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Trying to make a difference

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: International Citizen Service

My ICS journey began after several months of hunting for things to do during my year abroad. As a student of Spanish and History at the University of Edinburgh, I was required to spend my third year in a Spanish-speaking country. I knew that I didn't really want to spend my entire year at another university writing the same sort of essays I'd been writing for years; I wanted to experience the world and try to make a difference. And that's exactly what I found with ICS.

Through it, I found the Progressio ICS Empower programme which would enable me to go to Peru and volunteer with some of world's poorest communities – something I had never even dreamed that I would be able to do before, since South America was pretty far out of my student price range.

Work, rest and play: schoolchildren in Peru. Picture:

The contribution element of ICS is a really important part of the programme as it gives people opportunities that they would never otherwise have the chance to participate in. I jumped at the opportunity and applied nearly a whole year before the start date of my chosen programme! I had already done some volunteering with other organisations and had seen the difference that volunteering can make to people's lives, so I knew that working in international development was something that I really wanted to experience.

After finding out more about the programme and meeting other volunteers at my interview, I was even more excited to take part. I will be working with children's organisations aiming to improve their education, which, to me, is one the most important foundations for development. Something I really like about the programme is how we will be working specifically towards some of the Millennium Development Goals – in my case, the goal of universal primary education - which makes me feel like I am taking part in something much greater than simply the project I will be working on.

The months since I found out that I had been given a place on my chosen ICS programme have flown by and I am now feeling fully prepared and seriously excited to be starting my project in just a couple of weeks!

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  1. Comment by Lorraine posted on

    Hi Stephanie,
    That sounds really exciting. Your right your better spending your final year getting life experiences. I'm hoping to go to Kenya to my Uncles Orphanage soon hoping to improve children's education too. Best of luck

  2. Comment by her?eyi bilen kad?n posted on

    Thanks for this smart subject. I agree with my friend Lorraine..