Community Health Volunteer (Former Employee) – Dominican Republic – March 11, 2014
As a Volunteer you are on the job 24/7. You live in the community you are serving and also work within that community. I had several classes going and a few extra curricular programs running in my community. Early in the day, I would have a "Brilliant Girls" group, where we would showcase talents, engage in discussions about healthy decision making, draw, color, and have a good time. Then I would have my Women's Healthy Homes group. In this class we discussed everything from nutrition to pap smears; from methods to purify water to sexually transmitted disease. I also ran a weight loss group with these women. Then I would have my youth group meeting. I taught high schoolers' about sexual education, healthy decision making, and other related topics. Each lesson had a formal outline, but we were encouraged to change our teaching hab its to those that would best benefit those attending the classes. Each class lasted from 1-2 hours, and it took about 8 hours of work for each lesson plan. Since we did not have electricity, I would draw out the plans by hand.I also lead kids on river trips to discuss how we can keep our rivers clean and safe to swim in.
I learned so much that it is hard to just pinpoint one part. I learned patience is key to the process, and I carry that with that with me today. I also learned several different teaching methods/styles. I was self managed while out in the field, but monthly reports were given to my supervisor, as well as visits from him and other higher ranking volunteers during my sessions.
My Peace Corps Co-Workers were amazing and inspiring. Mymore... Dominican Co-Workers were dedicated to the betterment of the village. At times it would be difficult to settle down a group of adults/teens/children; however, from my previous teaching experience, including my TEFL courses, I have learned methods that are fun and non-intrusive to bring the group back to attention.
I love my job because I worked with a variety of age groups. I could se genuine interest and progress with my students.less
Dynamic atmosphere encouraging self-starters to accomplish their most in two years
Health Promoter (Former Employee) – Agallpampa, La Libertad, Peru – October 13, 2013
My days really haven't been typical during my Peace Corps service. Every day I wake up at 6 in the morning with the roosters, cook my breakfast before leaving the house in order to do various activities. Depending on the day I could be teaching an English or sexual education class at the school; teaching educative sessions on nutrition or childhood stimulation; preparing or planting a field by hand; discussing the possible sicknesses that someone's animals could have or performing surveys to determine the amount of knowledge which the people in project have obtained during my sessions.
I have learned that patience and perseverance are very important when dealing with another culture and with municipalities. Whether I am waiting over a half hour for the beneficiaries to show up for a meeting or trying to obtain money for the nutrition project both of these characteristics seem to be necessary to have.
I loved working for my bosses. They were both helpful when it came to me asking for various materials as well as pleasant when asking for a correction or such for one of my reports.
My coworkers for the past two years have mainly been Peruvians. Overall I have had both good and bad experiences with them. Many times they will forget to mention when a holiday of some sort prevents work from happening or will okay a meeting time only to forget about it and not show up. Even though there are downsides my interactions with these caring people have been amazing overall.
The hardest part of the job was learning the language. I went from two basic semesters of Spanish to speaking fairlymore... fluently toward the end of my two years.
The most enjoyable part of my service was getting to work with the little kids in my site. The kids are always so enthusiastic to create crafts, learn English, or play games with me and always brighten my day.less
great medical care, opportunity to see another culture and learn another language
my health was not always the best, lack of water availability, distance from family and friends
Challenging and rewarding life experience and skill development
English Teacher (Former Employee) – Panama – March 24, 2014
My job as a Teaching English Volunteer consisted of working alongside teachers from K-12, holding seminars and workshops to develop new methods and skills. Additionally, I created an After-School Program to improve students study skills, motivate them to do well in school, develop life skills, and design personal goals.
I learned many things during my two year service, but the most important is that there is always someone who can benefit from your support and help, but you will always come out of the experience having learned more than you imagined about yourself and about the world.
As a volunteer, I got the opportunity to be my own boss and create my own schedule. I divided my time between two different local schools and focused on teachers that were dedicated to self improvement and had a true educator's passion. These educators were in turn, my co-workers. We were able to collaborate effectively and work well as a team. In certain situations, I would join forces with other nearby volunteers to collaborate on large projects.
The hardest part of my job was a lack of motivation on the part of my school. Education in my site was undervalued, therefore motivation was an issue for the teachers, as well as my students. My task was to motivate and empower teachers and students so they would gain the confidence to work harder. This was also the most enjoyable part of my job because I could see the progress and the self-realization of my community counterparts.
