Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Peace Corps service, with links to more information. This should give you the basics about Peace Corps service. If you have more questions, we encourage you to get in touch with a Peace Corps recruiter.
- 1 How long do Volunteers serve? Are shorter assignments available?
- 2 Do I need to speak a foreign language?
- 3 Do I need a college degree?
- 4 Can I choose the country where I'll serve?
- 5 Do I get paid?
- 6 Am I too old to serve in the Peace Corps?
- 7 What about my student loans?
- 8 When should I apply/how long does it take?
- 9 How will I know if I'm qualified?
- 10 Can I serve with my spouse/friend/boyfriend/girlfriend?
- 11 Will I be serving in my Peace Corps community alone?
- 12 Do I have a medical condition that may impact my ability to serve?
- 13 External Links
How long do Volunteers serve? Are shorter assignments available?
All Peace Corps Volunteers commit to 27 months of training and service overseas. During this time, you will earn vacation time. The Peace Corps does not offer short-term assignments.
Do I need to speak a foreign language?
No. Knowledge of a foreign language is not a requirement for Peace Corps service, as the Peace Corps provides language training. However, knowledge of French or Spanish will help qualify you for programs in certain regions.
Do I need a college degree?
Opportunities are available for those with a combination of job experience and education, though some opportunities require a four-year degree. Opportunities for community college students are also available. Click here for more info.
Can I choose the country where I'll serve?
While we take your geographical preferences under consideration, we cannot guarantee placement in your country or region of choice. Our primary goal is to place Volunteers where their skills and experience are most needed.
Do I get paid?
The Peace Corps provides Volunteers with a living allowance that enables them to live in a manner similar to the local people in their community. The Peace Corps also provides complete medical and dental care and covers the cost of transportation to and from your country of service.
When you return from your 27 months of service, you will receive just over $6,000 toward your transition to life back home. The money is yours to use as you wish: for travel, a vacation, making a move, or securing housing.
Am I too old to serve in the Peace Corps?
No. While the minimum age for Peace Corps service is 18, there is no upper age limit. Volunteers range in age from college students to retirees and come from all walks of life.
What about my student loans?
Volunteers may defer repayment on student loans under several federal programs, i.e., Stafford (formerly known as guaranteed student loans), Perkins, direct, and consolidation loans. Volunteers with Perkins loans are eligible for a 15 percent cancellation of their outstanding balance for each year of Peace Corps service. Because the rules that authorize deferment are complicated and subject to change, it is best to talk to your lender directly about how this benefit applies to your situation.
When should I apply/how long does it take?
We accept invitations on a rolling basis; there is no application deadline. The entire application process-from completion of your application to departure for service-takes an average of nine months. We encourage you to apply 9-12 months before you will be ready to begin your service.
After you have submitted your completed application, you can expect to hear from a Peace Corps recruiter within two to three weeks.
How will I know if I'm qualified?
Because different Peace Corps assignments have different requirements, and because each applicant is considered on an individual basis, the best way to find out if you may qualify is to speak with a Peace Corps recruiter and then complete an application.
Can I serve with my spouse/friend/boyfriend/girlfriend?
Legally married couples may serve together in the Peace Corps. To qualify, married couples must apply and qualify individually, and must have proof of a minimum of 12 months of married status (marriage license) by the time you depart for service.
The Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement together for unmarried couples, friends, family members, or other groups.
Will I be serving in my Peace Corps community alone?
While arrangements vary by geographical location, Volunteers should expect to live on their own and work independently. Typically, there are many opportunities to see other nearby Volunteers during weekends, holidays, and for training sessions and collaborative projects.
Do I have a medical condition that may impact my ability to serve?
Because of the nature of the countries where Peace Corps serves, and the scope of medical care available there, applicants to Peace Corps must undergo a comprehensive medical and dental assessment based on their medical history and medical/dental examinations, to determine whether they are medically qualified to serve in the Peace Corps . Each applicant is assessed individually. Please see the Medical Information for Applicants guide (PDF) on the Official Peace Corps website.
Top Questions Official US Peace Corps Website