The Peace Corps has published its 2014 list of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities, and for a second consecutive year Dickinson is at No. 8 among small schools, with 14 alumni currently volunteering worldwide.
Dickinson alumni currently serve as volunteers in Albania, Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Moldova, Namibia, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Togo and Ukraine. They work in sectors including education, English and health.
Since the first days of the Peace Corps, 229 Dickinson graduates have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.
Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, agriculture, the environment and economic and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences back to the United States and apply it to 21st-century careers.
“Living in Rwanda is rewarding, challenging, frustrating and exhilarating,” said Elizabeth Stuhr ’12, an Africana-studies and international-studies major from Waverly, Iowa, who currently serves as a Peace Corps volunteer. “My experiences at Dickinson, particularly my experiences abroad, have taught me how to be flexible and open to any experience I have. When looking at opportunities post-graduation, the Peace Corps felt like the best place to get good grassroots experience and help a community at the same time.”
Dickinson is consistently rated among the top five colleges for long-term study abroad. Nearly 60 percent of Dickinson students study abroad during their academic careers, and nearly 25 percent who study abroad do so for an entire academic year or longer. With more than 40 programs on six continents in 24 countries and a focus on global issues that pervades the curriculum, student experiences in and out of the classroom can not only lead to self-discovery but also can shape an individual for the rest of his or her life.
More than 40 percent of all enrollments at Dickinson are in international dimensions of the curriculum, and the college’s preeminence in the study of foreign language is well established. Dickinson is among the nation's top three institutions for foreign language majors, with 13 percent of each graduating class majoring in one of the 13 foreign languages offered. Students also frequently combine study of a foreign language with another academic discipline—often from another global dimension of the curriculum—to form a serious double-major that makes active use of language skills. All majors have pathways to study abroad that are linked closely with academically relevant study-abroad opportunities.
President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide.
Learn more about Dickinsonians and their connections to the Peace Corps.
Published February 11, 2014