Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 28 September 2014
Updated 28 September 2014
390 Reviews
4.3
390 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
102 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.  

    Guatemala Peace Corps

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Wonderful staff and many opportunities to develop projects and grow professionally

    Cons

    No work life balance. No freedom. Priorities are on keeping the post open, not on the life of the volunteers or the projects

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Hardest Job You Will Ever Love

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Your service is what you make it. You can really get involved in the community, in your work, and in friends and have a lasting impact long after you leave.

    Cons

    .. or, you can be sad, lonely, depressed, and miserable. It's your choice. It is what you make it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Attract new volunteers just like every other company is doing.. Make it worth their time and lives by offering them jobs after!

    Recommends
  3.  

    very rewarding - hardships are nuanced and location-specific

    • 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

    freedom to develop projects; interesting areas; lots of personal growth; opportunities to travel and meet interesting people

    Cons

    resources, lack of support, very bureaucratic (it's a government agency); high turn-over among leaders and volunteers, often vague and ambiguous expectations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    spend more time on the ground with volunteers.

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  5.  

    There's a reason why "the toughest job you'll ever love" is still one of their slogans.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser
    Former Employee - Community Economic Development Adviser

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Apart from being immersed in another culture and language for over two years, I think the main pros are also the cons. This experience will test to to your limits mentally and physically. There was almost no direction in what to do once at site. It can be really difficult, overwhelming, and isolating. But by the end of those 27 months, you can look back at what you've accomplished and say that you made that happen. You initiated meaningful projects and made a real impact on your community not because someone told you to do it, but because you saw that's what needed to be done and did it. And by overcoming those enormous obstacles, it just makes that feeling that much more meaningful.

    Cons

    Other cons were the bureaucracy of decision making from Washington and sometimes volunteers in my country feel as if they weren't supported enough by the medical staff. Keep in mind, however, that I felt very safe and that the medical staff-volunteer relationship will vary drastically within one country, let alone from country to country. It just depends on what your expectations are and the alacrity and American professionalism of your country's medical unit.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great organization if finding value in your work is important to you.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Peace Corps

    Pros

    Travel, challenge and essentially managing your own schedule and projects

    Cons

    Limited oversight from management made certain projects difficult to complete

  7.  

    Great life experience

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Cultural/language/technical training, the host country staff is great and I grew so much as a person during my 27-month service.

    Cons

    Things are SLOW with DC. Reimbursements, medical requests all took a very long time to be "approved" by DC and then getting back to me.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Truly the hardest job you will ever love

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer  in  Asuncion, Central (Paraguay)
    Former Employee - Peace Corps Volunteer in Asuncion, Central (Paraguay)

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    You have time by yourself, but also make amazing friends halfway around the world. You learn how to be creative, to be a self-starter, and to not give up. You learn how to embrace failure and ask for support. And you may just learn a language that you will never use again.

    Cons

    Not a lot of support in some countries. I was lucky and had an amazing Peace Corps team, but I have heard that is not the same in all countries.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Volunteer

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Volunteer while living abroad with a paid stipend, excellent medical care, and language training. Peace Corps is well respected within the development community and is an excellent resume builder for someone looking to start an international career.

    Cons

    Difficult working conditions, incompetent bureaucracy, and safety issues. The high degree of staff turnover and differences in work culture between local staff and American volunteers creates a hard to navigate bureaucracy that makes even the simplest tasks difficult. Peace Corps field positions are amazing, life-changing experience but much of your time may be spend wrangling with administrative tasks.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great experience! I highly recommend it!

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

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I think the pros are obvious. You get to live in another country and experience a foreign culture like very few Americans have. You gain a perspective on development that is very difficult to get anywhere else.

    Cons

    Sometimes you do feel the bureaucracy of the Federal Government. The pros outweigh the cons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Help out your volunteers when they need it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great Training, Work, and Travel

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - English Teacher Trainer  in  Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)
    Former Employee - English Teacher Trainer in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)

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

    Pros

    As a volunteer and as a staff member, I have seen PC from different angles. I was able to spend more than 2 years as a paid-volunteer overseas. In that time, I learned a new language, a new culture, and international experience. I was well taken care of, and I didn't spend any of my own money (except for the blood tests I had to get before I left). As an employee, I could not have had a better experience. They love their staff, and they take care of them. It is a lot of work, but I never felt overwhelmed and the benefits were great.

    Cons

    The volunteer application is very long. Mine took a year, but other's took longer. You will be "roughing" it for two years. Don't expect first class accommodations. However, this is what a lot of people want out of their experience, the chance to live with locals in a developing country.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to find ways to keep volunteers safe and healthy. My experience was fine, but there is always room for improvement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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