Recent Graduates Launching Careers with Peace Corps
May 24, 2010WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2010 The Peace Corps is actively recruiting to fill positions in six service sectors: agriculture, business, education, environment, health and HIV/AIDS, and youth development. There are many opportunities in 2010 and 2011 for recent graduates to develop grassroots public service experience with the Peace Corps. Peace Corps volunteers return from their time abroad having created a sustainable and relevant difference with their host communities.
Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience that enabled me to pursue a teaching position right out of college, said Director Aaron S. Williams, who served with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic (1967-1970). I encourage this years class to consider the legacy of public service and explore the opportunities and benefits of serving with the Peace Corps.
Many Peace Corps host countries are requesting additional TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) volunteers and Peace Corps project areas such as renewable energy initiatives, malaria prevention, and food security are also expanding.
Graduates of the class of 2010 are already preparing for departure to Peace Corps 77 host countries this summer and fall, and many members of the class of 2011 are beginning the application process. Peace Corps recruiters worked with 600 American institutions of higher education to recruit this group of volunteers. Most Peace Corps assignments require a college degree; however, there are some positions available for applicants with 3-5 years of relevant work or life experience and a demonstrated interest in public service. On average, the application process takes 9-12 months. There is no application deadline; applicants are accepted year-round on a rolling basis.
Benefits of Peace Corps Service
- Develop Career Skills: Fluency in foreign languages, international experience, and cross-cultural understanding are desired skills in today's global economy. Cultural and technical skills help many graduates achieve long-term career goals by enhancing their marketability with potential employers.
- No Fee: Unlike most international volunteer programs, there is no fee to participate in Peace Corps and travel costs are provided to and from the country of service.
- Student Loans Partial Cancellation and Deferment: Volunteers with Perkins loans may be eligible for a partial cancellation benefit, ranging from 15 to 70 percent of an existing loan. Volunteers may defer repayment of federal student loans and some commercial loans.
- Graduate School Opportunities: Volunteers gain academic credit and financial incentives through Peace Corps two graduate programs. Master's International incorporates Peace Corps service into a master's degree program at more than 60 colleges and universities. Fellows/USA programs offer returned volunteers scholarships or reduced tuition at more than 50 participating schools.
- Living Expenses: Peace Corps provides volunteers with a living allowance that enables them to live in a manner similar to the local people in their community, covering housing, food, and incidentals.
- Medical and Dental: Volunteers have full coverage during service and access to affordable health insurance for up to 18 months following service.
- Vacation Time: Volunteers receive two vacation days per month of service, a total of 48 days over two years.
- Transition Funds: Returning from overseas requires some adjustment. To assist with the transition back home, volunteers are paid $7,425 (before taxes) at the close of 27 months of service.
- Job Placement Support: The Peace Corps provides career and transition support services for returned volunteers. Former volunteers have served in a variety of leadership positions in both the private and public sectors. U.S. ambassadors, elected officials, university presidents, and corporate leaders are among our many alumni.
- Be a Part of a Vibrant Network: 200,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers, many of whom actively participate in local returned Peace Corps volunteer groups.
- Receive Advantages in Federal Employment: Volunteers who complete two years of service receive one year of noncompetitive eligibility for employment in the federal government.
As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 77 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.
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