Image of photo of child carrying bowl in Jamaica: Courtesy -  C. Feezel - Program and Training Official in Jamaica

Peace Corps Volunteer Programs

Since it's organization in 1961, the Peace Corps has constructed new programs to accommodate the needs of the constantly changing world. Programs in the fields of health and nutrition, agriculture and forestry, education, and engineering have all remained very high in demand. However, new programs in areas such as business and the environment have become increasingly important.

General Eligibility Enhancements

Although each Peace Corps program has specific requirements, there are some general ways in which you can enhance your competitiveness for a volunteer position.

Take at least one year of college French, Spanish or Arabic. Language is not required but at least one year of college in one of these languages will make you more competitive and increase your chances of acceptance. The ability to learn a new language is often an important ingredient in a successful Peace Corps experience.

Tutoring or teaching experience in English, English as a Second Language, Special Education, Math or Science is especially helpful when competing for any Education Assignments and may even be a mandatory requirement for some programs. Tutoring can be volunteer work, but should be at least 10 hours per month for three consecutive months. Tutoring experience with students over 12 years of age is required for many programs. For example, an English major who has tutored Hispanic immigrants in English would make a good candidate for the English/ESL teaching program.

Become involved in your community or other organization. Become a resident assistant in a dorm on campus or volunteer at a nearby shelter. Developing leadership, organizational and motivational skills will increase the attractiveness of a candidate.

Volunteer or learn skills that are relevant to the program in which you plan to apply.

Develop your cultural diversity. Studying and traveling overseas allows you to experience other cultures. Encountering unique people and places will give you the understanding necessary for adapting to a new civilization.

Last updated September 24, 1996 by Craig Maddox

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