Enthusiastic young explorers are being sought for an Arctic expedition.

Volunteers are needed for the British Schools Exploring Society’s 2008 expedition to Spitsbergen, in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. The venture will last three months and is open to those between the ages of 18 and 23.

Deadline for applications is 9 November; a training weekend runs on 17 November. Successful applicants will need to stump up £5,000 for the trip, plus air fares likely to run to £500. The society says expeditioners usually raise their cash from a combination of sponsorship, fundraising and bursaries.

The expedition will entail living on the Arctic island and conducting field studies, as well as cross-country skiing from base to base. Ornithology and glacial changes will be the main areas of study leading, the organisers say, to a better understanding of climate change.

Will Taunton-Burnet of the British Schools Exploring said: “Svalbard is 600 miles away from the North Pole, and more than 60% of the island is covered by glaciers, making it a scientists and explorers paradise. The lucky team will cross-country ski across remote and stunning landscapes, live and camp in the Arctic wilderness, as well as work alongside qualified scientists to complete hands-on fieldwork projects with the aim of gaining a more personal appreciation for this unique environment and the issues facing it today.

“You don’t need to have masses of outdoors experience as training will be provided. You simply need to have the plenty of enthusiasm and determination.”

There’s an online application form at the British Schools Exploring Society website