Want to make an impact around the world without having to meet the strict criteria of the Peace Corps and Americorps? International Volunteer HQ is one of the most popular alternatives to Peace Corps, offering short-term volunteer programs in more than 40 countries. Unlike the Peace Corps, IVHQ enables you to choose your program duration with the option to volunteer from 1 week to 24 weeks without competitive requirements.
To qualify for a position with the Peace Corps, you typically need to have minimum education, work experience and language capabilities. With IVHQ, there is no limit to giving back - we have opportunities for volunteers of all ages and abilities, so whether you are a retiree, a teen, or anything in between, we have a unique program waiting for you. We offer a range of programs like the Peace Corps, including Teaching, Childcare, Healthcare, Community Development, Construction and Renovation, Turtle Conservation and Wildlife Conservation.
Peace Corps Alternatives
Looking for organizations like the Peace Corps? Many of us dream of giving back in a different culture, but aren’t able to step away from work and/or studies to meet the Peace Corps 2-year commitment. If you’re looking for alternative Peace Corps programs, volunteering with IVHQ is a great option.
Our programs are similar to the Peace Corps because you’ll be able to experience a new culture while playing a hands-on role in supporting grass-roots initiatives in more than 40 countries around the world. Durations range from 1 to 24 weeks, meaning you can opt for short-term volunteering or give back for a few months during your gap year.
Wondering where you can go? Here’s some of our most popular alternatives to the Peace Corps:
- Costa Rica - Sea Turtle Conservation, Healthcare + 12 more projects to choose from…
- Tanzania - Childcare, Construction & Renovation + 5 more projects to choose from…
- Peru - Community Support, Eco-Agriculture + 15 more projects to choose from…
- Portugal - Wolf Conservation, Homeless Support + 5 more projects to choose from…
- Ghana - Agriculture, Sports Teaching + 5 more projects to choose from…
- Guatemala - Medical, Special Needs Care + 9 more projects to choose from…
Programs Like Americorps
If you’re a US resident and you want to give back close to home, IVHQ offers volunteer programs like Americorps that don’t require international travel. US citizens can give back with IVHQ in popular cities across America, including San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans. This is the perfect opportunity if you want to make a difference, contribute to local initiatives and explore new parts of the country.
Here are some examples of short-term volunteer programs and alternatives to Americorps in the USA:
- Youth Support in New Orleans
- Community Development in Chicago
- Environmental Sustainability in San Diego
- Construction and Renovation in New Orleans
- Environmental Sustainability in Philadelphia
- Community Development in San Diego
Why volunteer with IVHQ vs joining the Peace Corps or Americorps?
In contrast to the Americorps or Peace Corps, which is funded by the US government, IVHQ volunteers fund their own volunteer travel experiences - made possible through IVHQ’s affordable Program Fees. With volunteer program fees starting from $20 per day including accommodation, you will not find a more affordable and trustworthy Peace Corps alternative.
Keep reading to learn more about how IVHQ stacks up as an Americorps or Peace Corps alternative.
Take me to:
- Peace Corps vs IVHQ
- What is the Peace Corps?
- What is IVHQ?
- What are Peace Corps requirements?
- What are IVHQ requirements?
- Where can you volunteer with the Peace Corps?
- Where can you volunteer with IVHQ?
- What support services does the Peace Corps offer?
- What support services does IVHQ offer?
- Recommended Peace Corps Alternatives
- Peace Corps Alternatives for College Students
- Peace Corps Alternatives for Families
- Peace Corps Alternatives for Adults
- Peace Corps Alternatives for Seniors
Peace Corps vs IVHQ
What is the Peace Corps?
The Peace Corps provides international service opportunities for U.S. citizens who wish to work within a community abroad. Established by John F. Kennedy in 1961, the mission of the Peace Corps is to provide skilled assistance to communities abroad, while helping the people served to understand American culture, and in turn, helping Americans to better understand the cultures of other countries.
What is IVHQ?
IVHQ was founded by Dan Radcliffe in 2007 in response to his personal struggle to find affordable volunteer opportunities abroad that didn’t require a 2-year commitment. The mission of IVHQ is to change the face of volunteer travel through providing affordable volunteer abroad experiences that are responsible, safe and high quality. Since 2007, IVHQ has supported more than 132,000 people to volunteer abroad and has grown to become the world’s leading provider for volunteer abroad programs, which serve as popular Peace Corps alternatives.
Now that we understand what each organization has set out to achieve, let’s learn how you can join them…
What are Peace Corps requirements?
To join the Peace Corps, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a U.S. Citizen
- You must be 18-years or older
- You must be able to commit to 2 years of service within the Peace Corps (although this is subject to change)
- 90% of Peace Corps positions require a Bachelor’s Degree
- Specialist skills, hobbies and volunteer experience are considered when selecting suitable candidates
What are IVHQ requirements?
