Peace Corps Prep

Peace Corps Prep

UNL students in the Peace Corps
Peace Corps logo

Develop long-term career skills and engage in your community at home and abroad with the Peace Corps Prep program!

Peace Corps Prep (PC Prep) is a program for undergraduate students that centers on one empowering question: How can you prepare yourself to be the best Peace Corps Volunteer you can be?

Integrating UNL coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development, Nebraska’s Peace Corps Prep program prepares undergraduates for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service by building the following four core competencies:

  • Sector-specific skills (in Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Youth in Development, or Community Economic Development)
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Intercultural competence
  • Professional savvy and leadership

Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps, a federal agency. Completing the PC Prep program gives you a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service, but does not guarantee acceptance as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Special features of the PC Prep program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln include:

  • Guaranteed scholarship of up to $5,000 for every PC Prep student who studies or interns abroad 1) in a country where Peace Corps volunteers have served, and/or 2) on a program that offers intensive Spanish, French, or other language spoken in Peace Corps host countries.
  • Tailored education abroad advising, a copy of “A Student Guide to Study Abroad,” and Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment upon acceptance and completion.
  • Semester kick-off events for PC Prep, plus announcements about campus events focused on international development, human rights, diversity and inclusion, and more.
  • Opportunities to engage with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in the community through events, mentorship, and group volunteer experiences.
  • Culminating course listed on the transcript, recognition in campus media outlets, and an Honor cord to wear at graduation.

Learn more and start your application today!

Program Requirements

Training and Experience in a Specific Work Sector

  • Complete 3 courses that align with one of the following specific work sectors: Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Youth in Development, and Community Economic Development.
  • Accumulate 50 hours of volunteer or work experience in the same work sector.

Foreign Language Skills

  • If you want to serve in Latin America (Spanish-speaking), complete two 200-level Spanish courses.
  • If you want to serve in West Africa (French-speaking), complete two 200-level French courses.
  • If you want to serve anywhere else, complete two 100-level (or higher) courses in any language.

Intercultural Competence

  • Complete 3 approved courses or 1-2 courses + substantive intercultural experience.
  • Courses only: Take at least one core course or request to substitute another ACE 9 course. Take a regional knowledge elective plus one more elective (core, regional, or substitution).
  • Courses + experience: Take one core course and substitute experience(s) for one or both of the electives.
    • Domestic Intercultural Experience: substitute for one elective by helping new immigrants/refugees acculturate to the U.S., or volunteering with a local cultural center or diverse community center or school for at least 40 hours.
    • Education Abroad: Study or intern in a country that has at some point hosted Peace Corps Volunteers and earn academic credit. A short-term or summer experience will substitute for one elective, while a full semester will substitute for both electives.

Professional and Leadership Development

  • Work with Career Services to write your resume and have it critiqued, update your resume and have it critiqued, write a cover letter, and complete a mock interview.
  • Attend a Career Services workshop or class on interview skills.
  • Develop at least one significant leadership experience and be prepared to discuss it thoughtfully (organizing an event, leading a work or volunteer project, or serving on a board).

Completing the Peace Corps Prep Program

  • Earn a minimum grade of C in all courses listed on your Peace Corps Prep plan.
  • Enroll in and pass a one-credit course in your culminating semester of Peace Corps Prep, and complete an Exit Checklist.
  • Note: Peace Corps Prep students who apply for Peace Corps service should scan and attach the signed Exit Checklist to their Peace Corps application with the name “PC Prep Checklist.” If you apply to Peace Corps before completing a requirement, you should still submit a signed Exit Checklist - write: “[Activity]: planned [month/year]” for any incomplete requirement.

Application Process

Eligibility

  • Current undergraduate students from any major in good standing. Applications should be submitted at least two semesters before a student's expected graduation date.
  • Students from traditionally underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply, as the Peace Corps aims to have a Volunteers corps reflective of the rich diversity of the United States.
  • International students may complete the Peace Corps Prep program at Nebraska, but applicants to serve in the Peace Corps must be U.S. citizens.

