Skip to main content

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 friends are going for?

Perhaps you're on your degree at the moment and want some relevant experience to help you get the edge in the job market?

Or maybe you're just stuck in a job you hate and looking for an unforgettable three months that will change your future?

Your 12 weeks on ICS will be the challenging and life-changing experience you're looking for. It will give you real experience of working in a developing country on projects that improve the lives of children, girls, young people and communities.

You don't need qualifications to take part in ICS - just the ambition to make a difference. It's not going to be easy. And it's definitely not going to be a 'gap yah'. But we think you've got what it takes. Do you?

But don't take our word for it. See what challenges you might face

These volunteers took on the challenge

Volunteer Jamie Phillips talks to a local government official in Paner, Rajasthan
© ICS / Pravah
Volunteer Jamie Phillips talks to a local government official in Rajasthan

A collapsed lung got Jamie onto ICS

For Jamie Phillips, 22, from Merthyr Tydfil, it was three months in hospital that got him looking at ICS.

He'd never seen himself as a teacher, but in India on placement he loved running sessions on health and hygeine, discrimination and the environment.

“I was stuck in a 9-5. The concept of going somewhere else, challenging yourself and being able to help other people really appealed to me.”

Volunteer Izak was in trouble with the police. ICS was his break
© ICS / VSO / Andrew Aitchison
Volunteer Izak was in trouble with the police. ICS was his break

ICS got Izak off the streets

After his last attempt at ending his life, Izak Lees, 22, was at a crossroads between ending up dead or in prison. Then he discovered ICS.

His big chance to break away from getting into trouble, his placement in Tanzania making education more accessible was the chance he needed.

"ICS has been one of the best things I've ever done. Anyone with a sense of adventure should apply."

VSO ICS volunteer Tania was the 20,000th volunteer to go on placement
VSO ICS volunteer Tania was the 20,000th volunteer to go on placement

20,000th volunteer Tania loved it all

As ICS' 20,000th volunteer, Tania, 22, had big boots to fill. But for this Londoner and former refugee from the Congo, supporting an agricultural community in Cambodia was an experience that changed her life.

"I never thought I'd be doing this. I never thought I'd be squatting to go to the toilet or cycling miles to see something. My friends didn't believe I'd do it. But as soon as I saw ICS I knew I wanted to be involved."

Find out more and apply

Dfid Logo

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