Peace Corps

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Peace Corps Reviews

Updated August 17, 2014
Updated August 17, 2014
369 Reviews

4.3
369 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (in 31 reviews)

  • You go planning to meet really interesting Host Country Nationals (HCN) and you end up meeting some amazing fellow Americans as well (in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • Admin doesn't quite understand the realities of being a volunteer, but that depends country to country (in 21 reviews)

  • Five-year rule causes too much turn over, you need to be looking for a new job when you walk in the door (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

161 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    It is what you make it.

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

    Pros

    You can now choose where you go.

    Cons

    You might just be a political pawn somewhere..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Good fit for those who are committed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer  in  Baku (Azerbaijan)
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Baku (Azerbaijan)

    Pros

    Good opportunities for those who are ambitious with implementing projects.

    Cons

    Can be disheartening to fail a lot of times before succeeding

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to cultivate best practices amongst PCVs

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Travel. Live. Learn. Grow.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer  in  Santa Rosa Mission (Guyana)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Santa Rosa Mission (Guyana)

    Pros

    Live and learn from a group of people who don't think like you, don't act like you, challenge you in ways you never thought possible. Great chance to live in a new country and really learn about the culture and not be a tourist.

    Cons

    You're never really have a "home." You're an outsider there trying to get in and when you finally start to feel like one of the locals, you're on your way transitioning out. Can be very isolated and lonely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Send people in pairs!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great life/cultural exchange experience, and definite skills building

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

    Pros

    Learn about another culture and self through this experience. Learn how to be super resourceful, and building strong relationships/community. Needs are provided for- good benefits. Non-competitive eligibility when service is completed, and re-adjustment reward.

    Cons

    Sometimes to find support. Little choice in location and site work. Not as many trainings as would have liked.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    A powerful forum for cross-cultural exchange

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    A great way to gain regional expertise. One of the best ways to learn a useful foreign language. Good way to build a strong network of peers interested in international development, international affairs. Generally the institution attracts an open-minded, solid, a fun bunch! A wonderful way to give yourself a uniquely challenging work experiences. Forces you to grow in unexpected ways

    Cons

    Security issues, especially for women. You may get sent to a very unpleasant place. Expect extreme cultural shock depending on your country of choice.

  7.  

    Volunteer

    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer  in  Lusaka, Lusaka (Zambia)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Lusaka, Lusaka (Zambia)

    Pros

    The experience is incredibly valuable. Don't expect to change the world or your village at that. But concentrate on the few really willing and open to learning. The experience depends solely on what you do to make it great. Or not.

    Cons

    Staff were helpful most of the time. but there are some fundamental issues of transparency and efficiency assuming mostly due to the bureaucracy of the whole organization.

  8.  

    Experience was amazing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Girl's Education Extension Agenit  in  Kouvé (Togo)
    Former Employee - Girl's Education Extension Agenit in Kouvé (Togo)

    Pros

    Getting to experience first-hand different cultures, gaining life experience, and really valuable soft skills. Living by your self in a host community is an amazing opportunity that most people never get to experience.

    Cons

    Sometimes it can feel lonely and like there is a lack of guidance, but it is also a great opportunity to learn to deal with ambiguity and be more flexible.

    Recommends
  9.  

    very rewarding - hardships are nuanced and location-specific

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    spend more time on the ground with volunteers.

  10.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser

    Pros

    Apart 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.

    Cons

    Other 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Volunteer

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

    Pros

    Volunteer 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.

    Cons

    Difficult 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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