Peace Corps

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Peace Corps Reviews

Updated February 25, 2015
Updated February 25, 2015
202 Reviews
4.0
202 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
202 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

202 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Working for Peace Corps Mozambique

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    -Fantastic experience
    -In country staff truly cares about volunteers and does their best to ensure they are safe and happy.

    Cons

    -Could improve health care services: though I was not sick often and did not have many problems, I heard of other people getting sick and the health care staff underestimating their illness and symptoms.

  2.  

    Four Year Peace Corps Volunteer

    • 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

    - Great fellowship opportunities for grad school after service (best monetary advantage for doing Peace Corps)
    - Noncompetitive eligibility for government jobs, especially in DC
    - Great life experience that makes you stand out when applying to jobs or grad school (you have to sell it right though)

    Cons

    - Not really getting paid which can be a great disadvantage when you are young
    - Opportunity cost of two years

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more control to what volunteers want to do along with primary assignment.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Public Health Educator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Public Health Educator in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Public Health Educator in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Challenge your world view, meet wonderful people.

    Cons

    Food, weather, transportation, isolation, cultural differences

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Peace Corps is an incredibly welcoming and friendly work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    The people are incredibly. Many are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and are bringing in an array of cultural perspectives, which creates a dynamic and globally oriented work environment.

    Cons

    The bureaucracy. You would find this at any government agency, but sometimes it is difficult to change things or get things done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the young people. They may not have as much experience, but they have great ideas.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Overall, great place to work!

    • 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 5 years)

    Pros

    great Mission, adventurous people, relative lack of bureaucracy compared to other federal agencies, always new groups of pcvs keep things moving

    Cons

    Loss of institutional memory because of the so called five year rule. Too risk averse, though that may be changing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

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

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

    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
  8.  

    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
  9.  

    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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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 a 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

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