Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) - International Citizen Service (ICS) - youth volunteering

The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

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Government NGO & Institutes

Location (s):

  • Bangladesh
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Worldwide
Various locations


International Citizen Service (ICS) is a volunteering programme for 18-35 year olds, led by VSO and funded by the UK Government. Volunteer in Africa, Asia or Latin America for 10-12 weeks


You don’t need cash, skills or qualifications – just the ambition to make a difference.

  • Live and work in local communities with other volunteers
  • Comprehensive training before you go
  • All travel, vaccinations, expenses, insurance and accommodation organised and paid for
  • Full support from our local office

You'll need to be living in the UK and a UK, EU or EEA citizen. If not, you may be able to take part in ICS if there are programmes running in your country.

Why we're different

ICS is run by VSO, the ethical volunteering experts, in partnership with respected development organisations. 

There are lots of companies offering volunteering opportunities abroad for young people. But our volunteer placements are not run for profit or tourism.

All placements are fully funded by the UK Department for International Development, the government ministry leading the UK's work to end extreme poverty.

This means that you'll only work on projects that are genuinely helping communities lift themselves out of poverty. Projects that aim to:

  • Lower youth unemployment
  • Grow small businesses
  • Increase access to education
  • Give young people more influence
  • Raise awareness of health issues
  • Tackle climate change

So what are you waiting for? 

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Who can be an ICS volunteer?

ICS is open to 18-25 year olds regardless of income, qualifications, disability and work history.

But you must:

  • Be aged 18-25 at the time you take up your placement (you can apply at 17 if you will be 18 by the time you leave)
  • Be a British, European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen with either a current UK address, or indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • Have lived in the UK for at least the last 12 months
  • Be committed to fundraise at least £800
  • Be able to stay away from home for 10 to 12 weeks during your placement
  • Be committed to sharing your experience with others and taking action in your local community when you return

If you’re not a UK, EU or EEA citizen, you may be able to take part in ICS if there are programmes running in your country. See our list of country offices.


Some of our programmes accept volunteer applications from across the country, while others only accept volunteer applications from ICS placement regions.


Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

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