5 Things to Know About Joining the Peace Corp3 min read

Are you planning to join the Peace Corps? It is always helpful to get a good idea about the institution before joining.

Peace Corps offers you a unique opportunity as a motivated changemaker to serve the community abroad and handle the world’s most challenging problems.

As you work side by side with local leaders, you can meet other inspiring men and women from different parts of the world and promote a better understanding on a global level.

It is important to do some research before even applying for the Peace Corp. The aim is to understand better what life would be like when you join the Peace Corps and what kind of program would be right for you.

Here are some essential points you need to know about joining the Peace Corp:

Be away for a long time in a new environment:

As most Peace Corps volunteers travel throughout their country and other countries during and after service, they are likely to meet different volunteers.

They could be away for months and far from their country in a completely new environment. However, it is not uncommon to find many volunteers become long-life friends or even get married.

New experiences and new learning:

Based on the program they join, you may need intensive language training or learn about earning an education degree online in a particular subject. It is good to stay with a local family to learn the language and customs faster.

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There would be moments when you will feel low and miss your country and friends. However, if you make efforts, you will settle down in the new place within no time.

Develop leadership and team-building skills:

As a Peace Corps volunteer, you will be expected to form a team with the locals to work on the community’s needs and develop certain projects.

As there is plenty of opportunity for innovation and team building, you imbibe leadership skills naturally. It is a rare opportunity to work with diverse teams and develop cultural competency as a leader.

Commitment and dedication are needed:

Commitment is important for any Peace Corps volunteer who will be away from his homeland for weeks or months. Thus, join the Peace Corps only if you have that kind of commitment and dedication.

There are shorter-term commitments too available with the organization for those who are unsure.

Learn to live frugally:

Do not expect to lead a lavish life, as you will be given a stipend for your basic expenditures. Hence, be prepared to live like a local, travel in crowded buses, and eat at cheap places.

The pay parameters are set based on the position within the Peace Corps, and one is entitled to vacation days and sick leave. If you want a better lifestyle while working, you will have to use your savings. Low-cost life and health insurance are available for the members.

You should be proud of your decision to join the Peace Corps as a volunteer, as it is certainly a life-defining experience.

At the end of the program, you will be a changed person with greater values, confidence, and acceptance towards other communities. Every volunteer experience will be different and will have something unique to offer.

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