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Old 03-15-2005, 03:35 PM   #1
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I thought this might be a good place to ask about the Peace Corps. I am thinking about doing this once I graduate and am starting to research about it now to prepare myself. I have heard lots of different things but am always looking for other opinions as it is a huge decision to make.

Anyone here have any thoughts/suggestions/personal experiences to share? Or alternatives?

Also... Has anyone here found a career that allows them to incorporate their love for travel? If so...what is it?!?!

(I am in one of those... WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?!? moments.)
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:56 PM   #2
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Hi. Haven't actually been in the Peace Corps but it is something we strongly looked into and had a friend do. One thing to keep in mind is even if you do apply, you're not guaranteed to get in. It's really competetive. Also, when you put down a location to go to if you get in, you're not guaranteed that location. They assign based on skills and need. You do 3 months I believe of training and acclimating and then you do your 2 years.

My friends got in as a married couple in Slovakia and had a wonderful time. They were able to travel all over Europe and have so many amazing stories to tell. Some people that end up in more "secluded" (don't know how else to put it ) have a really hard time adjusting. I think I heard that the dropout rate is somewhere around 50%.

There is also Americorps that is predominately stateside but does go to Guam, PR and a few other places.

As for career choices - theres working for a cruise ship or airline. Also, selling concessions for concerts or something. I don't know I saw some ad about something like that.

Good luck in decided what you want to do. Everyone here will jump in hopefully offer more advice/input on the Peace Corps.
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:32 PM   #3
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verstehen is in the Peace Corps in Morocco and when he comes around maybe he can give you some insight!!
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:01 PM   #4
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I have work along side people in the peace corps, so my info comes from that standpoint...

As Jamiep mentioned, the drop out rate in the peace corps is close to 50% (47% to be exact). You select countries and jobs that you would like, but you do not get to pick. Basicly, from what I have seen, it is a hit or miss type of situation. Some people get great placements and some get crappy ones. Married couples certainly get better ones.

One of the main problems I have seen is that some folks don't get much support in their placements...I think this is one of the reasons for the high drop-outs.

Amongst those who work in independent non-profits (like myself) the peace corps often get a bad rap because of their lack of acountability. (they are often refered to as "beach corps"). On the other hand I have know several peace corps folks who were great and did great work.

I would suggest looking into non-profits or if even christian agencies (if so inclined). There are lots of prgrams out there.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:33 PM   #5
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I too have considered Peace Corps and attended an information session here in Atlanta. I have researched fairly well and found that it can vary. I was told by a recruiter that you put in for the places you want to go. They send you an offer (regardless if it was the area you requested or not) and you can decline and wait for something else. A couple plus sides to toss out there are the $6,000 that you get at the end and the ability to practically walk into any federal job that you qualify for. I am still considering it as an option. I am also considering other things too. I am having "one of those moments" as well.

Hope this helps...

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Old 03-16-2005, 09:02 AM   #6
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KCL - do you have any suggestions (for future reference)? I tried looking into various NP volunteer programs (perhaps it was cuz I was selfishly looking to go abroad!) and many of them had their "fees" for what seemed more like week long getaways than volunteer/relief work. They would have it set up based on weeks and it was in the thousands of dollars. While I understand most can't afford to just send people wherever, the prices they were asking were comparable to a vacation.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:07 AM   #7
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I looked into, but like others have said, hit or miss. My sisters friend did it and basically got stranded in the middle of warlord Africa with little or no help. She was beaten, raped, and overall harassed before she left. PLus 27 months is a long comittment for what hey offer. Ever look into ESL teaching. I am researching that right now.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by jamiepeaski@Mar 16 2005, 11:01 AM
KCL - do you have any suggestions (for future reference)? I tried looking into various NP volunteer programs (perhaps it was cuz I was selfishly looking to go abroad!) and many of them had their "fees" for what seemed more like week long getaways than volunteer/relief work. They would have it set up based on weeks and it was in the thousands of dollars. While I understand most can't afford to just send people wherever, the prices they were asking were comparable to a vacation.
If you are willing to do it as a line of work, you can actually get paid to go abroad working for a non-profit org. That is what I have done several times, including recently in Belize. Other orgs will do food and lodging and possibily plane tickett if you are willing to commit to a year+

I have mainly gone/worked with small christian non-profits, simply because I have found the most freedom in my work through them. If you keep you eyes open and read classifieds (online), especially christian baesd ones, you'll find them, and they will often read as job openings.

Youth work is another way you can get into this. There are a lot of orgs that do work abroad with youth and will send you and possibly pay you to do it.

These are a few ideas anyhow
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimmyJames1976@Mar 16 2005, 09:06 AM
My sisters friend did it and basically got stranded in the middle of warlord Africa with little or no help.* She was beaten, raped, and overall harassed before she left.
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:07 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input KCL. Will definitely keep that in mind.
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:59 PM   #11
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Thanks for the help you guys!!! I will definitely be looking into some other options in my research. Right now, I'm pretty open to doing anything. When I told my parents what I wanted to do, they practically packed my bags for me they were so excited.
I have a question though...some of the things I've been looking at seem like these touristy things where you pay a program fee to go over and volunteer... What is that all about? I really want to become a part of a community, not just pass through a place, if you know what I mean. Also, for the Christian organizations, do they care if you are not Christian, or religious for that matter?
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:48 PM   #12
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I applied to the Peace Corps today, before reading this thread, but I am leaving on the 30th to do my own volunteer worldy citizen shit, so if they reply, then thats fine, if not, oh well, just leaving as many doors open as possible...
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:43 PM   #13
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that is one hell of an application to go through for a "maybe" but hey, keep us informed of how it goes!
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:17 AM   #14
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Okay, maybe you can help me out KCL.

Can I have information on how to find non-profit companies who would be willing to have a counselor in training when I get out of grad school? Does anyone else have any ideas?

If I hijacked or anything, sorry, but I am D*** curious.
email: katoct@hotmail.com

Thanx!
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Old 03-19-2005, 10:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaffeine@Mar 18 2005, 12:16 PM
Okay, maybe you can help me out KCL.

Can I have information on how to find non-profit companies who would be willing to have a counselor in training when I get out of grad school?* Does anyone else have any ideas?

If I hijacked or anything, sorry, but I am D*** curious.
email: katoct@hotmail.com

Thanx!
Its hard to just name out an org...its really a matter of searching for opening like any other job. I'll email you though with a few ideas.
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