The newest episode of the Idealist.org Public Service Careers Podcast features Eileen Conoboy, the director of the Office of University Programs at Peace Corps. Eileen says that its relationships with grad schools is the best-kept secret about Peace Corps.
Did you know that your Peace Corps service can count towards your grad degree? If you participated in the Masters International program, you would apply to both a partner grad school and Peace Corps at the same time, study for a year, and then take off for Peace Corps service for 27 months or so. At the end of Peace Corps service you may have some loose ends to tie up at school, and then you’d get your degree. Your degree program would be aligned with your Peace Corps service too, so that you’d be learning theories and practices useful to your eventual Peace Corps service while in school. PCMI does take into account your financial needs as well. Partner schools must offer some kind of financial benefit, including credit for foreign language mastery, or tuition benefits.
If you’ve already done Peace Corps, Fellows USA partner schools offer you financial benefits for grad school as well, along with an array of service-oriented programs to choose from. You don’t have to be a recently minted Returned Volunteer, either. Eligibility is life-long.
To learn more, go to Peace Corps’s grad school web pages.
Also check out Idealist.org’s new Public Service Graduate Education Resource Center. It’s still in the soft launch phase, but there are good articles there to help guide your search.