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

Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
Log in/check status
Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
Log in/check status
Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
Log in/check status

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
A Peace Corps Volunteer with his host family

Living in Country

Learn what life might look like in your new community as you immerse yourself in sharing cultures and building connections.


Can I send and receive paper mail?

The time it takes mail to arrive in Peace Corps host countries varies and can range from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Some host countries do not have national mail service at all.

During pre-service training, packages or letters for Volunteers can be sent to the Peace Corps Office. Once located on site, Volunteers will receive instructions on how to receive mail in their community of service.

Will I have cell phone service?

Cell phone coverage is becoming more prevalent worldwide but varies greatly from country to country and even within countries. Depending on their country of service, Volunteers may bring an unlocked cell phone from the U.S., purchase a local cell phone upon arrival, or receive a cell phone from Peace Corps staff in country. The Peace Corps does not provide insurance for personal items, so Volunteers should obtain personal insurance coverage for devices brought to their host country.

Will I have internet access?

Volunteers should not expect internet service to work consistently or at high speeds during training or in communities of service as internet access varies widely. Some Volunteers may have internet access regularly, but this is not a guarantee.

In most cities, Volunteers are able to access email at internet cafes or other establishments with Wi-Fi. The resource center in Peace Corps office(s) have computers with internet access for work-related use and often also have Wi-Fi access.

Many Volunteers find that bringing a laptop is useful to them; however, there is always the risk that computers may get lost, stolen, or damaged.

Housing and location

Where will I live and what amenities can I expect?

Peace Corps staff work with host agencies and local leaders to locate appropriate sites with living conditions that meet selection criteria established by the Peace Corps.

In some countries, Volunteers will stay with a host family for part or all of their service. In other countries, Volunteers may live in independent housing for their entire service. In either case, privacy in the home or community may be scarce at times.

Access to amenities such as electricity and running water varies by country and community. Some Volunteers will draw water from a nearby well, while others will have running water. Bathrooms range from pit toilets or latrines — separate from the house — to flush toilets inside the house. Some communities may not have access to electricity at all; others will but may experience regular power outages.

Money and finances

Will I get paid while serving?

Volunteers receive a monthly living allowance in local currency. This allowance varies depending on where you serve and is sufficient to live at the level of those in your community.

The allowance covers food, housing, household supplies, clothing, transportation to and from work, utilities, recreation, entertainment, communications, and incidental expenses.

Peace Corps Volunteers are expected to live at a level that is comparable with that of their host country counterparts. The Peace Corps discourages Volunteers from supplementing their living allowance with funds from home.

Can I bring extra money if I want to travel during my vacation days?

Some Volunteers choose to bring additional money for vacation travel, while other Volunteers budget travel expenses within their living allowance. For international travel, credit or debit cards are often preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring an amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs. Check with your bank regarding service fees for international transactions.

Food and diet 

What will I eat?

Food options will vary depending on the country and community where you serve. Some countries and communities have a meat-heavy diet, while others rely more on fruits and vegetables.

When you think about where you’ll serve, consider how your current dietary choices may be supported or may need to be adjusted.

As you become more familiar with your new community, you might become better equipped to accommodate specific dietary preferences. This may require some flexibility and willingness to explain dietary needs to others in a culturally sensitive manner.

Connect with a Peace Corps recruiter to discuss possible strategies for adapting to and coping with the various potential dietary challenges, especially if those are religious or medical in nature.


Will I have access to local transportation?

Transportation access and regulations vary depending on the country of service. There are often modes of public transportation — like buses or taxis — that Volunteers can use. During pre-service training, staff will thoroughly review appropriate modes of transportation along with rules and regulations of use in all countries and the language needed to navigate them.

Many Volunteers get around on foot or by riding a bike. Volunteers must wear a Peace Corps-provided bike helmet when riding a bike.

For Volunteer safety and security, it is important to carefully follow Peace Corps rules and guidance from Peace Corps staff about approved modes of transportation during training and service. Volunteers are prohibited from operating motor vehicles, except under limited circumstances and with the Country Director’s authorization.

If these policies are violated, disciplinary action — including administrative separation — may be taken. Any disciplinary action would be at the discretion of the Country Director.

Social activities

Will there be social activities for me to participate in?

Successful sustainable development work is based on the relationships built by respectfully integrating into your host country community and culture. The specific activities that are an integral part of daily life will vary by country and community. For more information about social activities in a specific country, please visit the country pages.

Professional expectations

What’s expected of me in terms of behavior and dress?

The Peace Corps is a professional service organization. To demonstrate respect for local attitudes and cultural norms, Volunteers are expected to behave and dress in a culturally appropriate manner at all times.

In most of the countries where the Peace Corps serves, acceptable behavior and attire are guided by local cultural expectations and norms. Many host countries have more conservative cultural norms than are customary in the U.S. Some Volunteers may find it difficult to adjust to these norms because of personal identities and experiences, or ideas about personal independence.

However, adjustments to behavior and appearance are fundamental as a means of showing respect for the local culture and to maintain Peace Corps’ good standing in the community. These adjustments are also critical as a means of integration into the community.

Questions about serving?

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