IU School of Global and International Studies begins offering Peace Corps Prep

Program provides students with skills needed for careers in international development

  • Sept. 8, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Peace Corps has added Indiana University Bloomington to its list of more than 25 partner institutions for Peace Corps Prep, a program designed to provide students with the skills needed for service and careers in international development.

Starting this fall, the IU School of Global and International Studies is offering the Peace Corps Prep program as part of the existing Global Service and Peace Corps Prep Certificate, housed in the Department of International Studies.

"The Peace Corps Prep program will support our students to develop crucial leadership and professional skills while learning how to channel empathy and a sense of social responsibility into meaningful service experiences," IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said.

For three years, IU Bloomington has ranked among the Peace Corps' top volunteer-producing colleges and universities, moving up 13 spots in the latest rankings. Currently, 47 IU Bloomington alumni serve as Peace Corps volunteers. Since the Peace Corps was created in 1961, 1,653 IU alumni have served overseas with the agency.  

Lee Feinstein, founding dean of the School of Global and International Studies, said the new program adds to the school's mission.

"The Peace Corps Prep Program showcases the commitment of our school to prepare globally minded students, able to collaborate and change the world through their actions," Feinstein said.

The new program’s curriculum consists of 25 credit hours that include service-learning, cultural competency and global affairs courses, foreign language expertise, and a global service capstone project that showcases the community service experience of the graduates. The program emphasizes leadership development and international engagement and promotes meaningful internship opportunities, domestically and abroad. Sophomores are highly encouraged to enroll in the program, although juniors and seniors may also enroll.

Program graduates will be issued a certificate by the Peace Corps.

"The new Peace Corps Prep program will allow students to create a portfolio of international and domestic service experiences that will make them more competitive in the Peace Corps application process," said Olga Kalentzidou, director of academic initiatives and experiential learning at the School of Global and International Studies and coordinator for the program. "Certificate coursework encourages the development of intercultural competence skills, which are very important in the global marketplace."

Kalentzidou added that the new program provides a way for students to gain an even deeper understanding of potential international career paths.

"Student career preparation, international engagement and experiential learning are core missions of Indiana University and SGIS," she said. "IU ranks seventh among U.S. institutions with regards to the number of Peace Corps volunteers. Offering a Peace Corps Prep program will attract students who are ready to make a difference in the world and eager to launch their careers in international development, education, health, environment and youth empowerment."

More information on the program will be available at a program launch event at 2 p.m. Friday in the first-floor lounge of the Global and International Studies Building.

The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to address the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work with their community members at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions to challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a lifelong commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy.

Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, follow the Peace Corps' Facebook page and the Peace Corps on Twitter.

The School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University prepares students to meet global challenges, interpret international events and examine crucial contemporary issues that transcend national and regional borders. The school also researches and teaches the languages, histories and cultures of strategically important regions, building on IU’s storied tradition in these areas. Housed in a new, state-of-the art, LEED Gold-certified building, the school is adding 25 new faculty members, reflecting one of the country’s top commitments to international studies.

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Media Contacts

Chuck Carney

Director of communications and marketing

  • School of Global and International Studies
  • Office 812-856-3287
  • ccarney@indiana.edu
  • @ IUSGIS

George Vlahakis

  • IU Communications
  • Office 812-855-0846
  • Cell 812-345-1500
  • vlahakis@iu.edu
  • IU Inc.

Olga Kalentzidou

Director of Academic Initiatives and Experiential Learning

  • IU School of Global and International Studies
  • Office 812-856-1030
  • okalentz@indiana.edu