IVHQ’s approach to volunteering abroad enables volunteers from different walks of life to be of service in a community abroad. The requirements to volunteer with IVHQ include:
- Fluency in English
- A clean criminal background
- Volunteers must be 18-years or older to participate on an IVHQ program
- If you are under 18 and volunteering as part of a group with adult minders, or with a parent/guardian or family member who is 18-years or over, you are eligible to participate
IVHQ makes volunteering abroad more accessible by opening our programs to everyone and offering an extensive range of project opportunities to suit a variety of skill sets. IVHQ was formed out of necessity for short-term Peace Corps Alternatives that enabled you, as an international volunteer, to take part in a program that works with your lifestyle.
Where can you volunteer with the Peace Corps?
While Peace Corps volunteers can apply to be placed in up to three different countries, it cannot be guaranteed that you will be selected for your top choice.
Where can you volunteer with IVHQ?
IVHQ allows you to choose your destination, duration and project of choice. IVHQ’s volunteer programs are established in partnership with local organizations in communities with clearly defined social and environmental needs, allowing volunteers to choose from a range of projects in genuine need of volunteer assistance. If you are seeking organizations like the Peace Corps that enable you to support meaningful volunteer work abroad, you can feel confident that IVHQ will be the best alternative.
What training does the Peace Corps provide?
The Peace Corps provides comprehensive pre-service training that takes 3 months to complete. Due to the longer time commitment of Peace Corps projects, the pre-service training has more vigorous elements to it.
What training does IVHQ provide?
Adjusting to life in a foreign country can be challenging, especially if English isn’t the local language (and if you’re traveling alone). IVHQ makes your international volunteering journey as stress-free as possible. You will be connected with a dedicated volunteer mentor at IVHQ who will support you every step of the way - from advising you on visas and vaccinations, to organizing everything from your airport pick-up, right down to your volunteer orientation, accommodation and meals. IVHQ also provides online pre-departure training to help prepare volunteers for their experience overseas, covering topics like health and safety, responsible travel and volunteering best practices. This is included in the price of your Program Fee.
Now you understand how the organizations compare, it’s time to discover which Peace Corps alternatives are best suited to you!
Recommended Peace Corps Alternatives
Peace Corps Alternatives for College Students
Peace Corps Alternatives for College Students Students often find it challenging to balance studies, social life, hobbies and service activities, and most are not able to dedicate 2 years of volunteering with the Peace Corps alongside the demands of college.
IVHQ’s flexible start dates and durations are perfect for college students’ busy schedules. Whether you want to take an alternative spring, summer, or winter break, or if you’re simply looking for a 1-week volunteer opportunity, IVHQ has built volunteer programs with you in mind! Plus, our programs start at just $20 per day including accommodation, so you can give back and see the world on a student budget.
Popular Peace Corps Alternatives for College Students:
- Turtle conservation or education-based volunteering in Costa Rica
- Childcare or Construction & Renovation volunteering in Peru (Lima or Cusco)
- Rainforest & Coastal Conservation or Turtle Conservation volunteering in Zanzibar
- Animal Care or Medical volunteering in Guatemala
- Environmental Scuba Diving or Homeless Support volunteering in Portugal
Peace Corps Alternatives for Families
Packing up the family for 2 years of service work is an admirable mission, but most families simply don’t have the means to take a service trip beyond 1 or 2 weeks. However, thanks to the Peace Corps alternatives available with IVHQ, a humble family vacation can now take a different form.
Even if your family can only commit to a 1-week volunteer program, you can volunteer abroad with confidence - knowing your contribution will be sustained by future IVHQ volunteers. Your family can volunteer on projects that fit your collective skills and interests, and you’ll be accommodated together as a family with private rooms available for families in most destinations. During your weekends and in your free time, you’ll be able to explore everything your chosen destination has to offer.
Popular Peace Corps Alternatives for Families:
- Sports Education and Childcare volunteering in Kenya
- Community Development and working with children in Ecuador
- Teaching English and NGO Support in Nepal
Peace Corps Alternatives for Adults
If you want to take a career break or a sabbatical and give back to communities in need, IVHQ offers Peace Corps alternatives for adults from all walks of life. Whether you have a college degree or a range of unique life skills, we have short-term peace corps alternatives to meet all time commitments.
Popular Peace Corps Alternatives for Adults:
- Working with children and women’s empowerment volunteering in Kenya
- Marine conservation volunteering in Belize
- Work with children and elderly in Colombia
Peace Corps Alternatives For Seniors
Giving back later on in life is a popular option for many IVHQ volunteers as a Peace Corps Alternative for seniors. Whether you’ve recently retired, or are looking for a meaningful travel opportunity, a short-term volunteer trip with IVHQ provides you with the flexibility to choose where you want to go, and how you want to be of service to your host community.
Don’t just take our word for it, IVHQ has hosted thousands of senior volunteers and we’ve tailored the best short-term volunteer abroad programs for seniors who want to have an impact while traveling overseas.
Popular Peace Corps Alternatives for Seniors:
- Teaching English or working with children in Nepal
- Construction & Renovation volunteering in Zambia
- Wildlife conservation volunteering in Victoria Falls
If you’re interested in serving the Peace Corps later in life, IVHQ provides the perfect platform to prepare and inspire you for your future endeavors. In fact, a number of IVHQ volunteers have carried on from volunteering with IVHQ to join the Peace Corps in later years!