Peace Corps is a challenging opportunity that offers Americans of every background enormous rewards. Should your family member become a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will be proud of his or her two years spent helping others. But for all the giving they do, it's important to know that Peace Corps Volunteers are also opening worlds of opportunity for themselves.
Serving in the Peace Corps gives Volunteers the chance to learn a new language, live in another culture, and develop career and leadership skills. The Peace Corps experience can enhance long-term career prospects, whether a Volunteer wants to work for a corporation, a nonprofit organization, or a government agency. The Peace Corps can even open doors to graduate school.
There are tangible benefits of Peace Corps service financially, professionally, and personally. The following is an overview of Peace Corps benefits.
Dollars and Sense
- Student Loans: some are eligible for deferment and some for partial cancellation
- Readjustment Allowance: receive $7,425 (pre-tax after you complete your 27 months of service)
- Travel Costs: expenses for travel to and from your country of service are paid by the Peace Corps
- Living Allowance: a monthly stipend to cover living and housing expenses
- Vacation: earn two vacation days per month of service
- Medical and Dental care: receive complete medical and dental care while serving
- Post-service Health Insurance: an affordable plan is currently available for up to 18 months following service. The Peace Corps pays for the first month's premium.
- Federal employment benefits: creditable service and noncompetitive eligibility
- No Fee: unlike other international volunteer programs, there is no fee to participate in the Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership opportunity and a great way to launch a career in business, education, nonprofit organizations, and government. The Peace Corps also opens doors to graduate school through university partnership programs and provides experience that has recognition and value among admissions departments.
“Successfully completing Peace Corps under fairly challenging circumstances speaks a lot about character, fortitude, and the ability to take on difficult problems. When I see applicants with Peace Corps in their background, it is a real positive.”
Frank FountainPresident, The Chrysler Foundation(Returned Volunteer, India)
Graduate School Advantages
The Peace Corps offers two unique programs that combine Peace Corps service and graduate studies. Through partnerships with colleges and universities across the United States, Volunteers can earn academic credit for their Peace Corps service and/or may be awarded financial support.
Before and During Service
Volunteers can incorporate Peace Corps service as credit in a master's degree program in a variety of fields at over 80 academic institutions nationwide through Master's International.
Returned Volunteers are offered financial assistance at more than 60 participating campuses in a variety of subject areas, combining graduate study with substantive, degree-related internships that help meet the needs of underserved U.S. communities through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.
Skills for the Future
Fluency in foreign languages, international experience, and cross-cultural understanding are highly sought-after skills in today's global economy.
Receive Advantages in Federal Employment
Peace Corps service can qualify returned Volunteers to receive one year of noncompetitive eligibility for employment in the federal government. This means that, at the employing agency's discretion, if a Volunteer meets the minimum qualifications for a position, he or she may be hired without going through the standard competitive process. Those who are employed by the federal government after their Peace Corps service can receive credit toward retirement for their years of Volunteer service.
Transition and Job Placement Support
Before departing from their country of service, Volunteers are prepared for the transition back to the U.S. during their close of service conference. When Volunteers return to the U.S., the Peace Corps Office of Returned Volunteer Services provides them with transition assistance related to jobs and education.
Returned Volunteer Services
- Publishes a semimonthly online newsletter with job announcements, graduate school information, and career-related articles and advice.
- Sponsors career events throughout the year in Washington, D.C. and other cities around the U.S.
- Helps returned Volunteers translate their field experience for prospective employers and other professional contacts.
The Peace Corps requires serious commitment and hard work. Volunteers leave the comforts of home and what is familiar, immerse themselves 24/7 in another culture, apply technical skills, and learn a new language that must be used every day Ã± to shop for food, obtain transportation, develop friendships, and conduct work. The unique challenges of Peace Corps service make for a tremendous growth experience. Practical skills are gained, and intangible benefits come with making a difference in people's lives and relying on oneself to respond to the needs of others.
The benefits of the Peace Corps don't end with overseas service. It's an experience to draw upon throughout a lifetime. As is often said, the Peace Corps isn't simply something great, it's the beginning of something great.
Last updated Jan 22 2013
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