Volunteer (Current Employee) – Dominican Republic – December 21, 2015
The Peace Corps experience is a particularly difficult job to explain as so many small things are involved within my daily life. Like so many other developmental agencies, Peace Corps' main goal is to aid communities in different aspects of development; business, youth, health, and education. But the main difference that makes Peace Corps so unique is that volunteers are placed alone within their communities to work and live for a full 24 months; developing trust, relationships, and not simply providing materials, but working together to learn. A typical day for me consists of collecting water, interacting with neighbors and local kids, meetings with my youth groups, grant writing (depending on the day), maybe squashing a few tarantulas, etc but the thing I love most about Peace Corps is the fact there is no typical day. That being said, Peace Corps is without a doubt that hardest job or experience I have ever had. Living in extreme poverty, learning a new language, dealing with machismo, trying to teach people who don't want to be taught, simply being alone, etc are among the biggest challenges I face daily but I can notice a viable difference in the person who I have become.
Peace Corps Volunteer (Former Employee) – Central Asia – February 22, 2012
Peace Corps is a very unique work and living experience unlike any other. It is up to the individual to determine what kind of service they will have and how deep they will immerse themselves in the culture and their work. What's great about Peace Corps as a company (or govt agency) is that they will give you all the tools, training and support you will need for you to succeed in your assigned community. It's like being your own business owner with a big support group behind you. You'll also witness first-hand how international aid and development works. If you are curious to find out how you perform in extreme conditions in a very foreign land, then this is it. It's unlike any job in the world. Afterward, I have found many employers to highly value my experience. It also really helped me in working abroad in other countries.
unique amazing experience you'll cherish for life, lots of support from peace corp.
Education Volunteer (Former Employee) – Republic of Georgia – January 26, 2014
Every day was different. I would go to school and co-teach students with a local counterpart. It was a challenge because most of the locals are not motivated and you have to help them find their inspirations, which is also very rewarding. Management was very fair and let volunteers be autonomous with support when needed. The other volunteers are not hippies like a lot of people think. Most are all there to figure out their place in the world. The groups of volunteers are diverse from new grads to in their 70s. The hardest part was not fitting into the local culture and not being able to express who I was. The most rewarding comes after your service when you get to see those whose lives you touched achieving their dreams.
healthcare is 100% across the board, doctors were amazing, training team is amazing
The training was very thorough, so several months were spent both in country and in the United States, learning cultural values and how to adjust to life in a developing country and language. These days were in classrooms and in small seminars and on field trips.
The management was good except when it came to training in country where it was sometimes difficult for local trainers to behave appropriately toward American women.
Co-workers were good people.
The hardest part was dealing with the boredom and sense of alienation, of not being able to make a plan for your future at home that you could work on where you were.
The most enjoyable part was traveling around the countryside with your local family and your fellow volunteers. Also talking one on one with locals and doing things with them was wonderful.
adventure and sense of accomplishment
difficulty relating to local men because of their attitudes toward women
work all over the world learning new skills and interacting with new peoples,cultures, religions.
Community Health Specialist (Former Employee) – The Gambia, West frica – July 6, 2015
Depending on which country you work in, and where you work, the roles and responsibilities vary greatly. However, if you are open, goal oriented, hardworking and flexible, you will have a good experience. You will learn about a new culture, and all the aspects of working in it. You will also have the opportunity to learn some hard and soft skills, and practice them in some of the most challenging yet interesting settings possible. Other co-workers become your friends and ultimately, your family as you share experiences, advice and skills that are crucial t your success. The most enjoyable part of the job is most definitely getting your use your skills, education and expertise in the most creative way possible in order to solve local problems.
organizational support, committed collegues, healtcare, wonderful work experince, flexibility in work time and schedule
Youth Development Facilitator (Former Employee) – Peru – November 6, 2013
A "typical day" in Peace Corps is hard to sum up, as everybody has a different experience and everyday brought new challenges, adventures, and learning experiences.
Peace Corps tests your inner strength, perseverance, your ideas of cultural norms and the world, and your intestinal lining.
Flexibility, patience, self-motivation and direction are all qualities a Peace Corps Volunteer must learn during their time in service. "Going with the flow" as well as being assertive are two characteristics you develop fast.
The hardest part was feeling like I didn't do enough.
The best part was not just working in a community, but becoming a part of it.
experience of a lifetime, lifelong friendships, cross-cultural exchange
illness, parasites, uncertainty about projects, having to leave after 2 years.
Director of Public Affairs (Former Employee) – Washington, DC – October 14, 2012
I was in a position, as a political appointee, to supervise 41 employees who were "inherited" by an interagency merger with another organization. The Director of the Peace Corps counted on me for all media inquiries in this sensitive time, and I had a full secret service status to receive cables from overseas about volunteers and international agencies. Constituent services for the Director and Deputy Director were at a premium while the agency went through budget battles and faced extinction from the far right on Capitol Hill. The President gave the agency 100% support and we were able to continue our work with more effectiveness than ever. I was in a postiion of seniority so I learned a great deal about management. The hardest part was infighting among staff. The best part was fulfillment for having my ideas respected and implemented.
The Peace Corps sends you to places that need your help.
