Peace Corps alternatives with International Volunteer HQ allow you to offer your time and skills without the 2-year commitment that the Peace Corps requires. IVHQ’s volunteer programs are similar to the Peace Corps because you have the opportunity to experience a new culture, while playing a hands-on role in supporting grass-roots community development initiatives in over 40 countries around the world.
Like the Peace Corps, IVHQ offers a wide range of volunteer abroad opportunities that enable you to have a lasting impact in the areas of Agriculture, Community Development, Education, Conservation, Health, Youth Development, and more. So whether you want to explore a new career path, build on your existing skills and life experience, or challenge yourself with a new opportunity, IVHQ can connect you with a volunteer program like the Peace Corps that will enable you to spend your vacation time making the world a better place.
IVHQ is the most popular alternative to the Peace Corps because it offers shorter-term volunteer programs without the competitive Peace Corps requirements. With IVHQ, you can volunteer abroad for durations ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks and choose from over 45 destinations. To qualify for a position with the Peace Corps, you typically need to have minimum education, work experience and language requirements. However, IVHQ has volunteer opportunities to suit volunteers of all ages and abilities, offering the world’s largest range of volunteer projects. This means that you’ll have the opportunity to support projects like Teaching, Childcare, Community Development, Medical, Construction and Renovation, Turtle Conservation or Wildlife Conservation.
Here are examples of short-term volunteer opportunities that serve as alternatives to the Peace Corps:
- Healthcare and community development volunteering in Ghana
- Education and youth development volunteering in South Africa
- Construction and volunteering with youth in Fiji
- Teaching and environmental volunteering in Thailand
- Volunteering with local youth, construction and environmental work in the Philippines
- Community development and street children support in Ecuador
- Medical and teaching English and other subjects in Peru
- Sustainability and community development volunteering in Costa Rica
In contrast to the Peace Corps, which is funded by the US government, IVHQ volunteers fund their own volunteer travel experiences - made possible through the affordable volunteer program fees. With volunteer program fees starting from $180 for 1 week, you will not find a more affordable and trustworthy Peace Corps alternative.
Keep reading to learn more about how IVHQ stacks up as a 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 volunteer opportunities abroad that didn’t require a 2-year commitment (and that didn’t cost the earth). 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 over 80,000 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 worked in 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 the country in which you wish to volunteer and places you in that country. 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 Peace Corps 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.
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
Whilst studying at college, it can be a challenge to find a balance between studies, social life, hobbies and service activities. Putting your studies on hold to fit in 2 years of volunteering with the Peace Corps is an unrealistic goal for most; however, IVHQ’s flexible start dates and durations fit in perfectly with college schedules. Whether you want to take an alternative spring break, an impactful summer break, a meaningful winter break, or if you’re simply looking for a 1-week volunteer opportunity, IVHQ has built volunteer programs with you in mind!
Popular Peace Corps Alternatives for College Students:
- Turtle conservation or education-based volunteering in Costa Rica
- Construction and rennovation volunteering in Bali
- Food outreach and youth development volunteering
- Environmental sustainability and homeless shelter volunteering in New Orleans
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, the 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 skill set and interests, or you can choose to join different projects. You will be accommodated together as a family, with private accommodation available for families in most destinations. During your weekends and in your free time, you have the opportunity to explore everything your chosen destination has to offer.
Popular Peace Corps Alternatives for Families:
- Turtle and island conservation volunteering on the island of Simuele in Indonesia
- Construction and renovation volunteering in Philippines
- Community outreach and working with children in Ecuador
Peace Corps Alternatives for Adults
Whether you’re wanting to take a career break, give back your skills, or contribute your skills to a community that values your support, IVHQ offers Peace Corps alternatives for adults from a diverse range of backgrounds. Whether you have a college degree, or simply a range of life skills, IVHQ has short-term peace corps alternatives to meet all time commitments. Your needs can be meet if you’re looking at going solo or traveling with your partner. Our programs are flexible in nature so you’re able to volunteer in the area that suits your skills most.
Popular Peace Corps Alternatives for Adults:
- Working with children and women’s empowerment volunteering in Kenya
- Teaching English and NGO support volunteering in Cambodia
- Marine conservation volunteering in Belize
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 and 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!