What is the Long-Term programme?

For those looking to spend 6 or 12 months volunteering, ICYE UK can offer a transformational experience with real impact. Our Ethical, Immersive, Impactful and Supportive programme provides volunteers with the unique chance to really become part of a new culture, as well as develop transferable skills.

Who is the Long-Term programme for?

Anyone aged over 18 can take part and most of our volunteers are under 30 years old. If you are interested in learning a new language, or are looking for experience in International development, get in touch!

Our programme also suits placement and gap year students, those looking for a fresh challenge as part of a career break, or simply anyone hoping to learn more about another culture and play an active role in supporting a local NGO overseas.

We do not recruit volunteers on the basis of specific qualifications or skills, just an enthusiasm and dedication to intercultural learning.

Where can I go and when are the departures? 

We send volunteers throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. See this link to find out which countries are in our Federation.

Placements start in August/September and January/February every year.  Volunteers from all across the Federation arrive together to receive training and language lessons provided by the ICYE host country, before starting their individual projects.

What project can I volunteer at?

Our Immersive Long-Term Programme gives volunteers the opportunity to support local-run projects that matter. Projects are varied and a full database with over 800 projects can be viewed at www.icye.org Examples include:

  • Supporting street children by providing outreach support and education
  • Promoting HIV and AIDS awareness
  • Environmental conservation
  • Women’s rights and human rights programmes
  • Conducting research for development NGOs.
  • What is the application process?

Firstly, we recommend coming to our office for an informal interview before submitting an application form. This is so we can discuss your project preferences and use this information to make recommendations of suitable projects based on our many years of experience in sending volunteers overseas.

Long-term volunteers can choose their project preferences and it is the ICYE office in country, as well as the projects, who decide if they are able to host you, based your application form, motivations and interests.

To find out more, please visit our project page or email info@icye.org.uk

Where will I stay?

Our Impactful Long-Term Programme means volunteers can fully experience a new culture through living with a host family and becoming part of the community. Living with a local family means volunteers can speak the local language every day! Many of the host families have had their own children or family members also volunteer abroad on the ICYE programme.

You can opt to live independently or at a project if you prefer, although this can limit your project choice as not every project can provide accommodation.

What training do you provide?

Our Supportive Long-Term Programme means quality training and supportive comes as standard. We work closely with our ICYE partners around the world to help you prepare for your placement, to support you whilst you’re there and when you return.

Before your departure

You will receive a 3 day pre-departure camp designed to help prepare them for everything they may encounter whilst volunteering abroad, with specific advice and guidance given in relation to the country they will be volunteering in. The training also covers important topics such as inter-cultural awareness, the rights and responsibilities of a volunteer, conflict resolution and the support offered in case of a problem.

The pre-departure training is combined with the Final Evaluation camp for international volunteers who are at the end of their 12 month placement in the UK. This gives you the opportunity to meet those from your host country, even before leaving the UK.

During your placement

Once you have arrived, you’ll receive On-Arrival training (between 5 -10 days), delivered by the ICYE office in-country. The training gives you the chance to learn more about the people and culture of your host country, as well as your placement. You’ll also receive an introductory language course.

A mid-year training camp is for those on a 12 month placement.

The last official meeting for all long-term volunteers is the Final Evaluation camp, helping you prepare to return home – which is often the hardest part!

After returning home

You’ll be invited to a group training day to consolidate all the new skills you will have developed and to share stories and experiences with fellow volunteers. We often have an external facilitator come in to help volunteers with CV writing and interview techniques too.

Can I travel?

Absolutely! As well as weekends and 2 “holiday days” per month, those on a 6 month placement can enjoy two weeks travel and volunteers on 12 month placement will have a free month.

ALL volunteers are issued with a 12 month return ticket, meaning you can also change your return date, should you choose to travel for a little longer!

ICYE UK has been dedicated to international volunteering and has been passionate about the value of intercultural exchange for two decades. As a not-for-profit charity, we have to set a programme fee in order to cover the costs involved in our unique reciprocal exchange programme. However, we always try to keep the costs involved to a minimum so that everyone, no matter what their background, can take part in the ICYE volunteer experience.

Long-term Programme (6 and 12 months)

  • The 12 month programme fee from: £5,200.00 (Inclusive of international return flights)
  • The 6 month programme fee from: £4,500.00 (Inclusive of international return flights)

The programme fee includes:

  • Return flights from the UK to your host country and back
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation & food in your host country
  • Local Transport to and from your project in your host country
  • Health insurance and third party liability insurance
  • Pre-departure training
  • Returned Volunteer training
  • On-arrival training and evaluation training in host country
  • 30 hours local language course upon arrival
  • Support and supervision during your year
  • Pocket money
  • Fundraising support
  • Visa costs and support
  • Part of the money stays here in the UK for ICYE-UK to use for the hosting costs of an International Volunteer.


