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  • 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…
  • 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.

    Employment…

  • 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

    *UPDATE*

    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 ICS

    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

    Email: enquiries@volunteerics.org

    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

    *UPDATE*

    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 8 countries around the world. You may be able to take part in ICS if there are programmes running in your country.

    Apply…

  • 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

    *UPDATE*

    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…

  • Kenya

    Known for its tea exports and for its tourism industry, Kenya is also home to a rapidly growing new source of income – the ‘informal sector’.

    Making up more than three quarters of Kenya’s workforce, these…

  • These Indian children sent their school bags to politicians to make a point about education

    The children of Umerdha village, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are fighting for the right to quality education.

    To make their voices heard they sent their school bags with personal letters to local…

  • 11 things I never dreamed I’d be doing this year

    The urge to volunteer. It may come to you mid-way through a lecture, or as you’re pressed up against fellow commuters as you bus it to work. But once you’ve decided to do it, everything starts to move rather quickly. 

  • 'It's happening in the dark': Meet Grace, the ICS volunteer fighting FGM in Manchester

    FGM. Three letters that disguise the horrible reality of the words behind them: female genital mutilation. It’s a procedure where the female genitalia is partially or fully removed – for no medical reason – through a process called…

  • When times got tough this entrepreneur got creative

    Agnes used to worry about her son, seven-year-old Kevin. A single mother, she wasn’t earning enough from her small-scale trading to provide for her child.

    She explains, “The market was bad for the items I was selling, which…

  • Six small businesses helping people escape poverty

    Money makes the world go round. And for young people living in many developing countries where levels of unemployment are rising, starting their own businesses is a key method to lift themselves out of poverty.

    Our ICS…

  • Beena’s story: how forced marriage cut short a girl’s dreams of education

    Faiza Amin’s experience volunteering with VSO ICS last autumn gave her a unique insight into the barriers Nepalese girls face accessing education. Here’s how she ended up at the Girls’ Education Forum telling the story of Beena,…

  • 5 things you should know before doing business in Kenya

    1. Business is more than just work
  • Documentary filmmaker Tom’s top tips for filming on ICS

    Many of our ICS volunteers use the opportunity of going overseas to do even more amazing things on top of their work on placement. For Tom Greenidge, his team leader placement in Malawi this spring inspired him to create a…

  • Building bridges: Rebuilding safe access to education in Nepal’s monsoon season

    For the local children of Bagdali in central Nepal, the arrival of the monsoon season presents a serious problem. The stream that runs through the village swells and the path across becomes treacherous, leaving…