Peace Corps

  www.peacecorps.gov
  www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 16 December 2014
Updated 16 December 2014
425 Reviews
4.3
425 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
113 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (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

188 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Information Technology Teacher, Volunteer

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Peace Corps does a good job of looking after its volunteers. Provides many support systems, including training, safety, and health.

    Cons

    Long duration for volunteer selection. If applying to become a volunteer, be aware that the application process can take a while, for me 9 months from applying to departure.

  2.  

    One of the best experiences of my life and career

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Pros

    - The experience of working with a community to develop the skills, projects and initiatives that are important to them
    - Incredible autonomy to initiate and facilitate secondary projects within the community
    - Opportunity to integrate into a different culture
    - Flexibility and autonomy allow for development of great leadership skills that can be put to use in any job or career opportunity

    Cons

    - Reintegration can be difficult after Peace Corps service
    - Not a ton of support for volunteers to work together on projects across regions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Support collaborative volunteer projects
    - Additional services to help volunteers reintegrate post service

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Wonderful Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Health Volunteer in Soweto (South Africa)
    Former Employee - Health Volunteer in Soweto (South Africa)

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Life changing work and life experience
    Opened doors for future growth

    Cons

    Long hours
    Local agency support is often hit or miss

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to develop training and development programs to meet volunteer challenges

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Peace Corps Volunteer

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Pros

    You get to live abroad and gain international work experience.

    Cons

    It is a volunteer position so you wont be saving any money.

    Recommends
  6.  

    Great time

    • 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

    Best experience in the world

    Cons

    the heat and food are difficult

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep up the good work

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Experience

    • 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

    Flexibility
    Focuses on community needs more than government desires

    Cons

    Work can be slow
    Health hazards

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a strategy and stick with it

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Volunteered in Tanzania

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanga, Tanga (Tanzania)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanga, Tanga (Tanzania)

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    You get to work overseas with everything covered. Your medical and finances are covered and you are set up with a home and community. This would be very hard to do without the support of an organization like Peace Corps. Plus there are good security measures in place in the event of an emergency. You can learn about the success and failures of other volunteers, collaborate with other volunteers, apply for grants, or be rather independent with little communication to the outside world. It is up to you! For the self driven, self motivated go getters. Also for people who are comfortable in the uncomfortable. After you finish Peace Corps, you get non-competitive eligibility at US Gov jobs, which is a really nice perk that I am taking advantage of right now. You can see a listing of these jobs right at the career link page on the RPCV webpage. You can also be a fellow, and get tuition covered at grad school in exchange for community service.

    Cons

    I lived in Tanzania. Get used to heat, mosquitoes, mud, and other elements of nature that you are cushioned from here in the states. Can be tough to rally communities behind projects. Most of the places where PC goes have very chilled out lifestyles and they aren't quite as motivated for progress and change as we are. Just listen, be empathetic, and you should be fine.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    An open door to test yourself in a foreign working environment - it's up to you to make the most of it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Parakou (Benin)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Parakou (Benin)

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

    Pros

    PC provides good language training to give you the basics before you start in your village. However it'll take extra motivation to master the language on-site, especially if it's a local dialect (not French, Spanish or other common languages). Peace Corps provides the framework for to immerse yourself in a meaningful way, but they won't hold your hand. It requires your own motivation to develop a product that truly has an impact.

    Cons

    PC does not hold volunteers to a particularly high standard. Exceptional Peace Corps experiences come to highly motivated volunteers, but Peace Corps will not push you. You can stay in your hut and read War and Peace, or you can struggle to change the world. It's up to you, both are worthy experiences.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    It might be the most interesting thing you ever do

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Training groups are small and build great camaraderie. Everyday things that happen will make great stories for years. Heck, the nasty stuff that happens too will likely make great stories and be retroactively appreciated - you can at the very least brag to most people back home. When you get over the challenges and do something, you will have a great feeling of competence, ability, and satisfaction. You feel like what you're doing helps people other than just yourself, and you can see the effects of that concretely and immediately - unlike if you were shuffling papers at a desk in a highrise somewhere, no matter how important that job may be theoretically. If you're someone who likes to prove that you can do things for yourself, you will probably get no shortage of opportunities to do that, whether it's communicating in an obscure language or figuring out how to bake a pizza without any of the required equipment. To make up for the strangeness and remoteness Peace Corps also takes care of a lot of stuff for you - visas, training (two MONTHS of training), various freebies appropriate to your environment, and so on, and all your medical expenses are free. When you've completed service, you get a bonus (over $7,000) and a year of "non-competitive eligibility" (preference in hiring for federal jobs). Even without the official preference, it impresses a lot of interviewers.

    Cons

    You will suddenly relocate to an under-developed country you probably don't know anything about, learn a new language, and make a commitment to it for at least two years. Some people want to do exactly that, but in my experience most people don't want to, especially if they have a stable job and a long-term relationship in the U.S. Periods of high pressure and unexpected problems alternate with ones of boredom and loneliness. You will be physically uncomfortable (too hot, too cold, too wet, too sick) and likely not have constant access to one or all of the following: transportation, plumbing, peanut butter, electricity, internet, TV, other Americans/English speakers, and so on. You will not get paid much, because you are expected to live similarly to the people around you, although this is enough if you don't have expensive tastes (I even saved a little money). Furthermore, in most of the countries, people don't value punctuality as much as in America, so you spend lots of time waiting around. The P.C. staff are great, but they may live more than a day's journey away, with bad postal and internet service. None of this bothered me too much, but it does bother a lot of people. Occasionally the placement decisions are inscrutable; I knew a couple of people who studied environmental science but got sent to teach English. PC looks good on resumes and in interviews, but there isn't a lot of mobility within Peace Corps itself, because it's intended to be a 2-year stint (5 years for country directors and other staff).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider placements and assignments carefully, and explain the decision to volunteers and allow their input.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    High highs low lows - toughest job you'll ever love.

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    I loved my project - youth development - and it launched my career.

    Cons

    Living in a developing country can pose challenges and the nature of Peace Corps service is full-on, you're a volunteer 24/7.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Work at Peace Corps? Share Your Experiences

Peace Corps

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.