Be a Peace Corps Volunteer. That’s right, one more way to get out of the cube farm without having to sell anything.
Peace Corps jobs are for those who are really dedicated to travel and aren’t afraid to commit. I’m pretty dedicated, but the word “commitment” gives me the willies so I guess this type of work really isn’t for me.
The Peace Corps is a government run organization, created to assist developing nations, currently serving 73 countries around the world. Career areas include: education, youth outreach, and community development; business development; agriculture and environment; health and HIV/AIDS; and information technology. Specific jobs within each career area can differ greatly. This affords travelers an opportunity to provide much needed services in areas in the world where alternatives are few. You live and work in the community for the duration of your employment, which gives you the chance to become really involved with and understand the people.
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Current countries in which you may be stationed: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Beliz, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Careroon, Cape Verde, China, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Eastern Caribbean, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic, Lesotho, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Macedonia, Micronesia and Palau, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nambia, Nicaragua, Niger, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Ukraine, Samoa, Senegal, South Africa, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tongo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zambia
What’s it like? If you sign up for the Peace Corps, you are committed to a 27 month term of employment (that’s the hard part). You will earn vacation time, but it won’t be extended. You don’t need to know the language for the country in which you will be placed, but a 4 year college degree is recommended. If you do have experience in a foreign language and would like to be stationed in an area in which that language is spoken, it will definitely help your chances to be assigned to that area. Like the military, you do get a wish list for your country of station, but it isn’t guaranteed. You’ll earn a minimal allowance and receive a bonus once you return to the states, but you won’t be racking in the dough. In general, you are assigned to one geographic area and will not be reassigned for the duration of your employment.
If you think this type of lifestyle is great for you, be prepared to apply as much as 9 months to a year in advance. Good luck!