VSO ICS Team Leader opportunities abroad

VSO ICS Team Leader opportunities abroad

We need good team leaders (aged 23 - 35) to help create a world without poverty.

Can you bring young people from different backgrounds together, keep them focused and motivated while volunteering overseas? 

Volunteers in Cambodia

About the role

VSO ICS team leaders play an important role in supporting teams of young volunteers to work with and learn from communities across Africa and Asia to create change.

Being a team leader will help you develop your career and gain new skills.

It is a unique chance to contribute to fight against poverty overseas.  

Team leaders are responsible for the coaching and care of ICS youth volunteers involved in the implementation of our overseas development projects. You’ll do this by managing partnerships, training volunteers and promoting learning throughout the placement.

You need to be aware of cross-cultural working and also how to plan, prioritise and resolve conflicts swiftly and smoothly.

You will be leading your team together with a local counterpart team leader. He or she will help you better understand the local culture and working context. 

How it works

Depending on the placement, you will spend between eight and ten months living in one of the following countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

There are some shorter placements; however as a team leader you need to be available for at least 8 months.  

ICS is government funded by the department for international development, meaning all costs are covered including flights, visas, accommodation, food etc, and you will receive an allowance during your time on placement. 

As with all ICS volunteer placements we will ask you to do some fundraising before you go overseas.

All volunteers have a target of at least £800, but you don’t have to start any fundraising until you are definitely accepted onto the programme and we will offer you 1:1 fundraising support.

No one is excluded from ICS for financial reasons. 

You will receive training prior to going overseas, as well once you arrive in country, and once you return to the UK. 


Team leaders must be aged between 23 and 35.

You need to have experience – either voluntary or professional – in leading and motivating young people, along with organisational and communications skills.

You need to be able to support young people both individually and as a team, and gain the respect and trust of others through leading by example. 

You will also need experience in some of these areas:

  • Co-ordinating a project or initiative
  • Coping with change
  • Empowering and motivating team members
  • Managing a variety of projects in a varied environment
  • Understanding of volunteering
  • Living/working/volunteering in a cross-cultural environment 
  • Committed to VSO for 8 months minimum

Why be a team leader

A lot of the experience you gain while on ICS is directly transferable to future employment, so you’ll be able to demonstrate with real world examples how you dealt with things like planning, reporting and evaluation, crisis and conflict management, and solving problems with creative thinking.

You will further develop your leadership, coaching, facilitating and communication skills and gain experience and knowledge of cross-cultural working and sustainable development approaches. 

It really is a unique stepping stone to a better future, for you and the volunteers you’ll be leading. 

“I learnt about thinking on my feet, adapting to changing situation and being dynamic. You’ll come back with loads to say about the challenges you’ve overcome and that will impress any employer.” - Marc Maringer, VSO ICS Team Leader in The Philippines

“It wasn’t just about the impact I was making in the community, raising awareness and seeing people learn. It was about giving young volunteers a chance to learn things like communication skills, leadership, working across cultures.” - Matt Sear, VSO ICS Team Leader in Zimbabwe