Peace Corps: The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love
For 36 years, the Peace Corps has advanced a unique and challenging mission: to foster international peace and friendship; encourage grass-roots development in the world’s poorest nations; and build greater understanding of the world among Americans. More than 148,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers since the agency was founded in 1961. Today, nearly 6,500 serve in 90 countries around the world, providing assistance in education, health, agriculture, environment and business development.
Peace Corps offers trained men and women a chance to gain important international experience, challenge themselves personally and help solve the world’s pressing problems. Employers in Government and the private sector value the experience acquired by Peace Corps Volunteers. Peace Corps assignments emphasize appropriate technology and cultural sensitivity. Serving two years, Volunteers work in a variety of fields, usually at the community level:
- -Economic Development
- -Forestry and Environment
- -Health and Nutrition
- -Industrial Arts
WHO IS ELIGIBLE
Most assignments require a bachelors degree, but some may require an additional 3-5 years of work experience; others may require a master’s degree.
Graduates in liberal arts fields must have demonstrated skills requested by Peace Corps host countries. Please note that selection from among liberal arts candidates is highly competitive.
You must be a U. S. citizen at least 18 years old. There is no upper age limit.
Married couples are welcome, but difficult to place. Peace Corps does not place families with dependent children.
During service, Volunteers receive a monthly allowance for food, clothing and incidentals. They also receive free medical and dental care, vacation time, and transportation to and from their overseas sites. Most student loan payments are deferred for the duration of Peace Corps service, and there is a partial Perkins Loan cancellation program available.
Volunteers receive 8-12 weeks of intensive language, cultural and technical training. Periodic in-service workshops assist Volunteers in project planning, reinforcing skills and teaching new ones.
ON THE JOB
Peace Corps Volunteers live in both rural and urban settings at the level of their host country counterparts. They work with host country agencies or institutions and also maintain contact with Peace Corps staff. Often, Volunteers share worksites with, or are located near, other Volunteers. Although they leave family and friends behind in the United States, many Volunteers feel that one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience is making new friends and being welcomed in the host country culture.
LIFE AFTER PEACE CORPS
Following Peace Corps service, Volunteers receive a readjustment allowance of approximately $5,400. They receive job hunting assistance from Peace Corps, and are eligible for Federal employment on a non-competitive basis. More than 50 institutions offer special scholarships and assistantships for returning Volunteers. The Peace Corps Fellows/USA program can open doors for returned volunteers by providing part-time employment in under-served communities while they attend graduate school. There is even a way to get academic credit for certain Peace Corps training.
HOW DO I APPLY
If you are interested in becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer, call (800) 424-8580 (toll-free) and choose option one. This will put you in touch with your local recruiter, who will discuss your options, and send you an application and any additional information you request. Keep in mind, the application process can take up to one year, so please plan accordingly.
If you are interested in an administrative position at Peace Corps Headquarters, please visit us at www.peacecorps.gov/employment , for current job listings.
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