Peace Corps

Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps

Life is Calling. How far will you go?

Like us on Facebook!

Peace Corps Representative
Jennifer Garrison
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
785-864-7679 / peacecorps@ku.edu
Office hours: M-W-F, 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Qualifications:

To serve as a Peace Corps volunteer, you must be an American citizen and at least 18 years old. There is no upper age limit. Many assignments, but not all, require a bachelor's degree. Candidates must have demonstrated skills that are requested by host countries. Ask a Peace Corps representative well in advance about ways that you might enhance your qualifications.

So you want to be a Peace Corps Volunteer?

The Peace Corps application process is lengthy. Plan ahead and submit your application roughly a year before your availability date. These are the general steps in the application process:
  1. Apply: Submit an application to the Dallas Regional Office (preferably online at www.peacecorps.gov)
  2. Interview: A recruiter will interview you by phone or in person. Together you will explore issues such as adaptability, cultural awareness, motivation, and commitment. The recruiter will assess your skills and look for overseas programs that match. You will be nominated to a specific program in a general region of the world with a tentative departure date if the recruiter determines that you are qualified and that Peace Corps is right for you.
  3. Legal Clearance: The Peace Corps requires a complete background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You may be cleared, deferred, or disqualified.
  4. Medical/Dental Clearance: A medical officer will review your health status forms and you will be required to submit to complete physical and dental exams. At this point you may be cleared, deferred, limited to certain regions, or disqualified.
  5. Invitation to Serve: Your Peace Corps placement officer in Washington, D.C., will make the final match between the a specific country's request for volunteers and your personal skills and qualifications.
  6. Pre-service Training: If you accept the invitation, you will receive information about your host country and reporting instructions with the date and location of your pre-departure orientation.

It's never too early to prepare for Peace Corps service.  Following are some tips on what to do as a college student:

  • Attend a Peace Corps Event: Go to a general information meeting. there you will learn the basics about the Peace Corps mission and its programs overseas. See the calendar of events or go to the Peace Corps website for a complete listing of recruiting events.
  • Study a foreign language: The ability to learn a new language is an important ingredient in a successful Peace Corps experience. Many volunteer assignments require at least one-year of college level French or Spanish.
  • Volunteer in your community: Getting involved in the KU or Lawrence community will help you gain the organizational and leadership skills that you'll need as a Peace Corps volunteer. If you are not sure how to get started, visit the Center for Community Outreach.
  • Read about the Peace Corps: While no two volunteers have the same experience, reading volunteer stories can give you insight into the volunteer experience. Check out the book list on the Peace Corps website. Or, for a more updated list of books, contact your campus representative.
  • Talk to returned Peace Corps volunteers: Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV's) can be found at a Peace Corps event or by contacting the local RPCV group.
Helpful Websites
Books about the Peace Corps
Living Poor: A Peace Corps Chronicle by Moritz Thomsen

Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin by Susana Herrera

So You Want to Join the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go by Dillon Banerjee

My Other Life by Paul Theroux

Nine Hills to Nabonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village by Sara Erdman

Letters from Zaire: A Peace Corps Life in Africa by John Jochum

The Princess and the Peace Corps by Lorene Hulskamp

River Town: Two Years in the Yangtze by Peter Hessler

From the Center of the Earth: Stories Out of the Peace Corps by Geraldine Kennedy

Peace Corps: A Profile by Kirk Hackenburg

The Village of Waiting by George Packer

Taxi to Taskent: Two Years in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan by Tom Flemming

Agents of Change: A Close Look at the Peace Corps by David Hapgood and Meridan Bennett

Come As You Are: The Peace Corps Story by Coates Redmon

Going Up Country: Travel Essays by Peace Corps Writers edited by John Coyne

A Moment in History: The First 10 Years of the Peace Corps by Brent Ashabranner

The Peace Corps by Robert G. Carey, foreword by Joseph H. Blatchford

At Home in the World: The Peace Corps Story by The Peace Corps

First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Posterboy Won my Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed my Life by Eve Brown-Waite

The Bold Experiment: JFK's Peace Corps by Gerard T. Rice

What You Can Do For Your Country: An Oral History of the Peace Corps by Karen Schwarz

Peace Corps by Celeste A. Peters

The Ponds of Kalambayi: An African Sojourn by Mike Tidwell

Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders by Jason Carter; introduction by Jimmy Carter

The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa by Josh Swiller

Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook by Travis Hellstrom

No Hurry in Africa: Life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya by Theresa Munanga

Follow the UCC

Facebook    Pinterest    Twitter    instagram   KU University Career Center LinkedIn Group

KU Career Connections

Search jobs & internships or request an appointment.

Students, log in with your KU online ID and password. If you have not registered yet, you will be prompted to register when you first log in.

Events, Workshops, & Info Sessions
  1. Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Kansas Union, Jayhawk Walk, 4th floor lobby
  2. Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    100 Stauffer-Flint
  3. Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    General Dynamics, 3833 Greenway Drive, Lawrence, KS

Pages

Subscribe to Events, Workshops, & Info Sessions
Career & Employment News Feed
University Career Center
6th in the nation for its social media presence in 2013 —JobBrander.com
Winner of the 2013 Innovation Excellence Award in Research —National Association of Colleges and Employers
2009 National Chevron Award winner for excellence in career services —National Association of Colleges and Employers
2010 National Chevron Award finalist for excellence in career services —National Association of Colleges and Employers
Professional Clothing Closet won Service Program of the Year —2011-12 Jayhawk Choice Awards
More than 500 students enroll in career classes annually
Each year more than 7,500 jobs and 1,400 internships are posted in KU Career Connections
University Career Center hosts eight career fairs each year
More than 360 organizations attended University Career Center career fairs the past academic year
More than 10,000 students attended University Career Center workshops in 2012-13