Peace Corps

www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated January 29, 2015
Updated January 29, 2015
443 Reviews
4.3
443 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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

192 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    A worthwhile experience

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

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

    Pros

    - Minimal oversight
    - You get what you put in
    - Great training

    I was a year out of college and placed as a health volunteer in a coastal village in Madagascar. Halfway through my service I decided that health education was not the best way to leave an impact on my community, so I started a business with a local family to dry and sell fruit and teach sustainable business practices. It was awesome. The experience and the friends are forever.

    Cons

    - Limited structure (if you need structure)
    - Poor post-service career choices unless you want to work in development or education

    Peace corps provides fantastic soft skills and perspective. If you are fixed in your ways, you will learn to be flexible or fail. However, unless you intend to pursue a career based on soft skills (politics, sales, NGO work), you are going to have a rough time readjusting. I'm transitioning to engineering, so there's a big skill gap that I need to make up.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Best experience of my life

    • 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

    A unique opportunity to live in another culture, experience a world apart from your own, and face and overcome some of the most challenging situations you will ever face.

    Cons

    The life of a PCV can be lonely. In addition, many volunteers go to Peace Corps with a goal of doing "something" for the host community. My experience was that this was more of a relationship building and personal growth experience than a development experience.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great experience, no regrets.

    • 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

    Offers an opportunity to discover new cultures, philosophies, languages, and people. Work can be slow, frustrating, and hard, but once you find your groove it can be the most rewarding work you've ever done.

    Cons

    Training could have been more focused on work related issues. Head office staff can be unhelpful and sometimes just incompetent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Program managers could offer more support in terms of projects and work contacts. Of course, program managers will vary by country so you will have to wait and see.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    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

    I have been working at Peace Corps

    Pros

    You can now choose where you go.

    Cons

    You might just be a political pawn somewhere..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    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

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

    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
  7.  

    A powerful forum for cross-cultural exchange

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    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.

  8.  

    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

    I worked at Peace Corps

    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.

  9.  

    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

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

    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
  10.  

    Great experience, would recommend to anyone interested in working abroad

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

    I worked at Peace Corps (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility and insightful experience, would highly recommend to anyone

    Cons

    Strict policies and procedures when out of site

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  11.  

    Great Experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Once in a lifetime experience to work in a community that you would not have otherwise had access to. If you are interested in living overseas, PC is a great way to try it without incurring as much risk.

    Cons

    Definitely some challenging times living in another culture and being away from any real structure. Teaches you how to manage yourself.

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