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Peace Corps 101

with Travis Hellstrom

Course Overview

Since 1961, the Peace Corps has shared with the world America's most precious resource – its people. Nearly 200,000 Peace Corps Volunteers (also called PCVs) have served in more than 130 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Coming from all walks of life and representing the rich diversity of the American people, Volunteers range in age from college students to retirees. From teaching elementary school English in Zambia to working on soil conservation in Panama to helping with business development in Mongolia, Volunteers bring their skills and life experiences to where they are needed most.

Peace Corps has been called "the toughest job you'll ever love" but you don’t have to learn that the hard way. The Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook was written to help outstanding Volunteers have healthy, happy and meaningful years of service. It is also the only book ever written which gives 100% of its profits back into Peace Corps projects worldwide.

Peace Corps 101 is a 6-week class taught by Travis Hellstrom, author of the Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook, and other Volunteers from around the world who will join in on the fun.

Awesome Fact: We will be the first-ever en*theos Academy course to give all our proceeds to charity! All proceeds will go to Peace Corps projects worldwide through Peace Corps’ Partnership Program and NPCA’s Global Community Fund!

Whether you’re interested in the Peace Corps, currently applying, already serving, or one of the 200,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers around the world, this course is for you.

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Who Should Attend?

If you’re the kind of person who wants to change the world, loves creating amazing projects and has wondered what it’s like to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer, this course is for you. It’s also for anyone who is interested in the Peace Corps, currently applying, already serving, or one of the 200,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.

What You'll Learn

Week 1. The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love

  • Peace Corps’ Story: Past, Present, Future
  • Kennedy’s Legacy
  • National Service

Week 2. Getting In

  • Application, Interview and Nomination
  • Invitation, Preparing, Training
  • Getting Settled In

Week 3. Making The Most of Your Service

  • Your First Year
  • Your Second Year
  • The Leadership Choice

Week 4. Returning Home

  • Job Search Resources
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Scholarships and More

Week 5. A Lifetime of Service

  • Life After Peace Corps
  • The 30 Second Summary
  • The Peace Corps Family

Week 6. Being Enough

  • Life Lessons
  • Peace Corps Stories
  • Putting Everything Together

What You’ll Get Out of the Course

The real story on Peace Corps and “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love”, serving around the world promoting world peace and friendship.

A greater understanding of national and international service and Kennedy’s legacy.

Learn how to rock the Peace Corps application process, ace your interview, and prepare yourself for two years that could change your life forever.

How to make the most of your two years of service and beyond!

How to use job search, education and scholarship resources to your advantage as you prepare to return home.

How to return home and engage in the Peace Corps community back in America.

Sharing your Peace Corps story with future employers, colleagues and those you love as you return back to American life.

Talking with thousands of other members of the Peace Corps family as mentors and friends, to share life lessons, remember all the incredible things you’ve learned and to put it all together.

Textbook for the Course

Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook by Travis Hellstrom (included)
Enough by Travis Hellstrom (included)

About Travis Hellstrom

Travis Hellstrom just finished three years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Peace Corps Volunteer Leader in Mongolia, where he worked as a Health Specialist.

Travis began writing the Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook a year before he left for the Peace Corps as he kept track of his answers during the application and interview process. After his 27th month of service he published the first edition and made it available on and The Handbook is the first and only book to offer advice to people applying and serving as Peace Corps Volunteers while also raising funds for Peace Corps projects worldwide.

During his Peace Corps service, Travis met Brian Johnson online, received a scholarship to get his PhilosophersNotes (since PCVs in Mongolia make about $150 a month) and even received a free binder of PhilosophersNotes which were sent all the way to Mongolia and donated to Peace Corps headquarters in country! How cool is that! Since then, Travis has read all the Notes, Brian’s book A Philosopher’s Notes and attended several en*theos Academy courses, his favorite so far being Chip Conley’s class PEAK and Brian Johnson’s class Optimal Living 101.

After completing his Peace Corps service, Travis started a social movement called Advance Humanity where he writes weekly articles for everyday humanitarians who are changing themselves and changing the world. He also became founding CEO of the New Media Foundation which is dedicated to helping leading nonprofits in Mongolia and around the world. He currently lives in the eastern steppe of Mongolia with his wife Tunga.

Praise for Travis Hellstrom

“Serving with Travis in Mongolia for three years was an honor and privilege. He is an extraordinary individual and inspires everyone around him. He is always so willing to help others succeed and he has especially enriched my time in Peace Corps.”
Jamie May Ly, Peace Corps Volunteer (Mongolia 2008-11)

"Travis - I just read the Unofficial Peace Corps handbook, cover to cover.  Well done! (in Ukrainian, molodetz.) Your book speaks honestly about the general nature of Peace Corps experience, and that you are just about as happy, fulfilled, motivated, successful, rewarded... and on and on... as you make up your mind to be. Thank you for your book, your sincere reporting of your experience and the wholesome and generous outlook you offer."
- Megan O'Connor, Peace Corps Volunteer (Ukraine 2010-12)

“Travis's book is an invaluable resource for those thinking about applying to Peace Corps, those currently serving, and even those who have returned after their service. Based on his own personal experience, and those of other volunteers and applicants, he goes through the process step by step - explaining the application process, the ups and downs of living in a developing country, and how to make the most of your service!”
- Mike Sheppard, Peace Corps Volunteer (The Gambia 2003-05) and Founder of and

"This book is freakin' awesome! Seriously, I'm thrilled that I ordered a copy. I've submitted my application and am waiting/hoping for an invitation to interview.  My copy arrived in the mail today, and I read it cover to cover, unable to put it down.  I have also shifted from 60% sure to 100% sure that being a PCV is right for me."
- Jennifer Wilson, Peace Corps Applicant and Founder of New Leaf Coaching & Consulting

"My friend Travis has written a book that perhaps everyone should read - but especially folks thinking of the Peace Corps. Travis is phenomenal...and my go-to man for grounding and objectivity. Please check out the reviews - and order it!!"
- Debra Pritchard, Peace Corps Volunteer (Philippines 2010-12)

“During our time working together as Volunteer Leaders, Travis took the initiative to expand existing programs and implement new ones, both inside and outside of the organization. He took the reigns to improve the Volunteer Advisory Council, the Peer Support network, and also a new third year volunteer conference. He's a true visionary who excels at analyzing and advancing organizations from their very core mission. His passion, care, self-starting and entrepreneurial attitude can be seen through his work as a founder of the TEDxUlaanbaatar event, which is the first of its kind in Mongolia.”
- Amber Barger, Peace Corps Volunteer Leader (Mongolia 2008-2011)

“I first became acquainted with Travis before I actually met him due to his massive social networking endeavors. During the months leading up to our impending meeting in Mongolia I was, to be completely honest, not optimistic about Travis's ability to set realistic expectations and follow through when things would inevitably get difficult. I could not have been more mistaken. Getting to know Travis during his Peace Corps Pre-Service Training and afterwards as a volunteer, colleague, and friend I can say that I have not met anyone else with as much boundless energy and dedication towards making the world a better place. There are not many things that I will state for certain but this is one of them; wherever Travis may be he will be working in some capacity to help the people around him.”
- Michael Prelaske, Peace Corps Volunteer (Mongolia 2007-09)

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Travis Hellstrom just finished three years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Peace Corps Volunteer Leader in Mongolia. He is also author of the Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook. Learn more about Travis »


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