Peace Corps - FAQS
Can I pick the country where I will serve?
Peace Corps places Volunteers at the request of host countries, so our main priority is to place you where your skills are needed. If your preferred country requests someone with your skills, we make every effort to place you there. You may indicate a preference on your application, but it is important to know that being geographically inflexible may limit your placement possibilities.
What kinds of skills are countries looking for?
We get a wide variety of requests. We always need people with degrees or experience in environmental studies/sciences/education, math, sciences, health education, and human services. There are a large number of requests for English, science and math teachers, and also for people with business expertise. Liberal arts graduates need experience in at least two of the following: French or Spanish; demonstrated leadership; gardening/farming; health; and/or teaching.
Do I need to know a language?
No, but some programs require people who have studied one year or even two years of college (or two to four years high school) level French or Spanish within the past ten years. You should, however, be prepared to learn another language in the country where you serve.
Do I need to have a college degree?
We place Volunteers at the request of host countries, so it depends on their needs. Not all programs require degrees, but you must have a skill that is requested. In lieu of a degree you should have 2-5 years of work experience in a specific skill and have the ability to train or supervise others. Programs not requiring a degree include agriculture, construction and vocational arts, mechanics, and business management.
How competitive is it to get in?
Your competitiveness depends on the requests we receive from host countries and your education, work experiences, cultural sensitivity, and flexibility. Your competitiveness can be enhanced by foreign language study, especially Spanish or French; teaching or tutoring experience in English, math or science; paid or volunteer work experience; and a demonstrated ability to lead, organize and motivate people.
How long does the application process take?
This depends on what's being requested and your skills. Generally it takes 6-12 months from the time an application is submitted to the time you go overseas. We accept applications year-round.
What kind of training do you get?
Every Volunteer is trained for 1-3 months, usually in the country where they will serve. It includes language, cross-cultural, and technical training.
When do volunteers usually go overseas?
It varies, however, a large number of programs begin training overseas between April and September. We accept applications year-round.
Isn't Peace Corps for people who are fresh out of college?
The average age of Volunteers is about 31 and approximately 10 percent of Peace Corps Volunteers are over age 50. Since Peace Corps allows one to build on current skills and learn new ones, many use Peace Corps as a transition between careers, as well as a start out of college.
Does Peace Corps accept married couples?
Yes, but they both must qualify for programs. The placement process may take a year or more because we must find a country that is requesting two people with different skills at the same time and in the same place.
Does Peace Corps place families?
We are currently unable to accommodate families. We cannot guarantee health, education, visas and/or housing for families.
How do I get more information about Peace Corps?
More information about the program can found at the Peace Corps headquarters website or you can call the Northwest Regional recruiting office at 1-800-424-8580. Also, the WWU Peace Corps representative will be glad to help answer your questions.