Peace Corps

www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 29 January 2015
Updated 29 January 2015
443 Reviews
4.3
443 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
119 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

Employee 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.  

    I worked as a TEFL volunteer teaching high school students a rural madrasa.

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

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

    Pros

    Fulfilling work, unique cultural experience, character building, excellent travel opportunities, lifelong friends

    Cons

    Country programs aren't of equal quality, some volunteers' motives are less than professional, living in less-developed conditions aren't ideal for everyone

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Prioritize program quality over program size. Too often, misguided State Department objectives lead programs to change too quickly, compromising both vounteers' and managers' abilities to effectively serve host country communities.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Great People to Work with - highly educated, well-traveled and interesting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Smart, effective team members. Multi-cultural atmosphere.

    Cons

    Turn-over can be high and managers taking the best staff from other teams can be a challenge.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Keep realistic expectations and you can have a life changing experience.

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    -Living Abroad for 2 years
    -Flexible schedule
    -Able to adapt projects/role to desired career path.
    -Paid Health
    -Travel opportunities
    -Vacation benefits

    Cons

    -Pay = volunteer position
    -Required trainings that have no benefit to service
    -Living Conditions (Location specific)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use the resources within each country to improve resources and trainings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Peace Corps - Truly The Hardest Job You'll Ever LOVE

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - NGO Capacity Builder in Gaborone (Botswana)
    Former Employee - NGO Capacity Builder in Gaborone (Botswana)

    I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Being a Peace Corps Volunteer is one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding, things you can do. You are pushed outside your comfort zone and given opportunities few dream of. If you are willing to rise to the challenge (over and over again), then the experience is something like no other. Truly a life journey (and a development worker's dream come true)!

    Cons

    The role is very unstructured. If you aren't a go-getter and self-starter then you may have significant difficulties as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My post (Botswana) was extremely well organized and well run. I am proud to have been a part of that team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Big commitment, but valuable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Fiji (Saudi Arabia)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Fiji (Saudi Arabia)

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

    Pros

    The experience I gained from my volunteer service is something that I would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

    Cons

    In-country management sometimes seemed to be more concered about adhering to policy than responding to the actual needs of the volunteers.

    Recommends
  8.  

    Peace Corps is a challenge. Do you accept?

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

    I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    The US Peace Corps is an outstanding governmental organization working to improve the lives of others and share our American values with our partners around the world. I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer for three months in Ukraine and I couldn't be happier with my experience. I was totally immersed in Ukrainian village life and received exceptional cross-cultural awareness and language training. I connected on a very personal level with my adoptive Ukrainian family at site and with my Peace Corps family worldwide.

    Cons

    This job is not an easy won. You have to accept that some decisions are not in your control and that you are bound to the bureaucracy that is the Peace Corps. You must respect the chain of command and be on duty 24 hours a day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    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 a 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
  10.  

    Great experience, flawed bureaucracy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Advisor in Karakol, Issyk Kul (Kyrgyzstan)
    Former Employee - Business Advisor in Karakol, Issyk Kul (Kyrgyzstan)

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

    Pros

    Peace Corps is what you make of it, although some things make it easier for a good experience. Depending on site placement, you can work with incredible people and gain invaluable experience. There is generally good support for volunteers.

    Cons

    The bureaucracy of Peace Corps is incredibly frustrating. Grant availability and requirements make finding money for worthy causes challenging most of the time. Also, volunteers are typically treated as misbehaved children who cannot be trusted, instead of competent adults who have proven that they want to and should be doing the work they are doing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the volunteers to manage work/life balance on their own. Work days often vary and volunteers are often working evenings and weekends without adequate compensation to their time off.
    Also, the readjustment allowance does so little...it really needs to be stepped up, or at least improve the healthcare or loan programs upon return.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo West Africa

    • 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

    Incredible experience. Experience of a lifetime

    Cons

    Not much, they did a great job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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