Peace Corps Reviews

Updated 20 October, 2014
Updated 20 October, 2014
403 Reviews
4.3
403 Reviews
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Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet
Carrie Hessler-Radelet
105 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

173 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    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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  5.  

    Peace Corps Volunteer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Advisor in San Agustín, Copán (Honduras)
    Former Employee - Business Advisor in San Agustín, Copán (Honduras)

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

    Pros

    Great experience to experience life in an underserved community. Great opportunity to have a positive impact. Great relationships are built and you get to see how well you handle being outside your comfort zone.

    Cons

    It gets lonely at times. It is a grassroots effort, so finding a sustainable solution for problems may be difficult. It takes time to really understand the problems people face and by then you realize your service is over

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find collaboration possibilities: USAID, other NGO's, etc. to work on projects together (they bring resources, volunteers bring manpower).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Once in a life-time opportunities but inefficient bureaucracy.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in Mbabane (Swaziland)
    Former Employee - Education Specialist in Mbabane (Swaziland)

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

    Pros

    Integrate into a community across the globe. Build life-long relationships. Change the lives of your neighbors and friends while building life-long relationships and building capacity to solve persistent challenges.

    Cons

    Inefficient bureaucracy often gets in the way of progress on projects. Overly focused on volunteer retention verses quality of work-product.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hold volunteers more accountable to meeting objectives and press them to engage and overcome challenges rather than find excuses.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great experience with a lot of learning and continuous change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Financial Specialist in Rabat (Morocco)
    Former Employee - Financial Specialist in Rabat (Morocco)

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

    Pros

    Peace Corps has a lot to offer in terms of personal development. It is a great organization to work for non-profit in terms of different tasks and activities.

    Cons

    Rotating management can sometimes be exhausting. Also, training opportunities are limited in terms of software training, certificates like project management and continuing education.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in training of local employees at host countries and open job rotation overseas for them whenever possible. They have a lot to offer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great life-work balance and experience for furthering career or earning MA degree

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Minimal oversight. Very good for people who are outgoing and self-motivated. Great work-life balance. Compensation is low, obviously, but no problem getting by on allowance.

    Cons

    Pre-Service Training could be better, but is pretty useful in terms of cultural and linguistic training.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Amazing experience I wouldn't take back for anything, despite its bumps in the road

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Local Government Capacity Builder in Francistown (Botswana)
    Former Employee - Local Government Capacity Builder in Francistown (Botswana)

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

    Pros

    - Gratifying work, knowing you made a difference
    - Cultural experience, living in a different country, living like locals
    - Freedom to work in unstructured environment and choose what secondary project(s) you start

    Cons

    -It's disheartening that more projects you start fail than succeed!
    -Quite a lot of volunteers had problems with Peace Corps Staff (in Botswana), mainly for lack of transparency and feeling like staff is not on their side. I personally can't complain.
    - Lack of choice: Peace Corps sends you where they want, you don't choose what country you serve in

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY!

    note: Peace Corps Management in each country is different, so I cannot generalize all of Peace Corps here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    A worthwhile experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PCV Madagascar
    Former Employee - PCV Madagascar

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

    Pros

    - Minimal oversight
    - You get what you put in
    - Great training

    I was a year out of college and placed as a health volunteer in a coastal village in Madagascar. Halfway through my service I decided that health education was not the best way to leave an impact on my community, so I started a business with a local family to dry and sell fruit and teach sustainable business practices. It was awesome. The experience and the friends are forever.

    Cons

    - Limited structure (if you need structure)
    - Poor post-service career choices unless you want to work in development or education

    Peace corps provides fantastic soft skills and perspective. If you are fixed in your ways, you will learn to be flexible or fail. However, unless you intend to pursue a career based on soft skills (politics, sales, NGO work), you are going to have a rough time readjusting. I'm transitioning to engineering, so there's a big skill gap that I need to make up.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Best experience of my life

    • 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

    A unique opportunity to live in another culture, experience a world apart from your own, and face and overcome some of the most challenging situations you will ever face.

    Cons

    The life of a PCV can be lonely. In addition, many volunteers go to Peace Corps with a goal of doing "something" for the host community. My experience was that this was more of a relationship building and personal growth experience than a development experience.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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