Peace Corps

  www.peacecorps.gov
  www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 2014
425 Reviews
4.3
425 Reviews
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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

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  1.  

    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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    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
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  5.  

    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
  6. 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
  7.  

    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
  8.  

    Worth the pain.

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

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

    Pros

    Unbelievably unique opportunity to gain a global perspective and complete projects from inception to completion. The kind of experience you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

    Cons

    Often very difficult living conditions along the lines of no electricity or running water and extreme weather. You must be on duty 24/7 and witness some harsh injustices.

    Recommends
  9.  

    Once in a lifetime experience

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

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

    Pros

    You get to travel to a new country and immerse yourself in a new culture. You get to plan your own projects based on your community's needs plus have one-on-one interaction with people in your community. The Peace Corps staff in country are very supportive plus you have all your fellow volunteers who help you out and whom you can collaborate with.

    Cons

    You will get lonely because it will probably be the first time you have ever been away from your friends and family for a LONG time. However you learn your limits from that so that's good. If you really like a structured work day and such and are not good at planning by yourself it will also be hard for you. Also, many programs are in countries with no running water or electricity so if you're high maintenance that's something to think about too.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep funding Peace Corps! :)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    An amazing adventure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    It is a way to see life from a completely new perspective and do something truly worthwhile.

    Cons

    Many people cannot sacrifice so much of themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing, I loved my time.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Wonderful colleagues committed to making a difference.

    • 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

    Pros

    I loved working at the Peace Corps. I was initially a Volunteer but this review is about working for the Agency as an employee. The office culture was professional yet fun and each day I got to talk about my overseas service with coworkers and potential applicants. It was a great way to transition back into life in the US. My immediate managers trusted us to get on with things and knew that each employee would get the job done, even if our methods were sometimes unconventional!

    Cons

    As a US government Agency, Peace Corps is not entirely immune to politics. Dealing with the politically appointed senior leadership was sometimes frustrating as it would usually take them a few months to figure out what direction they wanted the Agency to go.

    Peace Corps has a "five-year rule" which limits employment and reduces institutional memory. This has its good and bad points but most importantly, from a career perspective, is that growth is limited. Working for Peace Corps might mean sacrificing your career ambitions but I do not regret it and found most aspects of the job to be very rewarding

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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