Knowing what to expect when applying to the Peace Corp can help you decide whether or not this is an opportunity for you.
A Degree is Required and Preferred
Yes, a bachelor’s degree is required. It is needed for 90% of those who apply to become a volunteer for the Peace Corps. It’s not the only thing an applicant needs to know about when filling put the application. Although those with liberal arts degrees can apply, they are encouraged to have 30 hours or three months of tutoring or volunteer experience.
If you also have a degree in social sciences or humanities, there are areas you are more likely to be placed over other areas. Some of these areas are community development, agricultural programs, teaching English, or health education. With these areas, the more experience you have working with them, the more your application will be in the competitive arena.
Even though there is a 10% area of experience that doesn’t require a four-year degree, there are positions you can apply to volunteer for in the Peace Corp. For example, you can apply for positions in health and HIV/AIDS; business, communication, and information technology; skilled trades, youth development, and other areas with an associate degree. You will also need to have work experience in the area you apply.
Work Experience and Specialized Skills in Place of a Degree
If you don’t have a degree of any kind, you can apply for areas in the time work experience, construction, nonprofit organizations, and a few other areas. Without a degree, you will also need a minimum of three years work experience and a maximum of five years of full-time work history.
In some areas of the country, anyone who specializes in a career will have a better chance of being accepted than others. Such unique programs of the Peace Corps are deaf education teachers and those who are university level teachers. While these aren’t the only specialty areas that are needed for a position, they are just a couple of them within the teaching specifications.
Another Language May Be Needed
Not all positions will use English as the main form a language. You may need to know a specific language for certain positions in different areas of the world. Most of them are basic language requirements.
Apply for an Opening Early
Some positions have already come and gone to be able to apply while departures won’t happen until months later. Why? You will need to go through training for any of the work areas available for the year they have set up.
Are there more benefits to the Peace Corp than just being a volunteer?
Helping others is one of the benefits of giving your time to others in areas of the world who need help in various aspects of their lives.
Your public student loans may deferred by your lender, Perkins loans might be eligible for partial cancellation by your lender. This shouldn’t be the biggest reason for you to participate in the Peace Corp.
You will also receive a readjustment allowance that is before it is taxed of $7,425 after completion of any service you provide, a living and housing allowance each month, medical and dental coverage, graduate school opportunities but that may not apply to everyone with a degree, and a host of other things.