How does someone become a citizen of the world and prepare for the global job market? Peace Corps representative Annabel Khouri knows exactly how.
Khouri will share the personal and professional benefits of living and working in an international community during The University of Toledo Study Abroad Expo Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.
For generations, UT has prepared students for Peace Corps service; volunteers include Kate Alber, who graduated from the University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in English and health sciences. In October, she will begin her service in Gambia, where she will be a health extension volunteer.
Dr. Madeline Muntersbjorn, UT associate professor of philosophy who taught Alber philosophy of medicine, encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree in public health; she obtained that degree last spring from Case Western Reserve University.
“Dr. Muntersbjorn helped me immensely with the graduate school application process and encouraged me to never stop chasing what I wanted,” Alber said. “Without that confidence, I probably wouldn’t have gone to grad school or applied to the Peace Corps.
“I have always wanted to work in international health and have held Peace Corps in the back of my mind since high school,” Alber said. “Being encouraged by my professors and friends while I was in graduate school gave me the push I needed to apply. I am so excited to completely immerse myself in another culture.”
More than 200 UT alumni have served in the Peace Corps since 1961 when the agency was formed under President John F. Kennedy.
Peace Corps volunteers make a difference in the areas of education and English teaching; agriculture, forestry and environment; public health, HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention; youth and community economic development; math, science and engineering; and information technology.
Throughout the semester, Khouri, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, will seek college seniors, graduates, retiring faculty and staff, and community members with majors and skills in these areas to fill Peace Corps programs. She will work with them and explain how to apply online in less than an hour and choose the countries and programs they’d like to be considered for.
“Peace Corps service offers a unique combination of international experience and rewarding work,” said Khouri, who recommends that those interested browse available assignments at peacecorps.gov/openings to find programs that match their interests and career goals. “It changed my perspective of the world and allowed me to grow personally. Professionally, it underscores your level of commitment and dedication, and your ability to adapt, problem-solve and work across cultures. Today’s graduates need to seek opportunities that provide them with both international and field experience.”
Peace Corps volunteers gain language, technical and cross-cultural skills that position them for advanced professional and educational opportunities. Additionally, they are eligible for graduate school benefits and receive paid living expenses, full health and dental coverage in service, vacation days, and more than $8,000 upon completion of service.
Anyone wanting more information about applying can contact Khouri with the Peace Corps Midwest Region at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.527.8170.