Peace Corps service asks a lot of you. But it also has a lot to give. While you serve others, you will be gaining benefits that last through your Volunteer service and well beyond.

Financial benefits

The Peace Corps provides each Volunteer with housing and a living stipend that enables them to live in a manner similar to people in their community of service. Unlike other international volunteer programs, there is no charge to participate in the Peace Corps. There is no application fee, although costs may only be partially covered for required medical examinations during the application process. 

Upon completion of two years of service, the Peace Corps provides each Volunteer with more than $8,000 (pre-tax) to help with the transition to life back home. This money is yours to use as you wish.

Student loan benefits

Student loans are your responsibility while you are in service, but certain public student loans may be eligible for deferment or for Public Service Loan Forgiveness by your lender. 

Perkins loans may be eligible for partial cancellation by your lender.

Read more about student loans.

Travel benefits

The Peace Corps covers the cost of transportation to and from the country of service. Each Volunteer receives two paid vacation days per month of service, and many use this time to travel to nearby countries. Some invite family or friends to visit so they can share their experience of the host country. And, of course, Volunteers can use this time for a visit home (at their own expense). Paid leave is available in the event of family emergencies.

See the Volunteer Handbook [PDF] for restrictions on taking leave during service.

Medical and Dental benefits

The Peace Corps provides medical and dental care that covers all related expenses during service, including preventative care, and issues incurred during your training period, service, or on vacation. In the case of a health problem that cannot be treated in your host country, you will be sent to a nearby country or the U.S at no cost to you.

Returned Volunteers may be eligible for workers’ compensation for injuries incurred during their service, although this program is managed by the Department of Labor and not by the Peace Corps.

Career benefits

The Peace Corps provides rigorous technical training at the start of service, which includes in-depth intercultural and language instruction, usually from a native speaker. 

Throughout service, Volunteers have regular opportunities to gain new skills related to work, language, culture, and safety. This training makes returned Peace Corps Volunteers highly in demand by corporate, nonprofit, and government employers seeking candidates with the skills required in today’s global economy.

The Peace Corps offers career support specifically tailored to Volunteers when they return home to help them prepare for their next step:

  • Help translating their field experience to prospective employers
  • Advantages in federal employment and hiring benefits related to noncompetitive eligibility and possible credit toward retirement should they meet qualifications
  • Access to job announcements, résumé services, and career fairs
  • Other special eligibility for hiring preferences by organizations designated as Employers of National Service

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have gone on to successful careers in all kinds of fields, from international development to business to the arts.

Graduate school benefits

Graduate schools recognize the valuable service experience returned Peace Corps Volunteers bring to underserved communities at home. The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program partners offer returned Peace Corps Volunteers reduced tuition, assistantships, and stipends at more than 90 participating universities and colleges. 

Become part of a vibrant network

More than 220,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers, making for a highly active and diverse alumni network. To connect with these returned Volunteers, visit the National Peace Corps Association.