by Andrea Miller
Life is calling, how far will you go?
So says the lead-in of the video shown at the Peace Corps information session held on Oct. 4. The Peace Corps presentation aimed to sell students on the great opportunities the Corps could provide after the liberal arts experience. For a minimum of 27 months, Peace Corps volunteers live, work and help in one of more than 75 countries around the world.
Tom Langehaug, a representative from the Seattle office, worked as a small business volunteer in Panama. After three months of training and living with a host family, Tom was assigned to an impoverished community of about 2,000 people. The first six months of his stay included some of the hardest times of his life, in part because he realized his Spanish speaking abilities were limited. Langehaug stayed in Panama for three years working with businesses and in education before returning to work with the Peace Corps in Seattle.
Those interested in joining the Peace Corps should expect the application process to take anywhere from ten months to a year. After submitting the initial applications, applicants receive an interview with Peace Corps staff. When nominated, applicants are given a date of departure and put up for medical, legal, and suitability review. The Peace Corps then offers the applicant an invitation to serve as a volunteer.
Volunteers work in one of 25 programs, ranging from education, health and HIV/AIDS to agriculture, the environment, and information technology. Volunteers receive extensive language, cultural and technical training before beginning work with their communities. For more information on the Peace Corps and applying the Peace Corps, check out http://www.peacecorps.gov.