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The Insider's Guide to the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go Paperback – April 1, 2009


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The Insider's Guide to the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go + One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo: 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories: Volume One: Africa (Peace Corps at 50)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 2nd edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089708
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dillon Banerjee has done a great service to anyone interested in becoming a  Peace Corps volunteer. He offers a wealth of practical information and realistic,  straightforward advice on key topics like foreign language competence, work  requirements and challenges, and housing. I highly recommended this book."
—A. Peter Burleigh, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1997–1999), U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldive Republic (1995–1997), and Peace Corps Volunteer, Nepal (1963–1965)

 “A must read for anyone considering ‘the toughest job you’ll ever love,’ Dillon Banerjee’s honest and thorough guide provides advice for every stage of the journey. ...Banerjee offers straightforward answers without any insincere fluff.”
—Sierra Club “The Green Life” Blog
 
“the perfect way to present information to readers who are undoubtedly brimming with very specific questions—about issues (seemingly) large and small—that no one else can seem to answer.”
—Campus Career Counselor

From the Publisher

* The only guide that tells potential Peace Corps volunteers what to expect, through first-hand advice from recent volunteers.

* Includes more than 70 frequently asked questions, covering everything from "What is the application process like?" to "What should I bring?"

* Increasingly popular, the Peace Corps receives over 150,000 inquiries a year for only 4,000 volunteer positions.


More About the Author

Dillon Banerjee grew up traveling around the world, living in the Philippines and Indonesia as a child. After getting his B.A. from the College of William and Mary, joining the corporate world as a consultant in Washington DC, and ski-bumming it in Aspen for a while, he returned to life overseas as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa. His first book, So You Want to Join the Peace Corps: What to Know Before you Go, was the book he wished existed before he joined the Peace Corps. Published in 2000, it provided "real" answers to the many questions prospective volunteers typically have. The second edition, The Insider's Guide to the Peace Corps, was released in April, 2009 with several important updates and additions. Dillon now works as a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
Once the book came in the mail, I read about 90% of it that night.
J. Towers
The book is written in question and answer format making it very easy to read, as well as, pinpoint specific questions you might have.
Ames644
The appendices contain useful supplemental information and websites for learning more.
Sybil L. Holloway

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Towers on May 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book while going through the application process. Once the book came in the mail, I read about 90% of it that night. The format is fantastic - it is divided 14 sections, ranging from pre-application jitters to an appendices with general info on Peace Corps. Each section contains a number of questions that are addressed within a page or two with some very useful information. Some of the questions (74 total) include the following:

-Am I qualified to join the Peace Corps?
-Will I be lonely?
-What should I bring?
-What is training like?
-Will I get sick?
-How will I receive mail?
-Will I have access to Internet?
-Will I be able to have friends & family visit from the States?

While the Peace Corps Recruiter assigned to my area was incredibly helpful in answering my questions, this book addresses issues that I didn't even think about. It has definitely left me with more informed & realistic expectations about what's to come.

This is also a useful source for family members and friends of Peace Corps volunteers.

Definitely a must buy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julia946 on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was pretty far along in the Peace Corps Application process when I bought this book so some of the facts were redundant for me. There are some details that the authors provide, however, that prove to be informative for soon-to-be PCVs. I would recommend this book to individuals very early on in the application process, or possibly in future additions, go into more details when answering questions. The format of the book was very easy to read but left me wanting more. Since the "chapters" were split into separate FAQs, I often wanted the author to expound more. It seems like they were trying to remain unbiased in their answers and give broad explanations without seeming one-sided one way or another. I would recommend this book, but would suggest that applicants very far along in the application process look more toward PC blogs and wikis. Current and formed volunteers are the best source of information for questions, and they love to help.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Yosick on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am currently on track to leave for my Peace Corps service in about a month. I breezed through this book. This book is divided into 1-3 page "chapters" that are actually just questions that many people ask and the author providing his answers and insight. I really enjoyed reading this book, it has been an essential source for me as I embark on my own Peace Corps journey.

His responses are so detailed I was consistently impressed. If you are interested in the Peace Corps, applying, accepted, or even if your already out on the field I would recommend this book. It can feel a bit overwhelming while reading the book just because there is so much information to take in, I'm getting used to this by now. Even though I'm almost done reading it I will most definitely take this with me in the field when I leave. It's very practical and has a lot of good information that many don't think about. It will be a great resource for me as I navigate my service.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Travis Hellstrom on September 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
"The Insider's Guide to Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go" is a great first step in your Peace Corps journey. It answers dozens of the frequently asked questions that applicants have as they start thinking about Peace Corps. As a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer (Mongolia 2008-2011), I found this guide very helpful as I began my Peace Corps experience and I highly recommend it.

This book also inspired me to write my own book, providing more detail about the Peace Corps experience in a more "unofficial" way and also giving the reader a chance to keep a journal of their own experience. I also highly recommend giving the Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook a look. Good luck in your own Peace Corps adventure!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Ecklund on July 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased this for my step-daughter who is contemplating joining the peace corps after college. I found it to be very thorough reading for anyone entertaining a stint in the peace corps. Now if only my step-daughter would read it herself! (Think she's afraid of the realities she'll find within).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LD on November 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a really fast read. Read it within a few hours at the most. Had some really interesting information on Peace Corps that i had not gotten from reading anywhere else...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rusha Beauty Junkie on July 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is helpful however if you have your assignment I am finding that it is beneficial to also link up with up other PCV volunteers who actually served in the host country you have been assigned. However, the PC can switch your host country as well so I guess you just have to be very, flexible and open minded.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Kraybill on January 30, 2010
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If you are considering Peace Corps, it is HIGHLY recommended that you read this. It gives the good and bad.
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