What is the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps is a volunteer organization sponsored by the United States Government that allows college graduates to serve in developing countries. It was established through Executive Order 10924 by president John F. Kennedy shortly after he took office in 1961. Since then, the group’s more than 200,000 volunteers have served 139 countries.

Qualifying for the Peace Corps

Acceptance into the Peace Corps requires a two year commitment and qualifying is competitive. There are currently slightly more than 8,000 volunteers serving in the Peace Corps. Almost all positions require a college degree and applicants must be able to at least demonstrate a capacity to learn a new language.

The corps also prefers people who have volunteer and leadership experience. The organization offers ways for potential applicants to seek out domestic volunteer opportunities to gain this valuable experience. Not being too choosey about where and when your assignment will be can also improve your chances of having your application approved.

The average age of a Peace Corps volunteer is 28, but that doesn’t mean older individuals should not apply. Additionally, while it is difficult to coordinate initially, married couples can serve in the corps together.

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