Build Connections Through the Peace Corps Prep Practicum

Are you interested in or already pursuing the Peace Corps Prep applied minor? Do you have an interest in intercultural civic engagement?  Then, you should register for the January (or August!) Peace Corps Prep Practicum.

Senior Ben Stoos-Tysver participated in one of the last practicums offered prior to the pandemic, so we interviewed him to learn a bit more about the experience from a student’s perspective.

Q: What drew you to the practicum?

A: When exploring post-graduate plans, I was looking into volunteer teaching programs abroad. One of these programs was Peace Corps, as such I took this course to learn more about the experience of that type of work. In addition, this course would offer a boost to my resume if I were to apply to programs like this one. 

 Q: Describe a typical day in the practicum.

A: You would typically meet with the group as a whole to discuss topics of the day, in addition, to help refine your community-focused project proposal. The rest of the day was dedicated to community-building activities as well as working with smaller groups on project proposals.

Q: What was the most surprising or interesting thing that you learned?

A: The most interesting topic we discussed was how one should approach programs such as these. This could include expectations going into it along with attitude while in service. These discussions were extremely helpful at giving a realistic and appropriate perspective on the work.

Q: How was the experience beneficial for you as an Earlham student – and your career discernment process?

A: I felt this experience helped a lot in the discernment of my opinion on wanting to join the Peace Corps and similar programs. The value of this program doesn’t purely stem from helping you prepare and decide if you want to join the Peace Corps. There is great value in the different perspectives shared and the connections you make with the Richmond Community along with the Earlham Communities (faculty and staff). 

Q: Why should other students participate?

A: You should participate if you want to expand your worldview, build connections, and gain practical/enlightening experience in the service field.

Practicum Overview: This non-credit bearing, six-day immersive experience provides rising upper class students with a core course in intercultural competence for the Peace Corps Prep program, or a short training for anyone interested in better intercultural skills and future development work.  By preparing a feasibility study for a development project in our own community, Peace Corps Prep students will build capacity to shift perspective and behavior around relevant cultural differences, as well as reflect upon ourselves in relation to others.  This program will take place both on Earlham’s campus and in and around the community of Richmond, Indiana. It is open to US citizens and non-citizens alike. 

This workshop is co-sponsored by The Center for Social Justice and the Peace Corps Prep program.

Costs: There are some associated costs with this exciting program, including a $250 fee which covers accommodations, all meals and equipments, and transportation; however, there are some related costs that are not included such as transportation to Earlham for start of program, meals after the final Friday lunch, food costs beyond what is distributed to each student for meals, and incidentals.

Contact: Reach out to Jennifer Seely, Professor of Politics and Peace Corps Prep Director, with any questions at seelyje@earlham.edu, and fill out this brief Qualtrics survey to register or express interest in the January Practicum by December 15!

By Caroline Wagner
Caroline Wagner Senior Career Coach Caroline Wagner