Peace Corps FAQ // Everything Else
The last in a four-part series answering your questions about Peace Corps.
Part 1: Applying to Peace Corps
Part 2: Training & Work
Part 3: Life in Peace Corps
Part 4: Everything else
I compiled the most common questions from my blog and YouTube comments, emails, etc. but if you want to know something that I haven't addressed here, or have a question for another part, leave it in the comment section!
Disclaimer: I can only speak to Peace Corps South Africa and my service specifically. Every PCV has a different experience whether in different countries or the same. If you are interested in joining PC, talk to as many people as you can to get an accurate picture of Peace Corps.
Peace Corps has completely changed my career goals; I finally feel like I am doing work I am passionate about. Prior to Peace Corps I was working in marketing and hated it! Now I plan to get a Master’s in International Development and work in the international aid field. That would never have happened without Peace Corps.
Why does PC South Africa have such a high ET (early termination) rate?
Ask 10 different people and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some people say it’s the unique first world/third world dynamic in South Africa. Some say it’s the unrealistic rules placed on volunteers. There's no definitive answer, but I addressed the topic in this post.
Is there opportunity for independent study?
Yes! Many PCVs take entrance exams such as the GRE/MCAT/LSAT/GMAT during their service. Peace Corps is quite supportive and even allots extra leave days and transportation for volunteers taking these exams. However, since most PCVs don't have reliable Internet access at site, I don't think an online class, for instance, would be feasible.
How does Peace Corps help volunteers find job after COS?
At COS (Close of Service) Conference, PC arranges panels with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in the field to answer questions and make connections with volunteers. PC also provides references for jobs or school, and network opportunities with other returned volunteers once back in the States.
Is South Africa dangerous?
Yes and no. If you travel smart, are always prepared, and don’t take unnecessary risks, you’ll be just fine.