The Peace Corps: How to Pick Your Country And Service

 Joining the Peace Corps is a big decision. Before you start the application process, you need to make sure your mind is 100% made up. If you’re still having a hard time deciding, check out my recent post on how to make the decision to join the Peace Corps. Hopefully, it will give you the insight you need.

Made Up Your Mind?

So, now you’re serious about joining and you’re ready to start the application process. First off, you need to understand that the Peace Corps is extremely competitive. Just because you apply doesn’t mean you’ll get accepted, let alone get the country you want. Scared yet?

Have no fear! That’s why I’m here! This post is not only going to increase your chances of getting accepted into the Peace Corps but it’s also going to help you get your country of choice. Excited? You should be. Being selected into the Peace Corps is an honor and extraordinary opportunity.

Plus, 9/10 times you’ll have the coolest story at a party!

What? Where? and Putting Them Together

Currently, the Peace Corps is operating in 8 different regions and 67 different countries. Making the first step of this list, the most crucial. The first step is finding out where in the world you can see yourself roughing it for 2 years and what you want to contribute while you’re there. You could be under the hot sun of North Africa, living in a mud hut, teaching English or you could be in the frozen tundra of Mongolia, living in a tent shelter, teaching public health.

Not that easy of a decision, huh?

Here’s how I found “what”

The Peace Corps breaks down the volunteer work into 7 sectors: Agriculture,  Community Economic Development,  Environment,  Health,  Youth in Development,  and Education. So, looking at my degree in Sociology, my ROTC experience, athletic background, and being a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, Youth in Development made the most sense for me.

Here’s how I found “where”

I picked where I wanted to go by choosing the three places I’ve always dreamed of. Even though the idea of the Peace Corps is about going where you’re needed, you’re about to have $0 income for 2 years of volunteer work, you can justify selfishly fulfilling your travel wishes.This narrowed down my choices to Nepal, Costa Rica, and Thailand. 

Putting it all together

Next, I had to put it all together. When looking at the Peace Corps Website, I saw that the only country, of my 3, offering Youth in Development was Thailand. Easy enough, that’s what I picked! Definitely, look at all of your country options but try and stick with your selected service. If you attempt a service that you might not enjoy then you are at risk at losing the passion behind your work. If you don’t have passion then whats the point?

Now Your Turn

Before choosing your what and where, you need to have the same considerations. Such as; your degree, past experiences, clubs, sports, work history, personal preferences, etc. This will help you decide what you’re most qualified to do. If your background is in computer engineering, do you think you would be a good farmer? I say probably not, stick with what you know.


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