesh has 47 million people living in poverty.

    Formerly East Pakistan, it is one of the world’s youngest countries, having only come into…

  • Volunteer journey

    ICS is more than just a 12 week placement overseas.

    As an ICS volunteer you'll join a community of people just like you working towards a fairer world. From fundraising and training, to living overseas and making a…

  • In-country volunteers

    Every ICS team is made up of volunteers from the UK and volunteers from the country where the project is running.

    In-country volunteers bring new ideas, energy and understanding to the team – helping it…

  • Team Leaders

    Could you lead a team of volunteers on challenging projects overseas? 

    Spending between three and eight months on placement you'll support and manage a …

  • A day in the life of a Team Leader

    Volunteer Vix Anderton and Counterpart 'S'
  • Apply now

    Just checking

    Please read the below to ensure you are eligible for ICS. Then click through to begin your application

  • Thank you

    Thanks for subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

    We publish the ICS newsletter around the middle of the month so look out for it then. If you don't receive it please check your junk email folders and add us to your 'Safe…

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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