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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
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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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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.

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A Peace Corps Volunteer serves in the Gambia with her counterpart

Navigating Identities Across Cultures

The Peace Corps seeks to reflect the rich diversity of the United States and to bring diverse perspectives to our global work in order to make hands-on, lasting impact alongside local counterparts and communities.

Peace Corps' approach to navigating social identities across cultures

Peace Corps is invited into countries to work alongside communities to achieve the community’s stated goals. As invited guests in these communities, we are often a bridge to mutually understanding differences, including social identities and their relationship to culture and history across contexts.

Norms related to culture and social identities vary significantly by country, and even within countries there are variations based on region, community, generation, etc. These norms illuminate values, attitudes, and beliefs that may be similar or different from one's own and affect how one navigates service effectively and appropriately.

For these reasons, Peace Corps' approach encourages humility and reflection while navigating service. We seek to foster an inclusive, equitable, and accessible organizational culture—one that ensures diversity of thought, experience, and personal background as our staff and Volunteers partner at the grassroots level around the world.

To support this vision, the Peace Corps trains both staff and Volunteers to apply a lens of intercultural competence, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility throughout their work and service.

A continuous learning journey

Intercultural competence (IC), and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are interrelated and inseparable elements vital to the successful work and service done by Peace Corps staff, Trainees, and Volunteers.

Navigating each element requires humility and the willingness to pay critical attention to one’s own perspectives, identities, lived experience, and spheres of influence—particularly when working within a community or cultural context that is not one’s own.

Peace Corps’ ICDEIA learning and development invites Trainees and Volunteers to increase awareness of their own cultural programming, social identities, values, and attitudes so that they choose more effective and appropriate actions across a wide variety of experiences in their host country. This continuous process of reflection coupled with language acquisition, and a deeper understanding of the host country and communities' history and context will enable Trainees and Volunteers to develop a greater understanding of how these factors may impact and influence their experiences and interactions with staff, fellow Volunteers, and host country partners.

Throughout training and service:

  • Trainees and Volunteers are asked to intentionally develop ICDEIA-related skills via experiential learning opportunities.
  • Trainees and Volunteers have the opportunity to enhance their abilities to engage with diverse identities and cultures across complex environments in ways that effectively and appropriately contribute to a culture of inclusion, equity, and belonging.
  • Trainees and Volunteers are given opportunities to practice critical skills like perspective taking, humility, empathy, and suspending judgment that lead to navigating intercultural interactions effectively and appropriately in service, and accomplishing shared goals.

Trainees and Volunteers will be supported on this journey by Peace Corps staff and currently serving Volunteers, who will provide learning, development and strategies for navigating ICDEIA challenges.

Contributing to an organizational culture of connection and mutual understanding

Peace Corps remains committed to prioritizing ICDEIA throughout its systems and support structures and continually strives to foster more equitable, inclusive, and accessible organizational cultures where Volunteers, staff, and host country partners can contribute to their full potential.

Peace Corps aims to ensure that ICDEIA is integrated into operations in every country in which Volunteers serve. Creating inclusive, equitable and accessible environments where all feel valued and can contribute is a collective effort that involves everyone in the Peace Corps network.

If you have any questions regarding these efforts at the Peace Corps or during training or service, please look over the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.