The number of former Georgetown students spending their time in the Peace Corps rose this year, with a total of 37 alumni serving overseas.
Georgetown’s international focus combined with the university’s strong emphasis on service inspires many to seek out oversees service opportunities, students say.
“I don’t think Georgetown’s rank is surprising at all. The Jesuit education system puts an emphasis on students becoming ‘men and women for others’ — and that is something that the Peace Corps really embodies,” Grace Boyan (SFS ‘14), who is considering joining the Peace Corps, said in an email.
Alison McReynolds, Georgetown’s campus recruiter for the Peace Corps and a former volunteer, agreed.
“I think [joining the Peace Corps] aligns with the mentality of the university and the goals of the students who go there,” she said.
The university ranks 10th in the medium colleges and universities category this year for the number of alumni serving in the Peace Corps. Georgetown fell two places from its eighth position in the medium schools category last year, though the actual number of volunteers has risen from last year’s 30. The George Washington University finished first in the same category for the third year in a row and American University took fourth place. Since the establishment of the Peace Corps in 1961, 845 Georgetown alumni have served as volunteers.
Peace Corps volunteers have a variety of reasons for choosing to work abroad, including learning about different cultures and participating in community development.
Stephen Chapman, the Peace Corps public affairs specialist, said that spending time in a foreign country is valuable.
“I think one of the most interesting things is seeing how people live outside of the United States,” Stephen Chapman said.
Boyan also emphasized the experience of living abroad as a primary reason for joining.
“I think the biggest motivation for me, and maybe for others, is the chance to form connections and build relationships with people and really become a part of a very different type of community by helping them out in any way that I can,” she said.
The Peace Corps recruits from all four undergraduate schools and nearly every major at Georgetown, McReynolds said.
According to Chapman, there is a great deal of diversity in applicant backgrounds because there is such a wide array of jobs available to Peace Corps volunteers. Some possibilities include work in education, youth and community development, health, business, information and communications technology and agriculture.