International Citizen Service is open to 18-25 year olds, with limited places available for Leaders aged 23+. Volunteers must be either a British citizen, an EEA citizen residing in the UK or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
To complete the ICS programme, all volunteers must be available to complete every phase of the programme. This includes a selection day, pre-departure preparations, a pre-departure training weekend, a 3 month placement overseas, an Action at Home training weekend on your return to the UK and complete a dn record at least one Action Log during their 6 month Action at Home phase.
Unfortunately you can not become a UK ICS volunteer. If you live in one of the countries where we run ICS (Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) please contact our local office to find out how you can volunteer with them.
International Citizen Service is open to British citizens, and EEA citizens living in the UK or people have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If none of the above applies to you you will not be able to join this programme.
Applicants do not need previous experience or particular skills or qualifications.
No. You must be aged 23 or over. There is no upper age limit.
Leaders are expected to have overseas volunteering/work experience and/or experience of supporting groups of people.
We welcome applications from disabled young people and are happy to discuuss your indivisual situation so you can find out more about your options on ICS. ICS is committed to equal opportunities and making reasonable adjustments to include people with disabilities. If you consider yourself to have a disability or additional needs, please make it clear in the appropriate fields in your application form. If you have any immediate worries or questions, please tell us and we will contact you to discuss how we can support your application.
Phone: 0207 633 3372
If you have never had a passport before (either an child or adult passport), you MUST apply for one at least six weeks before you are due to travel. Your first passport cannot be fast tracked (this is for UK passports).
If your passport expires within six months of the end of your project, you must renew it before you leave the UK.
You will not automatically be disqualified from the programme if you have a criminal record. Yes, we can accept people with a criminal record but you must declare your previous contact with the police and/or convictions at the selection day. If you fail to declare any criminal convictions that later come up on your DBS police check, you might then be disqualified from the programme. We must have received a DBS certificate for you before you are able to depart on your placement.
When it comes to ICS, honesty is definitely the best policy!
You and your friend can both apply but if you are both selected it is unlikely that you will be placed in the same group or the same country. The same applies to couples. This helps to ensure that everyone integrates well into the group and shows a good level of independence.
If you have an interest in a particular country, you can share that with us. Your country preference is, however, one of many factors we consider when allocating you to a country. We want to make sure that each country has a good mix of age, gender, experience etc, so you may not be given your first choice.
When you find out about where you'll be going will depend on your preferred departure date as well as placements we have available. For example if you are looking to depart as soon as possible we will let you know quite quickly (within a few weeks). However if you are looking to depart in 6 months time we may have to wait until we have more information on departure dates and so could take longer to match you.
Your fundraising will enable even more volunteers from the UK and developing countries to become ICS volunteers in the future and have a real impact on fighting poverty. Fundraising is also a key part of your preparation for going overseas. It will help you start to understand what you will be doing and why. Fundraising is a requirement of the programme and helps you demonstrate to us the commitment you have to the programme.You'll also learn new skills and have a lot of fun along the way. No volunteers will be excluded because of cost.
We have departures throughout the year until 2015.
Departure dates for ICS placements are often subject to change and it is very difficult for us to know precise dates very far in advance. At this point, we cannot provide exact departure dates.
It's never too early to apply! We encourage candidates to apply at least three months before they'd like to go overseas. The more time you will have to get ready for your placement, the better! I'm going to be out of the country for several months. Shall I apply once I return? You should apply as soon as possible and mention in your application that you will be out of the country for several months. We can then try to work around this, possibly arranging your selection in time before you go.
We usually hold a few Selection Days every month, so if you are unable to make it to the specific Selection Day that you were invited to, we are certainly happy to invite you to another Selection Day. Please communicate clearly with our Selection Officer that you are unable to attend and they will work with you to find an alternative date.
We currently hold selection days on both weekends and weekdays. There tends to be around 2 a month. If you cannot make the date we offer you, let us know and we can work with you to find a Selection Day you can attend.
We are able to provide additional support to those who need it. This includes booking and paying for accommodation for the night before the Selection Day as well as reimbursing all travel costs. As we are a charity, we ask that you research the cheapest public transport options available to you (including Megabus, and TrainLine). If you are unable to afford your travel up front and then expense it back we are sometimes able to book travel for you as well.
We are only able to keep your application on hold for up to 6 months. If you are looking depart later than 6 months in advance please apply closer to the time. This ensures your application will be up to date and relevant. We are able to book those looking to take part in ICS within 6 months on any upcoming Selection Day, we hold up to 5 Selection Days a months so there's lots to choose from.
No, the duration of the programme is the same for every member of the team and is not flexible. We do have a number of three to nine month placements for Leaders.
When you accept your offer of a placement you make a commitment to the pre-departure training, the 12 week placement, a debriefing weekend day and Action at Home on your return. Volunteers will only be able to leave early in exceptional circumstances, like in the case of the death of a close family member or in case of a serious medical condition. You should not plan to leave the programme early.
We will make sure that you are supported throughout your placement and when you return. This will include:
Each placement is different. That’s because all of Restless Development’s programme work is designed specifically to meet the needs of the country and communities we are working in. As we focus on the issues that most affect young people, it is likely that you will be helping us to address crucial issues such as sexual and reproductive health (including HIV), unemployment and other factors that contribute to poverty. Importantly, each volunteer will also be helping young people become leaders of their own development. Example activities include:
You will be living with host families from local community in most cases. Sometimes you might be staying at rented accommodation. We conduct thorough risk assessment to make sure that your placement community and accommodation are safe to live in.
You will not be able to travel around your host country once your project finishes. You must return on the flight we book for you. Once you return, you will then be expected to attend a returned volunteer training weekend so that you can start planning your Action at Home as soon as possible!
You can only apply again for International Citizen Service if you have been a General Participant and you want to go as a Leader. If you have been an ICS Leader before, you can not go again as a Leader.
Action at Home is the final, 6-month phase of the ICS Programme. Action at Home is a self-directed project that aims to bring about positive social change – it might involve campaigning and lobbying, community volunteering, awareness-raising around issues that emerged from the overseas placement, or around an issue that is important in the volunteer’s home community. Now you are back in the UK, you are part of a network of thousands of people supporting the values of youth-led development, and taking action to influence and bring positive change. Restless Development will also be sharing lots of opportunities for action with you during your Action at Home period and beyond.
By taking action in the UK, you can ensure a long-term impact on the issues you are passionate about at both a local and a global level, and continue to prove that young people can. Such engagement builds stronger societies that play an active role in community and national development. Action at Home is also a fantastic opportunity to build your own skills and experience.
Action at home is very broad and you can do a variety of different activities to complete your Action at Home. This could include: joining an existing campaigning, doing a presentation, blogging,sharing your story, volunteering in your local community, making a video upon your return or coming up with your own ideas.
Action at home lasts for 6 months, starting from when you return to the UK.
You’ll get a login to your dedicated online Action at Home page where you can log your actions. Once you have come to the end of your 6 month Action at Home phase, as long as you have added at least one action, you will have officially completed ICS!
You will receive a an ICS completion certificate signed by Prime Minister David Cameron and can get a professional reference from Restless Development. The Networks team will be in contact and continue to support you in taking action, even beyond completing the ICS Programme.
For more information read our FAQs,
call or email Restless Development on:
T: 020 8017 2890
Or ICS on:
T: 0208 780 7400
International Citizen Service (ICS) is led by VSO and funded by the UK Government. Our consortium partners include: Balloon Ventures, Challenges Worldwide, Pravah, Raleigh International, Tearfund, Progressio, International Service, VSO and YCare.