Peace Corps
4.3 of 5 352 reviews
www.peacecorps.gov Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated Jun 30, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.3 352 reviews

                             

95% Approve of the CEO

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

(88 ratings)

96% of employees recommend this company to a friend
154 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    very rewarding - hardships are nuanced and location-specific

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Prosfreedom to develop projects; interesting areas; lots of personal growth; opportunities to travel and meet interesting people

    Consresources, lack of support, very bureaucratic (it's a government agency); high turn-over among leaders and volunteers, often vague and ambiguous expectations

    Advice to Senior Managementspend more time on the ground with volunteers.

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    There's a reason why "the toughest job you'll ever love" is still one of their slogans.

    Community Economic Development Adviser (Former Employee)

    ProsApart from being immersed in another culture and language for over two years, I think the main pros are also the cons. This experience will test to to your limits mentally and physically. There was almost no direction in what to do once at site. It can be really difficult, overwhelming, and isolating. But by the end of those 27 months, you can look back at what you've accomplished and say that you made that happen. You initiated meaningful projects and made a real impact on your community not because someone told you to do it, but because you saw that's what needed to be done and did it. And by overcoming those enormous obstacles, it just makes that feeling that much more meaningful.

    ConsOther cons were the bureaucracy of decision making from Washington and sometimes volunteers in my country feel as if they weren't supported enough by the medical staff. Keep in mind, however, that I felt very safe and that the medical staff-volunteer relationship will vary drastically within one country, let alone from country to country. It just depends on what your expectations are and the alacrity and American professionalism of your country's medical unit.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Volunteer

    Volunteer (Former Employee)
    Senegal (Brazil)

    ProsVolunteer while living abroad with a paid stipend, excellent medical care, and language training. Peace Corps is well respected within the development community and is an excellent resume builder for someone looking to start an international career.

    ConsDifficult working conditions, incompetent bureaucracy, and safety issues. The high degree of staff turnover and differences in work culture between local staff and American volunteers creates a hard to navigate bureaucracy that makes even the simplest tasks difficult. Peace Corps field positions are amazing, life-changing experience but much of your time may be spend wrangling with administrative tasks.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great experience

    Community Development Voluneer (Former Employee)
    Victoria (Grenada)

    ProsFantastic learning, great friends, beautiful sights, and an opportunity to make a difference and travel the world!

    ConsFar from home (but you know that going in), difficult fitting into the culture

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Exceptional, Challenging Experience

    Peace Corps Volunteer Health (Former Employee)
    Brikama Ba (Gambia)

    Pros- PAID field experience
    - diverse options in terms of location placement, work opportunities, experiences i.e. health sector vs agfo, Latin America vs Eastern Europe, rural bush life vs island life vs developing urban area
    - unique opportunity for international experience while serving your nation
    - a large degree of freedom to determine your own work i.e. pick your own project

    - NCE when you complete service
    - graduate school fellowships/scholarships

    Cons- minimal input on country placement (could be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective)
    - limited emphasis placed on M&E of projects
    - limited institutional memory - can often feel like reinventing the wheel
    - placement country and staff capabilities vary heavily

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Really wonderful experience but can be a crap-shoot

    Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee)
    Kigali, Kigali (Rwanda)

    ProsTest your independence, great philosophy of working on a grass roots level and respecting host country nationals, an incredibly unique and potentially very rewarding experience.

    ConsPC didn't do a great job with matching volunteers with their interests all the time. Other volunteers weren't as driven as expected. It's the US government and things can get bureaucratic/politicy

    Advice to Senior ManagementHave a shorter, but more rigorous application process and baby volunteers less (especially during training). Allow volunteers more control over their placements.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Peace Corps is not for everybody, but I have certainly never regretted my decision to join.

    TEFL Volunteer (Current Employee)
    Panamá (Panama)

    ProsOpportunity to dedicate your time to something about which you are really passionate about; ability to work independently without too much bureaucratic constraint and without the boss breathing down your neck or mandating your work hours.

    ConsFeeling a lack of productivity. Being a full-time community organizer can make you feel like hanging out and making friends is part of your job. (Which can also be a pro.) Type-As will have to learn to relax and go with the flow in order to get people to trust you and work with you on projects. Type-Bs will have to learn to be proactive in order to get anything done in your Peace Corps site.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement needs to be as willing as the volunteers are to get their hands dirty and deal with the unpopular and unsexy issues!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    An opportunity to learn about other cultures and discover your strengths and weaknesses

    GSA (Former Employee)
    Cochabamba (Bolivia)

    ProsThis is one in a life time experience to grow. You have international exposure, improve language skills, learn how to work and adapt to work within a different culture and within bi-national teams.
    It gives you the opportunity to value what you had the opportunity to enjoy in US.

    ConsIt can be challenging at times to adjust to new cultures, salaries are not great,

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt can be bureaucratic.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Provides International Perspective

    Peace Corps Volunteer (Current Employee)

    ProsThings I had read in school or in magazines became real and tangible. You are your own boss to a large extent. Explore yourself and develop life skills that you will draw from forever.

    ConsYou don't have enough money to make lasting tangible differences. Must believe in pedagogy and teaching.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great experience, would recommend to anyone interested in working abroad

    Volunteer (Former Employee)

    ProsFlexibility and insightful experience, would highly recommend to anyone

    ConsStrict policies and procedures when out of site

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Peace Corps reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Peace Corps CEO Carrie Hessler-Radelet . All 154 reviews posted anonymously by Peace Corps employees.