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The Peace Corps is a volunteer organization based in the United States. Its mission is to promote world peace and friendship through voluntary service overseas.
You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18-years-old to be a Peace Corps volunteer. There is no upper age limit as long as you are healthy. The oldest Peace Corps volunteer so far was 86, according to 2014 information provided on the Peace Corps website.
You must be willing and able to spend 27 months in the Peace Corps. You will have a three-month training period followed by a two-year placement overseas.
You must be generally healthy and will need to pass a physical and/or medical exam. If you recently had certain types of surgery, there is a waiting period before you can be sent overseas, usually one or two years.
You do not need to know how to speak, read or write another language; however, some countries where Peace Corps volunteers serve prefer those who previously studied French or Spanish.
College and Experience
You don't need any special education or skills to join the Peace Corps. Most volunteers have a 4-year college degree, but if you don't have a degree, you can qualify if you have significant agriculture experience, held a full-time position in carpentry, construction or woodworking, have four years experience as the manager of a business, or if you have worked with at-risk youth for at least five years.
You should be willing to go wherever you are asked and be prepared to live in a different way. You need to be willing to represent the United States abroad and integrate yourself into the local culture wherever you are assigned.
Paula Swenson is a writer, artist and teacher. She has a degree in communication arts and has worked for NPR, NBC and the NEA. Swenson has been writing about art, business, travel and the English language for over 10 years. She also teaches English to business people and travelers from around the globe.