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Why do UK students sign up for the International Citizen Service (ICS)?

How does the International Citizen Service impact the lives of UK students? Source: Shutterstock

Searching for something different to do during your seasonal breaks this year?

Currently running placements in Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Nepal, Kenya, Cambodia and Bangladesh, a UK Government-funded programme named the International Citizen Service (ICS) provides volunteer placements to 18-25 year olds and team leader placements to 23-35 year olds.

Instead of taking a holiday on your lengthy study breaks, why not think about pursuing ICS?

Igniting your ambitions with rewarding roles that will forever shape you as a person, the programme matches your charitable interests with a 10-12 week placement in the country of your choice.

Opting for either a volunteer role or a team leader role, you can upgrade your CV with incredible skills and immerse yourself in a totally new environment.

Paired with structured training and support, ICS volunteers receive their visas, flights, travel and medical insurance, medication, vaccines, food and accommodation and a small allowance during their placement.

Ninety percent supported by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) funds, you don’t have to pay for ICS, but volunteer fundraising makes up just 10 percent of your funding.

After raising a minimum of £800, you’ll be supported by advisors throughout your fundraising process and be surrounded by fellow volunteers and staff who are also expected to work hard, challenge themselves, learn and develop.

ICS alumna, Ekta Gupta, describes her International Citizen Service in Kenya as “awe-inspiring and transformative.”

Speaking to Study International about her experience, Ekta explained that, “ICS was honestly a life-changing opportunity for me. Living and volunteering in Kenya, working with the youth in community workshops, meeting like-minded students from around the UK and making a real-world difference were just a few tokens I treasured since leaving the placement.

“There’s no doubt that this was the best thing I did during my university break. Teaching me the importance of fundraising, of managing proactive projects and how to be present, positive and engaged, I’ll always define ICS as inspirational.”

For further information about ICS and the placement process, check out their website and see whether you’re eligible for an awe-inspiring experience of your own!

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