Peace Corps Alternatives
For students thinking about joining Peace Corps after college, or for people not quite ready for the full two year Peace Corps experience, there are a number of Peace Corps alternatives. By participating in programs similar to Peace Corps you can gain valuable experience and see if Peace Corps is right for you.
It will take some thinking on your part. The Peace Corps has the experience and resources to take amazing care of its volunteers. Programs similar to Peace Corps may not and it's largely up to you to figure which one is best for your situation.
Many programs similar to Peace Corps are run through universities and non-profit organizations that are very respectable and can deliver what they promise. It's even likely that they have former Peace Corps Volunteers on staff. But you need to be very careful and do your research. There are also a lot of programs that are poorly run or even just out to get your money.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Take your time and really do your research. If you can't get specific answers to your questions that may mean there is a problem with that particular program.
Read How Programs like the Peace Corps Influenced these Volunteers
You university or college will probably have a semester abroad program or even shorter overseas experiences. While many will be in more developed nations, some will have programs similar to the Peace Corps that might meet your needs.
There are a few benefits to going through a university or college. First, you can earn college credit for these programs. Second, it's likely that they'll have a safe, well thought out program. Finally, you can easily find other students who went through the program and hear about their experiences.
If your university doesn't have a program similar to Peace Corps they may have agreements with other universities that do. A big plus is that when you get out of college you'll be very competitive in the application process to become an actual Peace Corps Volunteer.
Finding Reliable Information on Peace Corps Alternatives
If you have the work experience you might also consider working at Peace Corps HQ or at a regional office here in the U.S.
As a former Peace Corps Volunteer, I hope these experiences will lead you to Peace Corps Service in the future.
© The Peace Gallery. The Peace Gallery is not part of the U.S. Peace Corps, which is a federal agency.