Puget Sound again in Peace Corps top ten

In 2013, yet again, the University of Puget Sound maintained its national ranking as one of the Top 10 schools in producing Peace Corps Volunteers. The Peace Corps, started in 1960 by Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy. is a volunteer organization dedicated to promulgating peace and friendship worldwide.

When JFK challenged the college students of the University of Massachusetts to “devote a part of their lives to living and working” in foreign countries, he set in motion an attitude about sharing American resources with the rest of the globe that evolved into a permanent organization.

As a governmental agency, the Peace Corps aims to share the diversity of talents and skills of American citizens and to support the needs of the host country, with primary focuses in education, youth and community development, health, business and information and communications technology, agriculture and the environment. Other missions include HIV/AIDS work and food security support.   At this point in time, a total of 210,000 volunteers have worked in 139 countries across the globe on various missions.

Currently, the University of Puget Sound has 16 graduates serving for 27 months in Africa and Asia. Since 2001, the University of Puget Sound  has retained their ranking year after year in the Top 10 small schools category, alongside fellow contenders Gonzaga and Seattle University. Ninety percent of volunteers have undergraduate degrees making the Peace Corps a popular undertaking post graduation.

The Peace Corps is a fantastic route to take before delving into graduate education, riddled with more tuition costs and rigorous course loads. It is an experience beyond studying abroad because it’s a rewarding responsibility. Some have said that it is, “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”

Besides being an eye-opening experience in itself, the Peace Corps as an organization is committed to taking care of their staff throughout their tour and afterward. They offer services such as cancellation of student loans in exchange for service as well as health benefits and vacation time while serving. Furthermore, the Peace Corps offers advantages for federal employment, transition funds and graduate school opportunities upon a volunteer’s return.

According to Puget Sound students who have served their Peace Corps tour, it was a “proactive leadership experience,” that cultivated a “better understanding of the world” strengthening their resiliency and confidence which are sought after skills that employers across the nation seek.

In total, 284 Puget Sound Alumni have participated in the program. As the University of Puget Sound  graduates serve men and women worldwide they expand upon and utilize their skill sets nurtured at this institution, such as their ability to communicate across cultures and to promote a better understanding of American culture to those they are serving. This reciprocity is continued to foster a more informed understanding on the American behalf of the culture and way of life in the nations served. Currently, Tatiana Cary, a 2012 graduate is serving as a Peace Corps volunteer and educator in Morocco.

If you are interested in learning more about how to volunteer after graduation or just curious, visit for an interactive timeline of Peace Corps history and more information about volunteer experiences and qualifications for specific missions. Head over to the International Programs office located in Howarth 215 to look through the brochures and to discuss your potentials to serve.

If you’re planning on volunteering, be sure to apply at least nine months in advance of your desired departure date. Contact Seattle’s recruiting office to talk to local representatives and keep your ears open for visitations to the Puget Sound campus. The office is located at 1601 Fifth Ave. Suite 605 Seattle, WA and their phone number is 206-553-5490. Check out for a short informational video.