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Old 02-10-2008, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default PEACE CORPS? What do you guys know about it?

I've heard of them, i've met many peace corps volunteers during my travels...
and recently i've been very interested in learning more about what they do.

ive ck'd out the website, but what do you guys know about the peace corps? has anyone here been a volunteer? I hear it's very difficult to get into and theres a long waiting list?
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:31 PM   #2
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I know a lot about the peace corps, since I've looked into them so much, and was (and still am) considering joining, at least at some point in my life. Anything specific you want to know? The work offered varies a lot, depending on the skills you have to offer. So you are placed in a country where your skills are needed most - meaning you don't get to choose, but you do have preferences. A lot of the work is in education, agriculture, farming, and community development.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:35 PM   #3
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I've been interested in the Peace Corps for quite a while...Kennedy announced the formation of it on the steps of the Michigan Union in my hometown, so it's pretty well known among U of Michigan students and its been something I've thought about for at least 10 years now. I really do think that someday I'll be a volunteer, maybe in 5-10 years. But I am in no rush because they welcome volunteers of all ages while there are of other opportunities out there that are limited to youth. I'm almost 28 so my time for that kind of stuff is starting to run out!

Anyway, my understanding on the waiting list issue is that it really varies from year to year. Some years they will have trouble filling their spots, other years they have tons of applications. I think it is really based on the economy and the job market. When it's hard to find a good job out of college people who are interested in the Peace Corps will be more likely to apply (I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case right now the way things are going).

I'd suggest calling the LA or San Fran recruiting offices and asking what the situation is like right now. They can probably give you a good idea of how competitive it is and what you should do to maximize your chance of being accepted.

Now I'm just getting into the realm of personal speculation, but this is what I've always thought about applying...it's a 27 month program so I think the main thing they're looking for in an applicant is someone that is really serious and committed about doing it. I'm sure they get a lot of applicants that are interested but don't really have that serious passion about being selected. So I figure it's probably like applying to grad school, you really need to show that you want to be there more than the average person and that you're ready to work hard. I haven't yet, but I plan during my future travels to do some volunteer work with development agencies to get a taste of it and because it would make an app stand out to them. I'd guess that something like what Laura is doing in south africa right now would be great.

The second thing is to have relevant skills if possible. They claim that their major areas of work are Education, Health, Agriculture, Business development, and IT. When I had browsed around looking at the profiles of all the countries with active volunteers I found that the vast majority are health, ag, and education, with a bit of business development. I never did run across any IT projects though I'm sure there are some. So probably experience teaching something or experience in the health field is also really helpful.
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:57 AM   #4
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Getting in has a lot to do with what jobs they're trying to fill at the time. I'm a blue collar two-way communications worker, with wireless data link experience and i applied two years ago and they didn't have a need for a person with my skill set, is what i was told. i think you can reapply every two years? its all a mater of what there looking for at the time.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:21 AM   #5
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I considered it until I found out you had to be an American to join
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieL622 View Post
I've heard of them, i've met many peace corps volunteers during my travels...
and recently i've been very interested in learning more about what they do.

ive ck'd out the website, but what do you guys know about the peace corps? has anyone here been a volunteer? I hear it's very difficult to get into and theres a long waiting list?
Hey there! I know quite a few ex-peace corp. They all had generally great experiences.. and as far as I know, not much in the area of waiting lists - from what I know the US gov't is always looking for cheap young labour.

The only thing is that I hear peace corp is no walk in the park... I have a buddy doing it on Paraguay right now... he's having a great time
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:09 AM   #7
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I've looked into Peace Corps a few times as well. Once I actually got really far throught the application process but ended up backing out and teaching english in Japan instead.

They really look for people who are flexible and open to going anywhere. For me, an important part was learning a language and I really wanted to learn a language that I could easily maintain and could benefit me in my future career (a major language). They now require a 2 year college level of Spanish or French in order to request going to a country that speaks one of those languages.

The Peace Corps often have informational meetings. I would reccomend finding one in your area and going.

I still want to join someday, even if it's in my retirement.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maracle View Post
I've been interested in the Peace Corps for quite a while...Kennedy announced the formation of it on the steps of the Michigan Union in my hometown, so it's pretty well known among U of Michigan students and its been something I've thought about for at least 10 years now. I really do think that someday I'll be a volunteer, maybe in 5-10 years. But I am in no rush because they welcome volunteers of all ages while there are of other opportunities out there that are limited to youth. I'm almost 28 so my time for that kind of stuff is starting to run out!
Just wanted to mention that I am also a bit too old for some of the youth programs. I am 31. I have found a large number of programs that offer service for folks of all ages You just need to have a willingness to help out. These also seem to be the programs that offer the most help to the actual local communities. Sorry to hijak your thread Laurie.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:49 PM   #9
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no worries...
i love hearing about this stuff. speaking of which, what are some of the popular alternative programs to the peace corps? id love to learn more about those as well.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:31 AM   #10
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I'm looking for some sort of volunteer work over the summer . . . any other programs you can recommend that are easier to get into? I should have thought about this sooner, our summer break starts in less than two months.
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