Peace Corps: Pros and Cons

By Deja McMiller

We all have that feeling when you see someone in need and all you want to do is help. But as human nature has shown us time after time, we tend to second guess ourselves.

I can’t sit here and write this article and just say everyone is like that because that is not the truth. A lot of times people make their choices because of facts or information that is given to them.

But what if you were given two reasons, one pro and one con? In your opinion can the cons really overthrow the pros when it comes to helping out another human being?

Pros:

  • Student Loans: some are eligible for deferment and some for partial cancellation
  • Readjustment Allowance: receive $7,425 (pre-tax after you complete your 27 months of  service)
  • Travel Costs: expenses for travel to and from your country of service are paid by the Peace Corps
  • Living Allowance: a monthly stipend to cover living and housing expenses
  • Vacation: earn two vacation days per month of service
  • Medical and Dental care: receive complete medical and dental care while serving
  • Post-Service Health Insurance: an affordable plan is currently available for up to 3 months following service. The Peace Corps pays for the first month’s premium.
  • Federal employment benefits: creditable service and noncompetitive eligibility
  • No Fee: unlike other international volunteer programs, there is no fee to participate in the Peace corps.
  • Volunteering: You get to help someone in a different county and learn more about their culture
  • College and work: it will be a good thing to write down when it come down to college or work

Cons:

  • Long way from Home: You would have to be away from your friends and family for about 2 years
  • Is that a bug? There are likely to be a lot of different types of bugs where you are sent to and they would be everywhere, even your home
  • Depression: There will be times when you feel like you are all alone and you just feel like giving up
  • Inexperience: You go to a different country with no idea what the culture is about, and half of the time you don’t know how to speak the language
  • Poverty: Remember that poverty is real and you might see something that you would not like or would make you feel sad.
  • Is it hot in here or is it just me ? A lot of time it is likely that you will get sick during your time in the Peace Corps.

 

    • Is two years too long?  The Peace Corps is not just something you can give up on.  If 27 months is too long for you, then the Peace Corps is not something you should do.
    • No job, no home: After 2 years in a different county and coming back to the USA, it is a difficult process to find a job and a place to stay
    • No hot water: Keep in mind you might not have a water heater or a shower. It is more likely that you will have to wash up in a bucket.

 

  • Where did all my money go ? You will get paid the same amount as the people in your community and no, that does not mean you are rich; more like lower class.
  • What’s a toilet?  Some countries that you are sent to do not have a toilet!  Often your toilet is the tree outside your home. In other countries like in China you have a toilet but it does not always flush.

 

  • Hope you’re not a picky eater : sorry, but it is not a surprise that you won’t be able to go get McDonalds or Taco Bell whenever you feel like it.  Usually you eat what you can, you eat what the local people eat.

So my question for you is: what  would  you choose  if you could pick   between  trying something new with  the feeling of knowing  that you might have changed someone’s life or going through life wondering what life would have been  life you never  second guessed it?

Me? I am interested in trying the Peace Corps once I have completed some schooling and I have a skill that will be useful in other countries.

See you overseas!

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