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10 Things I wish I knew Before Joining the Peace Corps

Huffington Post

For anyone perusing the endless opportunities for volunteering abroad, committing to serving two years in the Peace Corps has probably crossed your mind. In fact, the organization -- started by President Kennedy in 1961 as an outlet for Americans to help with international development and promote cross-cultural exchange -- is now probably the best-known volunteer abroad program open to American citizens. But despite the attention from the press, TV references and endless information available about joining the Peace Corps, most of us still wish there were a few things someone had told us about our service before we decided to join.

As a current PCV about to finish up my service (or, as we say, "about to C.O.S") and reflecting on my past two years in the Peace Corps, I know this is true for me and fellow PCVs/RPCVs (returned Peace Corps volunteers). After asking around the Peace Corps network, here are 10 things we all wish we had known before getting ourselves into this crazy but wonderful adventure we call the Peace Corps.

Deciding to join the Peace Corps is no light decision, but it was one of the best ones I have made. It can be a tough, challenging experience that drives you crazy some days, but at the same time allows you to grow in ways you didn't think possible and make some of the best friends of your life. Although there are things we all wish we had known before applying for or departing for our service in the Peace Corps, figuring out these little things along the way was all part of the adventure and challenge of being a PCV. After all, they don't call it 'the toughest job you'll ever love' for nothing!

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