Erasmus + Volunteering & European Solidarity Corp

ICYE UK is also a Sending / Supporting Organisation for the European Commission’s Erasmus + Volunteering and European Solidarity Corp Programmes. These programmes provides non-formal learning opportunities through international voluntary service in countries throughout Europe and are open to European Union Citizens aged between 18 and 30 years old.

We can act as a sending organisation for candidates who are eligible to take part in the programme and are UK residents. Within programme countries we can work with any accredited host organisation and we also work with our ICYE partner organisations on projects in partner countries outside the EU.

To take part in these programme you will need to have a sending and a host organisation. For more information about the programme to start searching for your host organisation please see the European Commission’s website: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en and also the websites of UK National Agency for the Erasmus + and ESC programmes: www.erasmusplus.org.uk and www.eusolidaritycorps.org.uk.

Our INCLUSIVE programme fee is good news, as this means there are no hidden extras along the way. As a not-for-profit charity, we have a standard programme fee to cover the costs involved in our unique reciprocal exchange programme, but we are always transparent with these costs and help extensively with fundraising.

Although raising a programme fee may seem quite daunting, each year our volunteers successfully take up fundraising activities to help them reach their target. Fundraising also means you are also raising awareness of your host country and project and potentially inspiring more people to volunteer!

Here’s how we can help

  • When you sign up to volunteer with us, we will invite you to a 1-2-1 fundraising meeting to help design an individual tailored fundraising plan for you.
  • We’ll set you up with your personalised fundraising webpage so you can start receiving donations and claim gift aid on donations made by UK taxpayers.
  • We will send you a fundraising guide with lots of ideas, a press release guide, a sponsorship form and links to other fundraising websites for even more ideas!
  • We will send you a list of Trusts and Foundations, to apply to for donations. (We will even do some research into relevant Trusts on your behalf!)

As part of our Bursary scheme, from 2010-2015, we allocated a total of £29,025 to 33 volunteers, with awards ranging from £250 to £1500. Volunteers like Korede Bolade, who spent 6 weeks volunteering with DevComs (Development Communications Network) in Nigeria.

The first step is to arrange to speak with us in more detail about the programmes and the types of projects that interest you.  We can arrange a time for you to come to the office or for a skype or phone call.

To arrange a time contact the office at:

Once you have decided that you would like to join the programme, you would need to have a one to one interview so that we can find out about your interests and what you can offer.

After your interview, we will provide you with an application form for you to complete and send back to us. We will send your application form to our partners overseas so that they can match your skills to a project

Once you have been accepted onto the programme by ICYE UK and our partners overseas, you will receive a confirmation letter and contract.

On signing that contract you can officially celebrate becoming an ICYE volunteer! The next important phase will be to start raising the funds for your programme fee and to collect all necessary documents that we will need from you.

ICYE UK works with people who see volunteering abroad as a chance to broaden their horizons and develop themselves as individuals through intercultural learning.

Through supporting local projects that matter, living with a host family and receiving extensive pre-departure and on-arrival training, all volunteers have opportunities to build skills, enhance social and personal development and take part in social action at their project. Here’s how are programme is ethical, immersive, impactful and supportive for each volunteer.


Since 1993, ICYE UK have arranged ethical placements for volunteers throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

Our aim is to provide opportunities for volunteers to make a positive contribution to the community in which they will live and work, as well as gain a better understanding of their own and other people’s lives. ICYE UK focuses on the value of culture-sharing and giving volunteers the tools to promote peace through intercultural learning.


Our programme is a truly immersive experience where volunteers get to fully experience a new culture and support local-run projects that matter. Volunteers live with a host family, helping them develop language skills and by living as part of the community, volunteers also meet new people and make international friends.

With language lessons offered on our long-term programme and an opportunity to travel throughout, our volunteers can really get to know a country with an entirely different social and political situation. 


Through sharing cultures and ideas, volunteers benefit from personal and professional development. In fact, many of our volunteers develop ongoing relationships with their projects and continue to offer support after the placement. This all means that our volunteers can become part of the solution and help to promote peace through gaining new skills in the field of inter-cultural awareness.


We know that volunteering overseas can seem daunting, but we’re supportive every step of the way, providing extensive training, in intercultural awareness, for Long-Term and Short-Term volunteers.

ICYE UK and the local ICYE office in country also work together to ensure each and every volunteer is well supported throughout the duration of their stay. ICYE UK will also give advice on how to fundraise towards the cost of a programme fee!