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If you're ready for something bigger, we have a place where you belong.

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Apply to the Peace Corps

The application process begins by selecting a service model and finding an open position.

Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
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Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Let us help you find the right position.

If you are flexible in where you serve for the two-year Peace Corps Volunteer program, our experts can match you with a position and country based on your experience and preferences.

Serve where you’re needed most

History

A history of human connection The Peace Corps shares a unique relationship with the countries Volunteers have worked in and the people they have worked alongside in pursuit of world peace and friendship for more than 60 years.

A Peace Corps Volunteer meets with community leaders in Ghana
The Peace Corps has a rich history that continues to affect lives for generations

Our history is based on a shared vision of working with, living alongside, and celebrating cultures around the world. The Peace Corps continues in its bold mission by prioritizing equity and inclusion and collaborating with host communities on locally prioritized projects.

That vision, along with our mission and goals, drive the Peace Corps and its Volunteers in building relationships, exchanging culture and knowledge, and helping transform lives for generations. Our impact is measured in many ways: a shared cup of tea with a host mother that leads to a greater understanding of Americans; a new school library built; a young boy prepared to serve his own community; a young girl who sees herself as just as capable as her male classmates; a Volunteer who returns home with intercultural competence, enhanced career skills, and a lifelong passion for service.

The Peace Corps network is diverse, global, and forward-focused. It includes host country nationals, Volunteers, worldwide staff, partners, educators, friend and family groups, and associations. Together, we support, embrace, and inspire for a common desire to make a positive change.

The founding moment

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A call to make a difference: John F. Kennedy's speech

One of the signature achievements of President John F. Kennedy was creating the Peace Corps, an agency that provides an opportunity for Americans to serve their country and their world.

The creation of the Peace Corps dates back to an unexpected moment and impromptu speech in 1960.

Read full transcript of Kennedy's speech

Past directors

Starting with President Kennedy's appointee, R. Sargent Shriver in 1961, there have been a total of 20 congressionally approved leaders of the Peace Corps.

View full list of past directors

Awards

The Peace Corps recognizes exceptional Volunteers, Returned Volunteers, and staff.

  • John F. Kennedy Service Award: Every five years, this award recognizes individuals for contributions beyond their duties to the agency and the nation.
  • Franklin H. Williams Award: This award recognizes Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color and demonstrate a commitment to community service and the Peace Corps' Third Goal of promoting a better understanding of people around the world on the part of Americans.
  • Lillian Carter Award: This award recognizes exceptional Peace Corps Volunteers who served at age 50 or over and have continued to advance the Peace Corps' Third Goal.
  • Harris Wofford Joint Service Award: A joint award from the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs, recognizing individuals who have successfully completed both a full-time service term and its equivalent in AmeriCorps.

See full award descriptions and past winners

The Legacy Project

Peace Corps Volunteers leave a legacy in the lives of the community members they collaborate with, educate, and inspire. Those young people grow up to be extraordinary leaders, engineers, doctors, and government officials. See some of their stories.

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