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Peace Corps Reviews

Updated March 23, 2017
376 reviews

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4.0
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
124 Ratings

376 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Five year rule of employment is awful (in 11 reviews)

  • Tough living conditions (obviously), but they make you a stronger person (in 21 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "A great job and wonderful experience as long as you can tolerate an inadequate, overworked, blame driven support staff."

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

    Pros

    To live in another country, help underdeveloped communities, and experience the world in ways we could never in America.

    Cons

    Management skills are wanting and support is almost non existent in Morocco. Hopefully, this is not the case in other countries.

    Advice to Management

    Give us an opportunity to do our jobs, do not micro manage, and listen to us. We are the ones in the field, we have valid perspectives that are in most cases more pertinent than your theory in Rabat. Furthermore, we were chosen by Washington to do this job because we are talented intelligent capable people. Please stop treating us like we are 5 years old.


  2. "Peace Corps still a great way to see the world and help others"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Recommends

    Pros

    The language training is excellent. You get to work with some of the most interesting people you'll ever meet. Being an RPCV looks great on a resume.

    Cons

    Your hands are somewhat tied when it comes to being able to speaking openly (especially when it reflects a negative viewpoint) about your host country.

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your volunteers. It's one thing to talk to them over the phone and to be receptive to them in the comfort of your office, but quite another to go out and stay with them even for a brief amount of time at their site.


  3. "Great way to meet people, but don't apply if you like to feel sorry for yourself"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Education Volunteer (Mozambique) in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Education Volunteer (Mozambique) in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    Pros

    I met so many people while I was in Mozambique! I was like a celebrity. It was so great to understand what life is like for the majority of the people on it: baths out of buckets, rickety vibrant houses, and truly seasonal food selection. My host family was great. Once I got to site, I had some great opportunities to make a difference in my students' lives, because not all of them have anyone to look up to or maybe their parents don't hold them accountable for their actions, I could do that for them.
    I went to the bank 3 hours from my site, but when I got there I got to spend a day in a town where any other American who was there probably spent
    I got seemingly pretty advanced medical treatment for my knees, I was surprised that Peace Corps would pick up the tab for that but they did.

    Cons

    I say you shouldn't apply if you feel sorry for yourself because you need to be really optimistic while you're abroad, otherwise you might become a bitter volunteer, one of the people who is always complaining about your host country rather than forgiving it its faults and enjoying what it has to offer. The living allowance at training was plenty and would have been helpful if I'd saved some of it instead of spending it all on beer, the montly living allowance was not enough.
    My kids were not as hungry for knowledge and a "better" life as I thought they would be. Expect to repeat the words "Open your notebooks" a lot.

    Advice to Management

    If you have to administratively separate someone, treat them with the respect and dignity that they deserve. Volunteers are giving two of the best years of their life to serve under you and deserve to be treated and considered as a respected employee even after the decision has been made to fire them.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Travel to college campuses to convince people to live abroad for 2 years below the poverty line."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Regional Recruiter in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Regional Recruiter in Denver, CO
    Recommends

    Pros

    Government position that is designed to take care of you. It will not make you rich but you live comfortably. Lots of travel to college campuses where your name is recognized easily by students and faculty. I really enjoyed making the presentations and talking about my past experiences.

    Cons

    5 year work limit forced high turnover. Repetitive presentations and working alone place pressure on you to change the material but not permitted. Government management isn't always up to par. Strange government spending regulations make travel sometimes challenging. Small budget compared to other departments.

    Advice to Management

    Concentrate on continuity of the program rather than "making your mark" during the few years that you are there. Make changes where needed and quickly but don't make drastic alterations to the infrastructure for short term fixes (i.e. making the budget)


  6. "Great place to explore the world"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - English Teacher in Washington, DC
    Recommends

    Pros

    People in my country were very happy to work with me
    Opportunities for leadership
    Wonderful co-workers - both local colleagues, other peace corps volunteers, and other international volunteers
    Good support with language and cultural training
    Respect and support of in-country staff
    Making a positive difference

    Cons

    Health issues
    Harsh climate
    Unreliable schedules
    While abroad, lose connections and friends back in USA - difficult to keep up
    Missing country of service after leaving to go back to USA

    Advice to Management

    The most important thing you can do is have great, sympathetic in-country staff. Choose and train them well. they made a lot of difference for me.


  7. "It was rewarding and challenging"

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

    Pros

    Traveling to a new place and learning the local culture.

    Cons

    The rules and regulations can take away from some of joys.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Internship (FWS)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Intern - Intern in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Peace Corps as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Interning for Peace Corps allows you to learn more about the volunteers, the way the organization works, and to meet many RPCVs and hear their experiences.

    Cons

    Many of the lower-level employees are not very respectful of interns (however, the upper-level staff seems to really value your work).

    Advice to Management

    Make sure there is better supervision of interns- not only do we need a clear boss to make sure we get our work done and know who to ask questions of, but it's also helpful when applying for future positions to know who we should put down as the supervisor who can speak to our quality of work.


  9. "Peace Corps review"

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

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

    Pros

    Great experience, wonderful opportunity to explore an entirely different part of the world, culture, lifestyle.

    Cons

    Extremely challenging physically and mentally; lack of organized projects and communications and administrative systems can be very frustrating. Are the PCV work and projects really effective and sustainable? Its difficult to measure this.

    Advice to Management

    Peace Corps primarily tackles goals 2 and 3, which are great and very important. However, in order to be more effective PCVs for goal 1, it's important and each country office and CD try to collaborate well with existing NGOs and other development projects. Helping developing countries is NOT a competition, it's a world wide effort that needs to be collaborative.


  10. "Lifechanging"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    It's an incredible experience and I learned so much about myself. I also learned a lot about grass roots development.

    Cons

    No clear job description, not a lot of support from administration. It's really really difficult sometimes and I often wanted to go home. But I'm glad I stuck it out.


  11. "Worth the red tape."

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

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

    Pros

    You will be hard pressed to find another organization that so values community integration and grassroots community development.

    Cons

    Sometimes a lack of site development and staff support

    Advice to Management

    Communicate with your volunteers



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