Peace Corps

  www.peacecorps.gov
  www.peacecorps.gov

Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 5 December 2014
Updated 5 December 2014
423 Reviews
4.3
423 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
112 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Leadership experience, learn a new language, experience new cultures (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

180 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Opportunity to do amazing things abroad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Community Health Volunteer in Yaoundé (Cameroon)
    Current Employee - Community Health Volunteer in Yaoundé (Cameroon)

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Gain great international experience with minimum qualifications. Personal growth dealing with independence, project management, failure, patience, working with different cultures are unparalleled.

    Cons

    Your job description is more about what you might possibly accomplish than what you actually will be doing. It can mislead in comparison to other jobs; you will create your own job when you arrive independently. Despite a complete disconnect of your work in the field, administrative bureaucracy can still be frustrating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure more work is done through partnerships and more continuity from one volunteer to the next.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great opportunity for professional and personal growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Asuncion, Central (Paraguay)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Asuncion, Central (Paraguay)

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Generally volunteers have a lot of freedom to work on the projects that spark their interests/ background (taking the community's interest into account of course). You have a PC boss and community counterpart, however when you are in the field you are essentially your own boss.

    Cons

    The role of the volunteer is often quite ambiguous which can be frustrating and confusing. Volunteers' work is not meant to change the world and it won't, but the small changes you make make it worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better site development; more collaboration with local governments on development programs

    Recommends
  3.  

    Toughest job you'll ever love

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    The best place to learn life lessons and change your life.

    Cons

    It is difficult being an outsider and a target in the communities at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't place female volunteers alone.

    Recommends
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  5.  

    Economic Development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Economic Development Volunteer in Kabale, Kabale (Uganda)
    Former Employee - Economic Development Volunteer in Kabale, Kabale (Uganda)

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

    Pros

    Best thing I've ever done with my life.

    Cons

    Many volunteers spend their days doing no significant work. They act like its a 2 year vacation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better screening

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    great experience

    • 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

    I am a volunteer who had a remarkably good experience with Peace Corps- good site placement, no issues with admin, lots of professional and personal development opportunities.

    Cons

    however, I know that not everyone is as lucky as I was - including volunteers in my program. If I had had serious issues, I was not 100% confident the admin staff would have had sufficient competency to handle it.

    Recommends
  7.  

    Worthwhile, and certainly unforgettable

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

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

    Pros

    It is what you make of it; lots of freedom and encouragement from PC supervisors, though this depends on the country of placement. You have substantial freedom, and work directly with community members and members of NGO's, PC, etc. alike, in managing projects and developing the health projects (as needed) in your site. It was a wonderful experience and (can) enhance your confidence, creativity, and ability to create sustainable projects with limited resources. Amazing that an organization will support you financially to live amongst a foreign culture for two years.

    Cons

    (As with Pros, Cons are very dependent on the country of placement) Lack of communication (and ergo efficiency) between PC supervisors, and often between supervisors and volunteers. PC offices (in-country) can be under-staffed and this makes it difficult for employees to stay up-to-date regarding volunteer's needs (even if they do care about volunteer happiness, etc.). Inefficient language training as well. There is of course lots of bureaucracy involved in working for the government. Many volunteers struggle with the seclusion, but this is a personal obstacle, and one that's worth overcoming for the chance to integrate with a new culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take advice from volunteers seriously regarding site preparation and training

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    A challenging, but rewarding experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Education Volunteer in Freetown (Sierra Leone)
    Former Employee - Education Volunteer in Freetown (Sierra Leone)

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

    Pros

    A chance to work very independently. Your experience is truly what you make of it.

    Cons

    You will be working in a bureaucracy, both in the PC office in country and PC HQ in DC, so be prepared for slow and sometimes unresponsive communications.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use on the ground experience to shape local PC policies, rather than surrounding countries and DC.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    The hardest job you'll ever love!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Johannesburg (South Africa)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Johannesburg (South Africa)

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

    Pros

    The primary advantage of being a Peace Corps volunteer over other entry-level overseas positions is the significant infrastructural support you receive, that is, medical care, language training, technical training in your sector, etc. There is almost infinite space for you to realize sustainable development, the primary limitation being you, your willingness to fill in your knowledge gaps, to collaborate with others, to do what it takes to get the job done.

    Cons

    The greatest challenge was overcoming isolation, which I largely did through finding satisfaction with my work and creating a life in the place I lived.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage volunteers to be their own advocates!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Place If You Don't Know What You're doing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Nonthaburi (Thailand)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Nonthaburi (Thailand)

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

    Pros

    Great Experience. You get a taste of what it's like to live abroad. It's definitely worth it insofar as expanding your horizons is concerned

    Cons

    Can be seen as a waste of time. Staff may not be supportive.

    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Cut Short by Ebola

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Freetown (Sierra Leone)
    Current Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Freetown (Sierra Leone)

    I have been working at Peace Corps as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Wonderful people to live and work with. Similar backgrounds and experiences all led us to pick Peace Corps. Most of the staff were former volunteers, so they knew what situation we were in.

    Cons

    As with all government agencies, there's a hefty amount of bureaucracy. I was in Sierra Leone, and it didn't seem as if everyone was quite sure what was happening. This is completely understandable, though, because of Ebola. That is what ultimately cut our experience short.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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