Peace Corps Reviews | Glassdoor

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated February 17, 2017
368 reviews

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Pros
  • Life-changing experience, ability to learn a new language (in 40 reviews)

  • Being able to work with diverse groups of host country nationals (HCN) and hear their stories (in 31 reviews)

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

  • Five year rule of employment is awful (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "You get out of it as much as you put in"

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Great exposure to grassroots development; flexibility in projects; supportive staff; likeminded colleagues who understand why you're doing what you're doing.

    Cons

    lag time between projects can be frustrating; loneliness will be experienced; you need to budget like you've never budgeted before; obscurity in projects can be a pro and a con - but most of the time a con.

    Advice to Management

    invest more time in matching volunteers with needs of sites; the 1 strike policy in violating rules and regulations seems a bit archaic (people make mistakes); make sure that payments are made on a specific date because we budget to last up to that very day


  2. Helpful (1)

    "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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Hard and over whelming at times but for sure the best experience i have had in my life. Hardest job you will ever love.

    Cons

    Learning a different language and culture in a different country could be a little over whelming and hard at times. Loneliness and boredom.

    Advice to Management

    Peace Corps is not for everyone. It pushes you to your limits but it is for sure one of the most rich experiences i have ever had.


  3. "Hardest job you'll have have"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of self direction. Independence.

    Cons

    Need to report to headquarters about nearly every trip. Can be difficult to assimilate to the culture. Definitely difficult working conditions.

    Advice to Management

    Volunteers are placed in very difficult situations - robberies, sexual assault. Listening to their situations without judgment and helping them work through them is the best thing you can do.


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


  5. "Kyrgyzstan PC service"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Peace Corps Volunteer in Fort Collins, CO
    Former Contractor - Peace Corps Volunteer in Fort Collins, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    I learned a new language and met so many beautiful people. Living abroad with a family was a very valuable experience. So many new friends.

    Cons

    The food was bad and you are homesick all of the time. I also pretty sick the whole time I was there.

    Advice to Management

    You need to be more understanding of volunteer's lives and struggles. I believe you need to give us more room and let us do what we think is best. More support!


  6. "Good Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You learn how to be a self-starter and you really learn about yourself; your strengths and your weaknesses. There is also a lot of time for self and community improvement.

    Cons

    HQ can be completely unhelpful. If you want to do a secondary project, don't use Peace Corps grants as your first option. Basically try to reduce the amount of time you spend travelling to and speaking to Peace Corps HQ. Focus on your community and you'll be fine.

    Advice to Management

    Have more empathy. Just because you were a Peace Corps Volunteer at another post does not mean you understand the rewards and difficulties of the volunteer serving in their post.


  7. "Pretty good"

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, easy work, lots of opportunities

    Cons

    5-year contract, occasional lack of talent


  8. "Community/Small Economic Development 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    It is truly as they say in their advertisements: The toughest job you'll ever love. I served in both Mali and Senegal due to instability in the former country. Peace Corps truly does everything to support its volunteers and the extensive language and culture training ensures you'll be prepared to do whatever job you're required to. I still keep in touch with my local community and miss them, even after two years. I would do it all over again. AND I credit Peace Corps as being the sole reason I got into my graduate program because of the great reputation and relations they have with US institutions.

    Cons

    Taking malaria medication for an extended period of time takes its toll, just as much as certain cultural aspects (i.e. loss of autonomy and rights particularly serving in a muslim country as a woman). They could also pay more for readjustment when you return. I was struggling financially within 3-4 months after returning. Difficult constantly having to be "on" in your community and living with a host family means never really having your own space or privacy for a long time.


  9. "CED 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Extensive training program to familiarize you with the local language, local culture, as well as technical skills/knowledge needed to be successful. Extremely supportive staff. They do a great job putting you with host families that are a good fit as well as communities where you can help a lot.

    Cons

    You'll get sick of the food very quickly. A lot of times you will feel lonely, isolated, miserable and bored (out on a LIMB). There are also many times where you want to complete work but cannot due to the circumstances of living in a poor rural community.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great life-changing opportunity for the right candidate."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Youth Development Volunteer
    Former Employee - Youth Development Volunteer
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    There is an incredible amount of opportunity to learn and grow by removing yourself from your comfort zone and gaining exposure to the realities of the developing world. Volunteers experience a significant degree of autonomy to work with organizations and individuals within their host community to develop a brand range of skills and experiences throughout their two years of service. It is an experience that stimulates both personal and professional growth and helps shape your worldview in a very meaningful way. You get out of the experience what you put into it.

    Cons

    Service is very challenging, both personally and professionally. One cannot truly understand the obstacles and frustrations of development work until experiencing it first-hand. Those challenges are compounded by the reality that you are in a completely different cultural environment--likely one that does not speak your first language--and removed from your social safety net back home. The challenges are what make the experience so rewarding, but Peace Corps service simply is not for everyone--particularly not the faint of heart.

    For those looking to start a career, it is worth noting that the Peace Corps is misunderstood by many (if not most) employers in the for-profit sector. It can be tough to market the Peace Corps experience to employers that are not familiar with the notion of professional volunteerism, development, and the Peace Corps mission. That said, it does provide strong international experience that can be helpful for those explicitly interested in a career in international development.

    Advice to Management

    Be more selective about the candidates you accept for a two year term, even if that means reducing the number of communities served. A major aspect of the Peace Corps mission is to cultivate relationships on the grassroots level internationally, and not all individuals are suited to be respectful and conscientious ambassadors of American culture. Because of the high degree of autonomy that volunteers have in their host communities, it is important to select candidates that can be trusted to operate effectively in an ambiguous and significantly self-driven environment.


  11. "Great career opportunity"

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

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    has the potential to add valuable work experience to your resume.
    NCE status for 1 year after completion of service if applying for federal work

    Cons

    You're secluded from everything you've ever known. So it's difficult to adapt at first. But you'll grow in ways you never thought possible. Whether it's positive or negative growth is to be determined.



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