Steps for Applying to the Peace Corps Prep Program

  1. Carefully review the Student Guide.
  2. Optional: Meet with a Peace Corps Recruiter to select a sector (Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Youth in Development, or Community Economic Development), with the Peace Corps Prep Program Coordinator to review options and steps, and/or with your academic advisor to discuss your plan of study.
  3. Apply online through MyWorld. The application includes a projected plan to complete PC Prep requirements, a resume, and a brief personal statement.

Deadlines

Applications for the Peace Corps Prep program will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but must be received by the following dates in order to start the program in the upcoming term:

  • October 15 to start in Spring
  • March 11 to start in Summer or Fall

Applications should be submitted at least two semesters before a student's expected graduation date.

News and Events

Peace Corps Prep Info Session

Tuesday, Nov 30 at 9:30 am (Zoom or In-Person)

Wednesday, Dec 1 at 4:00 pm (Zoom)

Friday, Dec 3 at 12:00 pm (Zoom)

Please register at: go.unl.edu/PCPrepInfo

UNL launches program to prepare students for Peace Corps

October 18, 2021

Read the full story

Peace Corps Prep provides students with skills to work in the Peace Corps

October 8, 2021

Read the full story

New Peace Corps Prep program prepares students to be global change makers

October 4, 2021

Read the full story

Contact

Rebecca Baskerville, MPA

Rebecca Baskerville

Peace Corps Prep Program Coordinator

rlbaskerville@unl.edu

402-472-6990

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Morocco 2008-2010

Schedule a virtual or in-person appointment in MyPLAN

Knoll 213

Note: Rebecca is also an Associate Director in the University Honors Program, but Peace Corps Prep is open to all Nebraska undergraduates in good standing!

Emira Ibrahimpašić, PhD

Emira Ibrahimpašić

Peace Corps Prep Academic Coordinator

emira@unl.edu

402-472-2150

Oldfather Hall 822

Note: Dr. Ibrahimpašić is also Assistant Professor of Practice & Assistant Director in the Global Studies Program, but Peace Corps Prep is open to Nebraska undergraduates from all majors!

About Peace Corps Service

Peace Corps Volunteers spend two years overseas, living and working at the grassroots level to help communities address their most pressing issues: from education and public health to economic development and more. Volunteers share their culture with the people they serve, and bring the culture of their host communities back to the U.S. Serving as a Volunteer is a life-changing, life-defining experience and an incomparable career jumpstart. Learn more about Peace Corps service by exploring what volunteers do and the many financial, personal, graduate school, and professional benefits of Peace Corps service. Browse volunteer openings, contact the Nebraska recruiter, or attend a virtual event.

Alumni Spotlight Michaela Dreeszen

My name is Michaela Dreeszen. I graduated in 2018 with a major in Global Studies and minors in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Political Science. I applied to Peace Corps in the education sector towards the end of my senior year after volunteering and interning with Lincoln Literacy.

I served in the Kingdom of Tonga on the island of Vava’u from August 2018 to May 2020- departing due to the global evacuation because of COVID-19. After intensive language, cultural, and technical trainings, I served as an English Language Facilitator and Community Development Volunteer. I worked in a primary school alongside Tongan educators in grades 3-6 assisting with English grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and high school entrance exam prep. My co-teachers and I developed a variety of English educational materials and lesson plans for future use. I also worked alongside the secretary of the PTA to attend project management and design workshops where we gained skills to write a grant through Australia Aid to repair one of the roofs at the primary school. Through this experience I gained a better understanding of sustainable development practices, intercultural competency, and was able to expand my own personal and professional development. I value my time and friendships I made while in Tonga and it has pushed me to challenge myself in graduate school and in my career.

Michaela Dreeszen teaching a class of young children
Michaela Dreeszen with other educators
Michaela Dreeszen with another Peace Corps educator

Alumni Spotlight Marcia White

Director of Development, UNL IANR, University of Nebraska Foundation
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Ghana 2002-2004