Peace Corps Reviews | Glassdoor

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated June 23, 2017
877 reviews

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4.2
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
326 Ratings

877 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Life-changing experience, ability to learn a new language (in 41 reviews)

  • Working with Peace Corps is a wonderful, life changing experience (in 31 reviews)

Cons
  • Five-year rule and in-and-out rule (in 14 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Should not be considered a government agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    - Postive attitudes; 90% RPCVs at HQ

    Cons

    - no continuity due to archaic 5 year rule
    - not much professionalism
    - not much productivity
    - not much business ethic
    - some jobs seem improvised
    - cult-like vibe

    Advice to Management

    Too much time is spent on the PC culture instead of the daily workloads. The mission needs to be reformed to fit modern day.


  2. "The friendliest people you'll ever want to stab you in the back."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There is a lot of love to go around in this building. The people who come to work everyday come because they care and have a common esprit de corps. There is lots of room for promotion and a great work life balance. Whats more when you leave, everyone is there to say a heartfelt goodbye.

    Cons

    Peace Corps is, at the end of the day, a government bureaucracy. Its ideals, hopes and dreams, inevitably fail to measure up to its achievements. Its political appointees pursue their own personal, Washington D.C oriented vendetta's with one another, with little regard for what goes on beyond its walls, in the Peace Corps community and with the Volunteers overseas.

    Advice to Management

    Stop bickering with one another, comport yourselves with apparent integrity, and learn to communicate better, with staff, with volunteers in the field, and with the 200,000+ returned members of the Peace Corps.

    Additionally, create a clear decision making process, one that isn't based on personal relationships, or ego, but on an understood, accepted and transparent process where the most reasoned or innovative idea wins.

    And never appoint political appointees who didn't serve as Peace Corps Volunteers. Period.

  3. "Volunteer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    I can't say there was anything truly positive that came from volunteering with the Peace Corps. They are an insulated organization that doesn't respond well to criticisms.

    Cons

    No professional development. We were treated like children. They also swept sexual assault under the rug. It is basically a large cult that refuses to listen to the concerns of volunteers. Would not recommend under any circumstance.

    Advice to Management

    Stop micro managing and listen to the volunteers in the field, they know better than you do.


  4. "Misleading and Unprofessional"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Volunteer
    Former Employee - Volunteer
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Program sounds great on paper but the process for clearance and staging is misleading and unprofessional

    Cons

    The clearance process is not guaranteed for accepted invitees which is clearly stated by Peace Corps, but what is misleading is the heavy financial burden and unprofessional nature of receiving the clearance. I paid $1,009 (with cost share reimbursements already factored in) for clearance procedures when I was told I would likely not receive clearance just 2 months before my departure. I did not hear from the clearance department for three months after I submitted all required information for clearance, and then I was told I needed to complete additional tasks immediately or my clearance would be denied. I could not afford to continue in the process with such little financial notice as the additional tasks were lengthy, expensive, and unexpected. Peace Corps reports that 90% of applicants can make it through clearance, but what they don't report is how many applicants have to withdraw their applications because of the cost barrier. The costs I incurred were with health insurance coverage and despite the Peace Corps cost share program that reimbursed me just $12 for the eye exam and $60 for dental, I still shouldered a large financial burden for a clearance that ultimately fell through. For future applicants to get a better feel of the costs you can expect here is a list of what I incurred:

    $75 Eye exam (with purchase of new glasses required by PC) deduct: $12 for cost share
    $20 various medical record transfer requests
    $25 Passport processing fee
    $19 Passport mailing fee (PC requires legal documents to be sent through Priority FedEx/UPS)
    $15 Passport photos
    $89 Dentist X-rays deduct: $60 for cost share
    $10 Fingerprinting Fee
    $19 Mailing of Legal Kit through Fed-Ex/UPS Priority (required by PC to send through priority mail)
    $809 (wisdom teeth removal although dentist clearly stated all teeth were asymptomatic)

    This breakdown does not include additional tasks that I was asked to complete after the initial screening when I withdrew my application. I just want other applicants to be aware of some of the unexpected costs of the program and no guarantee of departure. I missed a lot of valuable lead time to apply for other opportunities because Peace Corps only started processing my clearance requirements and adding new tasks just 2 months before my expected departure. One other aspect that many applicants are unaware of when applying, is that Peace Corps does not defer or forbear any student loans during service even if they were granted by the federal government. I know quite a few people that applied, but after receiving this information had to also withdraw.