English Teacher (Former Employee) – Ouesse, Benin, West Africa – February 15, 2014
I helped people who needed help by teaching. I taught for about 7 hours on a regular day. I learned how to teach my students in a way that they would understand while using my skills as an event planner in college to plan activities. My previous experiences in many countries have taught me that patience and understanding create a great work environment. I feel that I will be a good co-worker in the job I will fill. I think the hardest part of my job is sorting through the million post-its I write per day. My favorite part of any job is getting to know different people and understanding how different parts of our city/state/country/world work.
Youth Development Specialist (Former Employee) – Dominican Republic – October 29, 2015
A typical day at work is unusual in the Peace Corps because your everyday life is your work. Part of Peace Corps' mission is to demonstrate US culture to persons of other nations, and vice versa. Therefore, every interaction was supposed to be reflect this in a positive light. I learned that there are always alternative means of accomplishing things; rarely is there a "right" way. I learned how to manage people and groups in a diverse setting, in another language. My co-workers consisted of other Dominicans as well as Peace Corps volunteers. It was normally a very supportive network. The hardest part was living your job, with no separation between the two. The most enjoyable part of the job was working with individuals who were so diverse.
Associate Director/Program Manager (Former Employee) – Belize, Central America – September 15, 2013
On a daily basis, the job required you to check emails, text messages and phone messages to ensure all Peace Corps Volunteers were doing well, or someone needed immediate support. There were contact calls to be made either to Volunteers or to host agency personnel to ensure all was well. Meetings took up a third of the day or visits to Volunteers' assignment site for meetings with their counterparts or to check or to provide support, advice or counseling.
Most Volunteers' sites meant at least a couple hours drive either way and at times to very remote communities. The hardest part of the job was having to brainstorm very difficult problems which had cultural implications. The most enjoyable was getting to a Volunteer site and seeing the great work they and their counterparts were engaged in.
Project Lead for English Teaching Program (Former Employee) – El Cortezo de Nata, Panama – June 24, 2014
In the Peace Corps I worked with two different school in developing successful teaching methodologies while also collaborating with teachers in sucessful curriculum development. I also co-taught classes during my work at the schools for two years. I managed the progression of three different teachers. Outside of the school I created and facilitated several youth-group educational and engaging seminars on social development.
While living abroad and working internationally for two years was difficult at times I greatly enjoyed meeting new people, having the opportunity to develop positive change, living in a new culture while being able to practice my Spanish, and developing life long friendships with community members.
meeting new people, living in a new culture, working to create positive change
slower pace of life interfered with work at times.
Community Development Advisor (Former Employee) – Panama – May 4, 2014
I lived and worked in an indigenous village without electricity in rural Panama for two years. My primary project was teaching English but much of my work involved working with locals to find and address their pressing needs. With this, I was able to write a grant and help fund a solar panel project, work to improve cook stoves, youth development, gardening, among other projects. The Peace Corps is not so much a job as an experience where you are daily challenged and pushed to do your best and to look back and see the difference that you made in others' lives.
English Literacy Teacher (Former Employee) – Western Samoa – March 17, 2015
A typical day at work consisted of teaching English Literacy in a rural school on the island of Western Samoa. We were required to undergo 2 months of intensive training before we were sent out into the schools. I have learned a significant amount in classroom management, structured curriculum, and assessment of students.
The hardest part of the job was finding a balance in the methods of teaching that I learned in school, and the ways that Samoans have been teaching/taught their entire lives. It was a humbling experience and I would not trade it for the world.
The opportunity to live on a remote island and improve upon my professionalism.
Difference in teaching strategies, difference in disciplinary system, time management
Administrative Assistant Intern (Former Employee) – Washington, DC – September 23, 2014
I worked with the supervisor as an administrative assistant for three months. With my knowledege and coursework that I have contributed to the federal government, it gave me insight of what the different point of view with my collegaue, and we discussed the different ideas regarding deaf accessability, frequent meetings, I managed scheduled for my boss and other staff in the office. I published the newsletter regarding issues with diversity and inclusion at government. I had also worked with other private and federal sectors in the past. As an adminitrative assistant, it is always challenege, but it is fun to learn new things. I had only interned, so there were not much regarding pros and cons.
Information Technology Specialist (Former Employee) – Mampong, Ghana, West Africa – July 29, 2014
The Peace Corps gave me the tools to succeed at an international level. I have grown so much through the opportunity that the Peace Corps has given me. My skills in communications were realized and my talents were able to be used with remarkable results on the host country nationals. I will always remember the lives that I have touched and the people of Africa that have supported me and gave me support on my future going forward.
Volunteer (Former Employee) – Ghana, West Africa – June 25, 2014
The Peace Corps was really the toughest job that I have ever loved. It was a wonderful experience. My job consisted of cultural exchange. Teaching at schools and community meetings about health and hygeine practices.
I learned new languages and many other skills related to being in a foreign country.
My fellow volunteers were great and supportive.
The hardest part of the job was the intense heat and humidity of living in a West African Country.