Peace Corps Reviews

Updated October 17, 2014
Updated October 17, 2014
400 Reviews
4.3
400 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (in 32 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 22 reviews)

  • Peace Corps has a "five-year rule" which limits employment and reduces institutional memory (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Appreciation comes with perspective.

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

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

    Pros

    You get to do amazing things with full autonomy right out of college.
    You meet people who are incredibly interested in you and your background.
    You get to learn about another culture and what it has to offer.

    Cons

    The cultural differences are sometimes frustrating and patience only gets you so far.
    Making the difference that some people set out to make is usually a fools errand.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes treat volunteers like college students. Perhaps that's because so many are, but some additional freedom would have been nice.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Toughest job I'll ever love.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - School & Community Resources Volunteer in Pretoria, Gauteng (South Africa)
    Former Employee - School & Community Resources Volunteer in Pretoria, Gauteng (South Africa)

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

    Pros

    Though quite challenging, the rewards you claim from successful projects and goals attained is absolutely amazing. The level of personal development and growth you gain is unmatched from any other work experience. Traveling in country or outside the borders is always a perk.

    Cons

    The application process is long and demanding. At respective sites/villages, volunteers are responsible for their own health and safety, which requires good-judgement and awareness. Compensation is minimal since you are a volunteer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

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

    Pros

    If you are committed to helping people in the developing world and have some ideas for programs that you would like to develop and test, this is an ideal environment. PC provides language training, some additional education, the Peace Corps brand, some say "government issued and a stipend. There does not appear to be a requirement to comply with performance standards nor a penalty for spending your days watching videos.

    Cons

    Egregious violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It took 2,5 years of applications, document submissions and appeals to be finally accepted with ADHD. You might think that once you finally get in your difficulties are over, but not so! They repeatedly harassed me and tried to fire me. Finally did...

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5.  

    Once in a life-time opportunities but inefficient bureaucracy.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in Mbabane (Swaziland)
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in Mbabane (Swaziland)

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

    Pros

    Integrate into a community across the globe. Build life-long relationships. Change the lives of your neighbors and friends while building life-long relationships and building capacity to solve persistent challenges.

    Cons

    Inefficient bureaucracy often gets in the way of progress on projects. Overly focused on volunteer retention verses quality of work-product.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hold volunteers more accountable to meeting objectives and press them to engage and overcome challenges rather than find excuses.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great life-work balance and experience for furthering career or earning MA degree

    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Minimal oversight. Very good for people who are outgoing and self-motivated. Great work-life balance. Compensation is low, obviously, but no problem getting by on allowance.

    Cons

    Pre-Service Training could be better, but is pretty useful in terms of cultural and linguistic training.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Wonderful experience of truly living in another country, however Peace Corps provided little positive support.

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

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

    Pros

    You get to learn a new language and understand a different culture the way many will never get the opportunity to. It provides you with great independence and the opportunity to work on leadership and project development skills (which are great for a variety of future careers). The monthly stipend you receive is enough to let you live in the village you're in, but if you plan on traveling around you will need to come with some money from home.

    Cons

    Just like working with any government agency, there are many rules and regulations in place. I personally lived in a smaller country so I had a lot of unwanted control on my projects and schedules. Usually if you are working for an organization, it is expected that you have management and supervision from superiors. However, because you are told to be independent and to be an individual volunteer in your respective communities, it is hard to truly make an impact and do projects that you think will benefit your community when you feel constricted my Peace Corps' regulations and management. The amount of control you feel from your supervisors differs from the type of person is staffed there at the time. It may be worthwhile, before accepting your invitation to the country, to ask people currently serving there now about their opinion of the director and program managers.

  8.  

    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
  9.  

    environmental volunteer, South America

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

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

    Pros

    Working in Peace Corps ensures a unique experience and opportunities to learn new skills that you may otherwise not have had the opportunity to learn like a second language, grant writing, project management, etc. There is also the chance to truly connect with another culture and people.

    Cons

    There are countless challenges for volunteers including but not limited to: being sick often, lower standards of hygiene, struggling with a new language, feelings of isolation or not having enough privacy, missing everything from home - people, pets, food, music and more. Also getting used to a new culture with different values which can sometimes be hard for an American and the slow pace of project development in rural or smaller sites. Aside from these things coming home after the 2 years can be stressful - Adjusting back to American life and looking for a job

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great experience with a lot of learning and continuous change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Specialist in Rabat (Morocco)
    Former Employee - Financial Specialist in Rabat (Morocco)

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Peace Corps has a lot to offer in terms of personal development. It is a great organization to work for non-profit in terms of different tasks and activities.

    Cons

    Rotating management can sometimes be exhausting. Also, training opportunities are limited in terms of software training, certificates like project management and continuing education.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in training of local employees at host countries and open job rotation overseas for them whenever possible. They have a lot to offer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Amazing experience I wouldn't take back for anything, despite its bumps in the road

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Local Government Capacity Builder in Francistown (Botswana)
    Former Employee - Local Government Capacity Builder in Francistown (Botswana)

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

    Pros

    - Gratifying work, knowing you made a difference
    - Cultural experience, living in a different country, living like locals
    - Freedom to work in unstructured environment and choose what secondary project(s) you start

    Cons

    -It's disheartening that more projects you start fail than succeed!
    -Quite a lot of volunteers had problems with Peace Corps Staff (in Botswana), mainly for lack of transparency and feeling like staff is not on their side. I personally can't complain.
    - Lack of choice: Peace Corps sends you where they want, you don't choose what country you serve in

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY!

    note: Peace Corps Management in each country is different, so I cannot generalize all of Peace Corps here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Work at Peace Corps? Share Your Experiences

Peace Corps

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.