As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world, working at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, and small businesses to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. Peace Corps was established in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries. Positions are for 27 months and are fully funded, including medical benefits, a monthly stipend, housing, airfare, and training. Post-service benefits include one year of hiring preferential in the federal government, $10,000 pre-tax readjustment allowance, and lifetime opportunities for graduate school tuition coverage.