Peace Corps

www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 23 January 2015
Updated 23 January 2015
436 Reviews
4.3
436 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
116 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You get to learn a new language and understand a different culture the way many will never get the opportunity to (in 33 reviews)

  • You go planning to meet really interesting Host Country Nationals (HCN) and you end up meeting some amazing fellow Americans as well (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Admin doesn't quite understand the realities of being a volunteer, but that depends country to country (in 23 reviews)

  • Peace Corps has a "five-year rule" which limits employment and reduces institutional memory (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

189 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Rewarding work, with unexpected challenges

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Education Volunteer
    Former Employee - Education Volunteer

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    For me, one of the best things about working for Peace Corps was the *amazing* pre-service language training I received. By the time I got to my site, my knowledge of the local language was strong enough to enable me to listen, pick up words, and quickly improve my speaking fluency. Also, I really love Peace Corps' philosophy of development: it's very much about getting to know your host community and helping them find ways to achieve their goals, as opposed to barging in and imposing your own vision on the community. It's the sanest way of doing international development that I know of.

    Cons

    The culture I served in had a very different way of approaching gender than what I was used to from living in the U.S. -- very different roles and expectations for men and women. That's probably always the case in Peace Corps, but we received almost no training on how to deal with this aspect of the culture. Some of the women volunteers I knew ended up in dangerous situations because they didn't realize that the boundaries between the sexes worked differently in our host country. I wish so much that our pre-service training had taken these issues into account.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The majority of Peace Corps volunteers, in my experience, are women -- so *please* give us the training we need to navigate the gender dynamics of our host countries safely!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Ability to live in a community for 2 years, immersion experience

    Cons

    Can be disorganized or unfocused depending on your project

    Recommends
  3.  

    Great way to continue to make a difference!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Regional Recruiter
    Current Employee - Regional Recruiter

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, mission that's easy to support, people know and love who you work for--small talk is easy!

    Cons

    As a federal agency, things can move slowly, but I find that it's more because of safeguards put up due to public distrust of government. If this weren't the case, I think the agency would be much more productive and efficient. If you don't want to move to DC, there aren't many opportunities for advancement. A lot of people in senior leadership are political appointees, and sometimes I question whether they're the right person for their positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None really; most issues seem to be due to hands being tied by bureaucracy out of management's control

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Difficult but worth it; periods of boredom punctuated with bursts of stress and anxiety; you never stop learning.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Flexible schedule
    -You can work on projects that interest you, as long as their is community interest as well
    -Learning about another culture
    -Local friends
    -Plenty of time outdoors
    -Moments of incredible peace and satisfaction
    -A life changing experience

    Cons

    -Mentally challenging: can be lonely and alienating
    -Exhausting to always be visible in village
    -Peace Corps bureaucracy
    -Plans falling through, projects failing miserably
    -Always feeling like you could do more

  6.  

    TEFL Volunteer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - TEFL Volunteer in Yevlax (Azerbaijan)
    Former Employee - TEFL Volunteer in Yevlax (Azerbaijan)

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    See the world. Learn a language. Assimilate to another culture.

    Cons

    Often isolated and lack of managerial support

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    It's what you make of it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Barranquilla, Atlántico (Colombia)
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Barranquilla, Atlántico (Colombia)

    I have been working at Peace Corps part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The Peace Corps can be an amazing experience if you are a go-getter and not expecting people to give you things to do. You have to find what needs to be done and go for it. No one should go into this expecting to be some sort of local savior. You will need to find awesome locals to work with, spend most of your time listening to them and then draw on what they tell you to help them accomplish what they want. Also, you will most likely being doing something completely different than what you thought and the assignment the Peace Corps gives you. If you come to the Peace Corps with an open heart, it will be an awesome experience.

    Cons

    You can feel like you aren't accomplishing much at first. There is very little hand-holding or support.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes the Peace Corps can treat volunteers like teenagers when it comes to rule-setting.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Very fun and engaging environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Recruiter in Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Recruiter in Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Solid and enviable mission, lots of camaraderie, never-ending office supplies.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy is a headache, lots of change without much input from employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Loved my entire experience at Peace corps. Really great group of people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Great goals, diverse group of employees

    Cons

    Bureaucratic and often strict in regulations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not applicable

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Excellent people comfortable with a lot of independence

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Pros

    independence, variety, great language skills opportunities. Travelling obviously.

    Cons

    country by country, experiences can vary greatly

  11.  

    Opportunity to do amazing things abroad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Community Health Volunteer in Yaoundé (Cameroon)
    Current Employee - Community Health Volunteer in Yaoundé (Cameroon)

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Gain great international experience with minimum qualifications. Personal growth dealing with independence, project management, failure, patience, working with different cultures are unparalleled.

    Cons

    Your job description is more about what you might possibly accomplish than what you actually will be doing. It can mislead in comparison to other jobs; you will create your own job when you arrive independently. Despite a complete disconnect of your work in the field, administrative bureaucracy can still be frustrating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure more work is done through partnerships and more continuity from one volunteer to the next.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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