Peace Corps logo

The Peace Corps Mission:

To promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  • To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  • To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  • To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Visit the Peace Corps website

Peace Corps - Who We Are

Peace Corps Prep

PC Prep is a certificate program that will help you acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to serve in the U.S. Peace Corps. The program will also increase your competitiveness in the job market by expanding your global awareness and by providing experiences that will give added value to most careers after the Peace Corps or even if you do not choose service in the Peace Corps. You’ll build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development:

  1. Training and experience in one of six work sectors
  2. Foreign language skills
  3. Intercultural competence
  4. Professional and leadership development

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps and a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service.

Benefits of service

Peace Corps is a life-defining experience you will draw upon throughout your life. The most significant accomplishment will be the contribution you make to improve the lives of others. There are also tangible benefits, including the following Peace Corps provisions:

  • Certain public student loans may be eligible for deferment or for Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • Perkins loans may be eligible for partial cancellation by your lender
  • A “readjustment” allowance of $9,000 (pre-tax) upon completion of service
  • Language, cross-cultural, and technical training
  • Travel to and from country of service
  • A monthly living and housing allowance
  • Full medical and dental coverage
  • 48 paid vacation days
  • Unique graduate school opportunities
  • Leave for family emergencies
  • Transition and job support and social networking after service
  • Advantages in federal employment
  • Opportunities for short-term assignments through Peace Corps Response
  • No fee to participate

CSUCI Peace Corps Alumni Stories

Take a look at the stories of a few of our alumni who have served

  • Karina Casarez

    Karina Casarez

    BA, Psychology, 2016
    Myanmar

    On the second night of spending time with my sponsor family, I had only been about 5 weeks in Myanmar and was therefore not very advanced in my language skills. My family kept asking me a question, but I couldn't understand exactly what they were asking. Realizing I should just be open-minded and accept whatever experience they were trying to offer me, I agreed to this unknown event and waited to see what I had just gotten myself into. My sponsor mother began to show me to where the bathroom was and then it clicked: shower. They had been asking me if I wanted to shower. This was unexpected since I don't usually shower at such a random time of day or at someone else's house. But there could be worse things, so I figured I'd quickly rinse off to make them happy. But then things got weird- my sponsor mother, who was also in the bathing area with me, began to undress. I stood there internally freaking out, realizing I hadn't just agreed to a shower of one but apparently, a co-shower with my sponsor mother. I wasn't feeling very "open minded" to this activity anymore. But my worries quickly faded as I soon learned that many of the locals in Myanmar shower with a cover still on. My sponsor mother taught me how to wrap the cover on myself and we proceeded to shower. We soon both found ourselves laughing at the situation. Afterwards, she took me upstairs, taught me how to put on the traditional thanaka the beautiful women of Myanmar wear daily, and dressed me up in traditional clothing she had bought me as a gift. It ended up being an incredible night of bonding and it made me realize what unexpected lessons and memories could be learned and made when one simply decides to say "yes" to the experiences and opportunities that arise during service. 

    One year and nine months in, I now realize that Peace Corps is way more than the experience you bring to the table because the situations presented to you in country are going to be nothing like anything you've dealt with before and will challenge even the most experienced and "prepared" individuals. Peace Corps is about open mindedness and willingness to try new and different things. I truly believe that what makes a good volunteer is not the college they graduated from, the resume they applied with, or the number of countries previously traveled. Rather, a good volunteer is someone who enters the experience with the knowledge that you have absolutely no clue what you're getting yourself into, but despite the possible challenges and unknown ahead, you're open and excited to experience it all. It's as simple as saying "yes" in the face of new and unknown opportunities. So take that first step, say "yes" to the PC application, and see what life changing experiences may arise thereafter.

  • Lisa Marie Clark

    Lisa Marie Clark

    BA, Political Science and Communication, 2015
    Cameroon

    My name is Lisa Marie Clark, and I am a CSUCI alumna who graduated in December 2015 with a BA in Political Science and Communication. During my final semester I was a Peace Corps Campus Ambassador working with the Center for Community Engagement and a local Peace Corps recruiter to bring awareness about Peace Corps to students on campus. After graduation, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon from 2016-2018. I was a Community Health Agent, organizing educational outreach trainings on Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Sexual and Reproductive health. The Peace Corps is a unique experience that will give you a completely new understanding of the world. I am incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities Peace Corps has provided me. Thanks to the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship I am now pursuing a Masters degree at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. I would encourage any student at CSUCI who is interested in gaining a better understanding of our world to participate in the Peace Corps Prep program. The opportunities that come with participating in the program are endless!

  • Andre Ross

    BA, Political Science, 2012
    Ethiopia

    As I prepared to leave for my service as a Peace Corps volunteer in 2014, many friends and family alike expressed their worry about how I might handle the hardships of living abroad in Ethiopia. People thought of intermittent electricity, having to hand wash clothes, lack of Internet. As I later discovered, all of that is the easy part. It becomes life, just as it was for all my Ethiopian friends and neighbors in the place I would come to call home.

    What's difficult is trying to live up to what service called upon me to do. To be a teacher of young adults yearning to pass their exams in college; to learn the language and customs so that I that I could be accepted as a member of the community; to be an envoy of the United States even though I would be the first American many had ever met. To be all those things wore on me at times, because I wanted to do my students, my community, and my service justice. In those moments, when I had lived there long enough and my Ethiopian friends would come to bring me comfort, invite me into their homes, invite me to a meal, and reached out to lift my spirits: that, to me, was the essence of the Peace Corps. For there I was, wanting with all my heart to make a difference to realize how profoundly my own life would forever be touched by those that welcomed me from across the globe as a member of their community.

  • Andrew Wilson

    CSUCI Biology 2010
    Mongolia

    I was a Peace Corps Community Based Health Volunteer with the Uvs Provincial Health Department in Ulaangom, Mongolia. Working with the Public Health Director at the Health Department, we collaborated with community members, local and governmental NGOs, and community service providers on projects that focused on HIV/AIDS awareness, alcohol and smoking cessation campaigns, Hepatitis A awareness, and public health behavior change programs. Additionally, I taught English and supported the English Teacher Volunteers in my city in implementing various English-learning-related events including writing contests, singing competitions, English tutoring, and public speaking tournaments. If you are thinking of the Peace Corps, go in with an open heart and no expectations. Each experience is so unique and depends on so many factors it is hard to give advice on any one thing, which is what makes Peace Corps so special. Two years is a long time and you are going to miss family and friend's weddings, birthdays, your favorite Mexican restaurant (and other American eateries), and potentially, the luxuries of running water and regular electricity. But what you will gain is unmatched in life experiences, adventures, and connections with people that you will have for the rest of your life. I remember meeting my cohort in San Francisco right before we all flew to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and the Peace Corps Mongolian County Director saying, 'If it's not scary, it's not worth doing." I know it is cliché, but it is so true.

Back to Top ↑
©