peace corps and similiar programs?

I'm going to be graduating with an undergrad degree in a year, and was looking into joing the peace corps after college. I am hoping to eventually get a PhD, however, so 27 months is a long time to delay a degree that could take 6 years to get. Are there any programs similiar to the peace corps (ie international humanitarian aid volunteering) available with less of a time commitment?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    If you use YA's advanced search option for the words "Peace Corps" you'll get some sponsored links. Many will expect you (or your friends and neighbors) to bear some or all of the cost.

    The Peace Corps gives you three months of training. You'll learn your host country's language, history, religion(s) and culture, plus get some vocational training. (I learned Malay, Iban and Hokkien, then practice taught for six weeks, under the supervision of a master teacher, for instance.) They provide dental and medical care, a living allowance and some after-service placement counsling. They pay for your air fare over and back. It would not be cost-effective to do all that for someone who stayed on the job for a couple of weeks.

    If you want to pay your own way, provide your own medical / dental insurance and already speak the language, there are a number of organizations that will place you for as little as a week. Some people take two-week "working" vacations as volunteers and have a ball. Some don't even require you to speak the language. (Not a problem if you volunteer inside the USA).

    Here are some:

    http://www.vso.org.uk/

    (Based in the UK, takes volunteers from anywhere, has a six-month "programme" for people 18 - 25) I knew VSO's when I was in the Peace Corps 30 years ago. They are a solid, well-known organization.

    Student Conservation Association

    http://www.thesca.org/

    My daughter spent a summer with them. You pay for your food and air fare, they loan you a tent. You spend 4-6 weeks doing manual labor in a national park in the USA with a great bunch of other kids. They will take volunteers as young as 16.

    Here are two that sponsor links. I have no personal knowlege of either one.

    Global Volunteers

    http://www.globalvolunteers.org/

    United Planet

    http://www.unitedplanet.org/quest.html

    You didn't ask, but those 27 months in the Peace Corps may be the high point of your life. You'll certainly be seeing the world in a new light, smelling new smells, eating new foods, meeting new people. They fly by. At 22, looking forward, they seem like a long time. At 60, looking back, they don't.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am currently in an Americorps program called City Year, a nonprofit that places youth ages 17-24 in middle schools. It is an incredible leadership opportunity, and although I am only 18 years old, I work in a 5th grade classroom as a teachers aid, create quality after school programing for at-risk kids and I also mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. City Year is one of the most amazing programs out there, and if you want more info you can go to www.cityyear.org for more information. City Year operates in 16 US sites, and has one site in South Africa, so you have quite a choice! City Year only lasts Sept - June, but that equals out to about 1700 hours of service. It is an incredible program and I recommend it to anyone who wants to take a gap year, or who is not quite sure what to do with their life yet. It is a definitive year in the life of a young person.

    Also, even though you said you were interested in International, you might want to go to www.americorps.gov and look at the part time opportunities available there.

    Hope this helps!

  • 1 decade ago

    Forget it.

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