Peace Corps Overview

The Peace Corps provides Volunteers to more than 70 countries requesting assistance in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, South America, Europe, the Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. The Peace Corps is an independent U.S. government agency. Thousands of new Volunteers are needed each year to work in a variety of areas, including:

  • Education
  • Health and HIV/AIDS
  • Business and Information & Communication Technology
  • Environment
  • Youth and Community Development
  • Agriculture

The length of service is 27 months, which includes an average of three months of in-country training that provides language, cross-cultural, technical, and health and safety skills.

Volunteers are placed where their skills match the needs of host countries. They live in the communities they serve, from small rural villages to large urban cities. Their work around the globe represents a legacy of service that has become a significant part of America’s history and positive image abroad. Their desire to make a difference has improved the lives of millions of people around the world and at home.

Volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them well for professional opportunities.

Unlike many other international volunteer programs, there is no fee to participate in the Peace Corps. To be eligible for service, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A U.S. citizen

Volunteers have a variety of skills, work experience, and education levels—90 percent have at least an undergraduate degree. There is no upper age limit. The average age of Volunteers is 28. Currently, the oldest Volunteer is over 80.

The benefits of being a Volunteer are many, including the following Peace Corps provisions:

  • Student loan assistance
  • A “readjustment” allowance of $7,425 (pre-tax) upon completion of service
  • Language, cross-cultural, and technical training
  • Travel to and from country of service
  • A monthly living and housing allowance
  • Medical and dental care
  • 48 paid vacation days
  • Leave for family emergencies
  • Graduate school opportunities such as scholarships, credit for service, fellowships, and internships
  • Transition and job support and social networking after service
  • Advantages in federal employment

The Peace Corps recommends that you submit your application as early as possible so we can match your skills to openings as they become available. Plan ahead and apply nine months to a year in advance of your desired date of departure.

Click here to learn more…