Volunteer (Former Employee), Lesotho – July 14, 2014
Pros: experience, build a new home and relationships that will last forever, made me a more thoughtful and critical person
Cons: work might be unreliable, adjusting to a very different environment, far from friends and familiarity
Truly one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much about myself and others.
Training was sufficient to prepare me for the work I would be doing.
Staff were kind, considerate, and cared about the volunteers' needs and success. From the beginning (recruitment, application, country/site placement) to the end (wrapping up, going over reverse – more... culture shock), HQ and country staff made themselves available for any concerns and questions we would have.
Daily challenges were expected as part of the work. Some days were indeed very difficult, but as a whole experience, the pros/benefits/relationships made the whole time worthwhile. – less
Dynamic atmosphere encouraging self-starters to accomplish their most in two years
Health Promoter (Former Employee), Agallpampa, La Libertad, Peru – October 13, 2013
Pros: great medical care, opportunity to see another culture and learn another language
Cons: my health was not always the best, lack of water availability, distance from family and friends
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 – more... 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 fairly 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
Volunteer (Former Employee), Macedonia – September 24, 2013
Your alone a lot. The people you were assigned to work with don't always want you. Nobody is managing you so your daily motivation has to come from yourself. The only people that are consistently reliable are other volunteers, but they don't always live near you. Yet somehow you make it happen. You make it work.
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 – more... 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. – less
English Education and Youth Development (Former Employee), Republic of Georgia – August 13, 2013
Nothing was typical about this job. My main task was to teach English to elementary, middle, and high school students in the village school. When I wasn't teaching, I was holding English clubs, a variety of camps, building and English classroom in my school, writing grants, project management, learning the Georgian language and about Georgian culture, – more... and being an American Ambassador 24 hours a day. – less
Ecotourism & Development Leader (Former Employee), San Andrés Xecul, Guatemala – August 5, 2013
There is no typical work day. You will be taken out of your element in every way and forced to use your own creativity and drive to make whatever projects you're interested in happen. All in another language! I loved all of my fellow volunteers and know that I have made friends for life.
MATHEMATICS & PHYSICS TEACHER (Former Employee), Tanzania – June 13, 2013
I learned how to be competent in another culture thanks to all of the training in cross-cultural studies and language that I received. I made amazing friends with the other volunteers and had and incredibly rewarding experience!
Preventive Health Educator (Former Employee), Senegal, West Africa – June 3, 2013
Pros: you do good for others, personal growth
Cons: isolation, dealing with racism and small mindedness, low salary
Amazing experience - a chance to do some good while going through tremendous personal growth. Self motivation, leadership, adaptability, language learning... the list is nearly endless. Also one of the toughest jobs, dealing with huge frustrations, isolation, racism and many more things.
Worked in Fiji as a Health Education Extension Agent
Health Education Extension Agent (Former Employee), Fiji – June 3, 2013
Pros: amazing cultural experience
Cons: was thrown into a village after barely three weeks of training
Peace Corps is an individualized experience. While there were times when I had the opportunity to see my fellow volunteers and superiors, mostly I lived alone in a village of 900 on the top of a mountain in Fiji. I worked from scratch with little knowledge of the culture nor of the dynamics of village life. It was hard and took time but eventually I – more... managed to develop productive relationships, beneficial programs and maintained a schedule that I believed would be sustainable. The hardest part of the job was the solitude while the best part of the job was developing promising plans to help my local villagers with health issues such as heart disease and poor eating habits. – less
I´m interested in going to Bulgaria through the Peace Corps. Can you tell me what you liked/didn´t like? Which city were you in? Was the pay good enough to live or did you need to find extra finances?
Job Work/Life Balance
The most rewarding and challenging experience of my life.
Youth Development Specialist (Former Employee), Washington DC – May 30, 2013
It was well worth the hardships to learn about myself and to help others.
Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (Former Employee), Rushaki, Rwanda – February 27, 2013
Pros: travel, language training, culture training
Cons: difficult living conditions
As a Peace Corps volunteer I was entrusted with the American peoples good will towards their fellow global citizens. Although my service in Mauritania was cut short by terrorist insurgencies, I was no deterred in my dedication and selected to help restart the program in Rwanda after so many absent years following the 1994 genocide. Although the monthly – more... allocation of funds is adequate to live on in the local economy, it certainly requires a labor of love to perform the duties required with essentially no pay. – less
Community Development Advisor (Former Employee), Cidade Velha, Cape Verde – February 27, 2013
The most rewarding aspect of my work was making a visible difference in people's lives. I learned what it takes to lead and manage a project in another country. I worked independently and within a team. The most rewarding work was to implement innovative techniques to sow the seeds for institutional change in Cape Verde.
Very rewarding experience teaching reproductive education
Community Health Volunteer (Former Employee), Manabi, Ecuador – January 23, 2013
Pros: language skills
Cons: living situation was stressful
I was a Peace Corps volunteer and had a fantastic two years teaching reproductive health to junior high school students in rural Ecuador. Three days a week I taught reproductive health, in two separate schools to junior high age students, and I worked one day a week in a rural health clinic as an aide. I worked mainly on my own, but I had to turn in – more... quarterly reports. I got along well with my fellow volunteers. The hardest part of the job was acclimatizing myself to living in the jungle. The most enjoyable part was the relationships I made with the host country nationals. – less