COVID-19: Notice about Short Term Teams
The Short Term Teams program has been suspended due to restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on travel and issuance of visas.  It is unknown at this time when teams will be permitted to resume, and what new rules the government may impose when current restrictions are lifted.  Continue to check this space for updates. 

Short Term Teams

ICC hosts several Short Term Teams each year for those who want to spend a week or two volunteering at one of our project sites in China. The purpose of these teams is to support caregivers with additional activities, outings and playtime for our children and young adults. While specific activities will vary based on location and needs, each team member will have the opportunity to spend much of his or her day serving in one of our small group homes.

We believe that what you take away from the trip will be at least as important, and life changing, as what you give while you are here. We hope that by engaging with our children, young adults, staff and volunteers, you will come to see with new eyes what it means to bring love, hope and opportunity to the abandoned and disabled, and even more importantly how you can play a role when you return to your home country.

Sharing by Short Term Team Member

Going on a Short Term Team was something I had wanted to do for several years. My fellow team members came from England, Australia, the USA, Canada and Hong Kong, and their occupations were varied, but each one brought valuable life and work experience.

We played games, did arts and crafts, singing and dancing, and all sorts of activities with the children. One memorable activity was when we took a group of older boys and girls to shop for themselves in the big supermarket. Now when I pray for the children, I remember the faces of each one that I have interacted with.

– Sharon from the Republic of Ireland

Sharon Story_from newsletter Issue 2 2017

2021 Short Term Team Dates & Locations**

  • June 20-26 – Express (Changsha)
  • July 18-31 (Hengyang)
  • August 8-21 (Changsha)
  • October 10-23 (Hengyang)

ALERT: New Teams Entry & Exit City – Changsha, Hunan, PRC

**Teams are subject to cancelation due to China border closure and travel restrictions. If you have applied to join a team, we will confirm 12 weeks from the start date whether the team will go ahead and what changes might apply.

**Please note that team locations are subject to change – if that should happen you will be informed well ahead of time. The flexibility is necessary as we work with the field to ensure that teams are sent to project locations where their services are most needed. Please contact your local office if you have any questions.

Registration Fees

Please note: this fee is non-refundable.

AUD $130 CAD $130 EUR €60 GBP £60 HKD $500 SGD $135 USD $125

Team Fees*

This fee does not include your flight or any associated travel needs (passport, visa, insurance etc.) to and from your home to the team meeting point.

(ALERT: New Teams Entry & Exit City – Changsha, Hunan, PRC)

Regular Teams:

AUD $1,900 CAD $1,900 EUR €1,260 GBP £1,100 HKD $11,800 SGD $1,950 USD $1,500


Express Teams:

AUD $1,440 CAD $1,420 EUR €860 GBP £ 860 HKD $8,000 SGD $1,420 USD $1,010

*Adjusted fees as of November 2019 and are subject to change based on future exchange rate movements. These fees will apply for all new team registrations for all 2020 teams. Team fees for 2021 teams will be available by August 2020.

Group Discounts*

If a church or group (e.g. family and friends) were all on a single team in 2020 we would offer the following incentives for them to come:

  • Group of 10 or more people in one team will receive a 5% discount
  • Group of 15 or more people in one team will receive a 7.5% discount
  • Group of 20 or more people in one team will receive a 10% discount

*The discount applies to those in the same group at the time of the registration. No discount is given if group member/s withdrawn before the trip cut-off date and reduces the group number travelling to less than 10 persons.

(For example: If 10 people booked as a group and one person pulls out prior to the trip, then the group will be charged at full price.)

To apply, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Complete the Short Term Teams Application Form in full and submit it via email or by post to your nearby ICC office. If you live in a country where ICC does not have an office, please send your application to the closest office. 
  2. Send in the registration fee along with your completed application form. Please note that this amount is non-refundable.
  3. Submit a criminal background check from your country of residence (if applicable).

Please note your application will be processed on receipt of your non-refundable registration fee.

Who can go?

Teams come to our projects with a huge range of abilities. We do not require participants to have any special skills or qualifications except for a heart to serve China’s abandoned and disabled children and young adults. Applicants should be over 18, but we will consider applicants under 18 if accompanied by a responsible adult.

When can I go and for how long?

ICC hosts about 5-7 short term teams per year and each service trip lasts about 2 weeks. You can check the latest Short Term Teams schedule here.

Where will the Short Term Teams meet?

The team will meet with their team leader in Changsha (Hunan Province, PRC) for team orientation. Changsha has replaced Hong Kong as the entry/exit city for ICC teams.

Where will I be staying?

Accommodation is in western-style hotels. All rooms have full ensuite bathrooms with showers.

What kind of food can I expect?

Almost all your meals will be prepared from local, fresh ingredients. Chinese food is eaten family-style from platters shared at a table. Meals usually consist of a variety of vegetable dishes, meat dishes and rice. Depending on the location, the food can be spicy. ICC can arrange meals for some dietary requirements (very limited) – anyone with food allergies or intolerance must discuss this with the Teams Manager before deciding if they should go.

What will my team and I do during our stay?

You will serve alongside people from around the world helping with a variety of activities. This may involve playing games, doing craftwork, going for walks and joining in the activities organised by the caregivers.

If you have skills in areas such as medical care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, art therapy, or related fields, you may have the opportunity to carry out more specialised activities at the request and with the support and supervision of a local or international staff on the ground. 

Your service schedule will allow for time with the children, as well as time for personal reflection and team building.

Am I the right person to serve in China?

You can come as you are. We don’t require you to have any particular skills or qualifications to provide love and care to the children and young adults with special needs. You just need to have a willingness to serve.

Can I form my own team?

We encourage groups of people who wish to travel and serve together to join one of the Short Term Teams.

What is an Express Team?

An Express Team runs in a similar way to a general short term team but has a shorter stay period (about 1 week).

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