    Advice to Management

    Be more forthcoming about the specific expectations for getting clearance and offer struggling students more support. Allow applicants more lead-time to get appointments and complete extensive paperwork/procedures after the initial submission for clearance so they can prepare financially. And, don’t discriminate against applicants that may not have perfect medical backgrounds but have been cleared by multiple medical professionals as fit for service.


  5. "Disorganization - Completely lost its way"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Other Volunteers are committed. The integration process of placement with host families was excellent.

    Cons

    Highest percentage of political appointees of ANY agency in Washington DC.
    A female volunteer is more likely to be sexually assaulted while in service than a US soldier was to be killed or wounded in Iraq.
    35% early termination rate

    Advice to Management

    Hire real managers with NGO experience. Stop appointing friends with no meaningful international exposure/experience. Re-evaluate the bottom-up approach - it's outdated and ineffective.


  6. "Open Peace Corps Response to public and cancel 27-month aimless volunteer stints"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great cultural & language immersion

    Cons

    Medical staff does not care about you; Peace Corps is solely concerned with their own reputation and image; Staff does not support volunteers; Medical issues back in the states are a much bigger issue -- Staff in DC is not timely and they make it really difficult to get reimbursed or even get in to see a specialist

    Advice to Management

    Assign jobs before volunteers are deployed (NOT once they are in-country); Hire better & knowledgable medical staff; Cancel Peace Corps and open Response type work to the public


  7. "Terrible experience after I was severely injured...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CBOD in Bangkok (Thailand)
    Former Employee - CBOD in Bangkok (Thailand)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Peace Corps part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Volunteers are GREAT people to have known

    Cons

    My program was disorganized: there were too many people sent and not enough for everyone to do. Many people ended up teaching english instead of what they were assigned to do. I was treated terribly after a medical emergency sent me back to the USA. I tried to re-apply again but was laughed at as they 'pitied' what had happened previously.

  8. "Great goals, poor implementation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Riobamba (Ecuador)
    Former Employee - Volunteer in Riobamba (Ecuador)
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Great to trail and learn about other cutlures

    Cons

    In-country star does not know what is happening, and is very unhelpful. You are dropped off somewhere with no resources or way to get anything done.

    Advice to Management

    Get better training on how to manage millenials


  9. "Not a good experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Johannesburg (South Africa)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Johannesburg (South Africa)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Got to see a new country.

    Cons

    Did not feel supported by the peace corps. You had to push to get any medical treatment. Ended up with a hearing loss.

    Advice to Management

    Evaluate if you are really making a difference with the programs you have in place.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Staff negligence put many in my group in danger"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Living abroad and working abroad were absolutely amazing. I had a great time learning about another culture and enjoyed the work I was doing.

    Cons

    When I joined, I thought that the hardest part would be learning a new language and integrating. In reality, it was trying to deal with administration. I was placed in a community where they had clearly not done any previous research and it was a dangerous situation and when I informed them of the dangers, they still left me there and would not even allow me to request a site change. A man had threatened to sexually assault me in my site and they told me it didn't matter because he wasn't from my community. When I said I was more concerned about how isolated my community was and that situation could happen, whether he had acted on his words or not, they told me that isolation was just something I needed to learn to deal with.

    A few months later, two men with weapons robbed me, forced me off the side of the road and tried to assault me. They only stopped because I fought them off. Peace Corps told me that being assaulted was my fault because I was walking in my community. Even though I was walking from where I lived to where I worked and was on the main road at 11am. I had to go home after this attack. When I got back to the states, I did some research and found that Peace Corps has a history of victim blaming and ignoring when women ask for site changes for fear of sexual assault. They just changed some policies but clearly those have not been implemented. A staggering 10% from my group of volunteers had to go home early because of a safety incidents we faced within our sites and all of them were preventable and for all of them admin responded very poorly.

    Advice to Management

    Do proper research to make sure site are safe, listen when people express safety concerns, stop victim blaming.


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