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Just think about:

· living abroad for a year (or six month);

· learning a new language and getting to know a culture from the inside;

· developing new perspectives.

Through ICYE, young people aged 18 to 25 (up to 30 in certain countries), with or without qualifications, after secondary school or during their university studies or (un)employment, have the opportunity to live in another country with a family or in a residential project, and work as volunteers in a wide variety of voluntary work placements.

To be a volunteer with ICYE means integrating in the life and work of the host organization and wider community. Volunteers are supported and encouraged to get involved in the planning and managing of distant activities, take part in staff meetings, and to take on responsibilities, according to their skills and interests, as well as the needs of the project. An important aspect of the voluntary service experience is the volunteer’s active participation in the life of the community in which he/she lives and works.

Voluntary service placements offered by ICYE include social work project dealing with children and young people at risk, with the elderly, the disabled, rural and health development projects, human rights organizations, peace associations, ecological projects, women’s groups, migrant workers’ groups, fair-trade shops, and solidarity projects.

Who can be volunteer? Any special requirement?

There is no such thing as a “typical” volunteer. ICYE volunteers should be:

· flexible, communicative, and open to new experience;

· willing to learn new skills;

· broad-minded and self-reliant;

· committed to inter-cultural understanding;

ICYE volunteers don’t need:

· specialized skills or work experience;

· foreign language skills;

· experience of international travel.

Find in the text:

a) how old volunteers should be.

b) If a volunteer should have special qualifications.

c) How volunteers get involved in the life of the host community.

d) The kind of people they may work with.

e) The essential personal characteristics a volunteer should have.

f) What a volunteer doesn’t necessarily need to have.


Read the information:



· Planning and organizing activities for young people in a youth centre in Belgium.

· Working alongside street educators and local volunteers in providing shelter and food, and running literacy classes and vocational training to street children in Colombia, Ghana and India.

· Providing material assistance and emotional support to HIV positive children and adults in specialized centers in for example, Kenya, England, Germany and Russia.

· Promoting artistic and animation activities with rural children in Honduras and Mozambique, Nepal, and Uganda.

· Organizing human rights campaigns in Brazil.

· Working on ecological projects in Costa Rica, Mexico and Thailand.

· Working on a farm in Iceland and New Zealand.

· Teaching special needs children in Taiwan.

· Organizing activities and providing assistance to disabled people in France, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, and South Korea.

· Organizing and running activities in centers for refugees and migrant workers in Germany.

How do I apply?

You can fill out our online Expression of Interest Form and submit it to the corresponding ICYE National Committee in your country of residence.

If there is no ICYE Member Committee in your country, please contact the ICYE International Office for more advice.


Complete the map with the kind of volunteer work taking place in each country, according to the text.


Look at the map and decide which of these projects you would rather take part in. Give reasons for your choice.



There are several international organizations in need of voluntary work where your help would be welcome. Below there are some of those organizations. Match the name of the organization in column A with the corresponding aim in column B.

Column A Column B
1. Homeless shelter A. help to collect food, manage its inventory and distribute it to those in need.
2. Food banks B. provide an international programme of year-round sports training and athletic competition for mentally handicapped adults and children.
3. Ronald McDonald House C. helps illiterate children and adults to learn this important skill.
4. Red Cross D. help people in emergencies – whether it’s half a million disaster victims or one sick child who needs blood.
5. Environmental organizations E. helps small charities and organizations to create their own web site.
6. Website creation F. helps homeless people with meals, beds and other services.
7. Special Olympics G. provides a low-cost “home-away-from-home” for parents and children to stay at during medical treatment.
8. Helping Others Learn to Read H. encourage volunteer support to help with environmental activities. Volunteers can help in many ways: by helping lobby on conservation issues, by leading hikes and other activities.


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