Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Peace Corps Is a Natural Extension of Community Service Learning for Languages

by Ann Abbott

As Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spanish, I am helping to organize monthly meetings and workshops for our majors, and I am excited that Ashlee McLauglin from the Peace Corps will be presenting to our students this month. Although not all Spanish majors take "Spanish in the Community"--and not all "Spanish in the Community" students are Spanish majors--those students who do become very excited about deep, sustained community engagement can often find what they are looking for within the Peace Corps.

Below is a post from Ashlee about the Peace Corps.

Gain Global Skills and Make a Difference for Others.

As the campus Peace Corps recruiter it is my job to inform the campus community about opportunities for Peace Corps service after graduation. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador from 2001-2003, it is my pleasure to share about my amazing experience as a volunteer and encourage interested students to apply. Peace Corps is a unique opportunity, funded by the federal government, to use your skills to serve a community in need after you graduate. I served as an agro-forestry volunteer working on reforestation and soil conservation in El Salvador after I finished my Bachelors degree. They were easily two of the most rewarding and most challenging years of my life and my job as a recruiter on campus is to use my experience as a volunteer to help students figure out if Peace Corps service is a good fit for them and help them through the application process.

The mission of the Peace Corps is to help meet the need for trained individuals in other countries and promote cultural interchange between the US and the rest of the world. Peace Corps offices in the US match up qualified applicants with skills being requested in locations all over the world. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you commit to 3 months of training and 2 full years of service in a specific community that has requested your skills. In addition to making a difference for others, Peace Corps service comes with tangible benefits such as the opportunity to combine your service with graduate school (; full health and dental coverage; $7,425 upon completion of service; increased job skills and employment potential; and special eligibility for federal jobs.

I host information meetings about Peace Corps every month - including one coming up for Spanish majors, and Italian and Portuguese majors and minors: Thursday February 21st at 4:00pm in DHK 108 Come to find out more about what volunteers do in the field and how to be a competitive candidate for service.
Visit our Facebook page for a comprehensive list of upcoming events and office hours:

Consider joining the next generation of Peace Corps Volunteers to promote global peace and friendship!

Ashlee McLaughlin
UIUC Campus Peace Corps Representative
Agroforestry Volunteer, El Salvador 2001-2003

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