November 20, 2003 - Red and Black: Peace Corps opportunities discussed at University of Georgia

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Peace Corps opportunities discussed at University of Georgia

Peace Corps opportunities discussed at University of Georgia

Peace Corps opportunities discussed on campus

Published , November 20, 2003, 06:00:01 AM EDT

A panel of Peace Corps volunteers met with students Wednesday night to share their experiences.

Hosted by International Student Life, the panel included six past and present volunteers and one future volunteer.

The University is the only school in Georgia with a Peace Corps representative, who was among the panel members.

In the cozy atmosphere of the international student lounge, the panel discussed many issues of concern to students interested in joining the Peace Corps, including living conditions and readjusting to life after volunteering.

To be eligible for the Peace Corps, applicants must be U.S. citizens and have a bachelor's degree, said Valerie Peters, Peace Corps representative for the University.

Often the graduate's major will help determine the type of work he or she ends up doing, she said.

Real world experience in such areas as farming, construction, electronics and carpentry could qualify someone for the corps, she said.

Volunteers make a two-year commitment to living and working in the country to which they are invited, said Paul Duncan, a volunteer in Guatemala from 1987 to 1990.

Living conditions vary from place to place and person to person," said Erin Thompson, a volunteer in Guatemala from 2000 to 2002.

Some volunteers live in mud huts with no water or electricity, and she said others live in brick houses with telephones and running water.

By the end of their service, most panelists agreed it was difficult to return to life in the states.

"You experience the intimacy of living with a culture and by the time you leave, you have established a lifetime of friendships, become part of the families you live with. Some people are even godparents of children," Duncan said.

"Your values change and things you thought were important don't seem important anymore," he said.

The panelists told students that work in the Peace Corps was an outstanding addition to their resumes.

"Peace Corps definitely helped me get into grad school," said Chelly Richards, a volunteer in Honduras from 1998 to 2000. "Learning another language is also a big plus."

The Peace Corps recruitment team will have an information table at the Tate Student Center today from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

There also will be a general information session open to all students at 4 p.m. in Room 148 of the Student Learning Center.

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Story Source: Red and Black

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Recruitment



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