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 our interactive map 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.
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!