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Author Topic: High school student  (Read 2532 times)

Offline Highschoolhopeful

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High school student
« on: October 20, 2014, 08:33:31 PM »
Hi, as I am sure you guys can tell by the title and my username, I am a high school student (junior). I started being interested in the Peace Corps when I was 11 and now it is part of my plan for after college. The problem is I tend to overplan things and think too much about the future. I am not able to take any true steps toward this goal until senior of college but I was wondering if there were any steps you guys might recommend for figuring out whether or not I should actually join. Or any activities that might relate to qualities associated with the Peace Corps (volunteering, cultural immersion, ect.). Any thing you wish you had done or considered before signing up? Also, was joining the Peace Corps a long term plan for any of you or did you not consider it until later. I realize that things change and I may not be able to do it for different reasons in 6 years but I just wanted to get some information from those who are part of it. Thank you very much for your time.

Offline koji

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Re: High school student
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 06:03:35 AM »
Absolutely there are things you can do to prepare and to see if it is something you will like doing. Have you heard of AmeriCorps? They have plenty of youth programs that you can do during the summer as a high school or college student. You can also look into various conservation corps, which usually have high school programs during the summer for 4-8 weeks.

In my experience, almost ALL volunteers work with kids- because they do not mind your broken language and are the most accepting in the community at first- so you can volunteer or work as a tutor (bonus points if you can find an ESL or English immersion program to volunteer with)- and again, during the summer consider working at summer camps.

Take a look at some of the positions available in the volunteer portal. There are always youth development, health, community development, forestry, and HIV/AIDS outreach. Most countries also need English teachers and IT teachers. Pick something you like and get experience teaching it.

Next- start learning a foreign language now. Spanish or French are good choices, but Russian can also be helpful.

Finally, a year of study abroad during college looks great on your application. I recommend your sophomore or junior year. Preferably with a language immersion program. If you can't do a full year, do a month or semester. As for affordability- choosing some of the less popular destinations can make it cheaper AND give you experience in cultural immersion. I did Turkey (after peace corps, actually) and it was amazing. You might pick a study abroad in a country that has a pc program.

Good luck!

Offline Highschoolhopeful

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Re: High school student
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 10:14:17 PM »
Thank you so much for your in depth response! I will check out the Americorps and try to get involved with some of the other activities. I have been looking for volunteer opportunities related for some of the fields that are covered in the Peace Corps and I will continue to do so, I can probably volunteer at the local hospital. I also worked at a sleep away camp last year summer and have some tutoring experience. Thanks again! It is really helpful.

Offline breezy03

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Re: High school student
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2014, 10:58:40 AM »
Hiya!

First off, I've been where you've been. Now, I'm leaving in January for community health development in Burkina Faso. There are LOADS of things you can do to make yourself more competitive. And you can start now!

I tutored younger kids when I was your age (volunteer and paid) and that was a good start.

Next thing I think is good to understand is that the Peace Corps accepts people from loads of different backgrounds. Get your college degree in whatever you want! There are some degrees that will lead to more specific Peace Corps placements (forestry, nutrition, agriculture) but I have a degree in Political Science and will be doing health education.

I did study abroad my sophomore year of college. I went to London and had an internship in Parliament because it's what I'm interested in. So, I didn't get the language immersion but I also started taking French when I was a sophomore. Foreign language is important to make you more competitive, and as I understand it, to make life easier in service. When I got back from studying abroad, I got a job as an intern with my school's international education department. And then I got a job as an intern with an after school program with at-risk youth. I did activities with them and tutored them in all subjects.

When I had my interview with the Peace Corps (This is under the old system so the interview actually came first when I applied), my recruiter told me I would be competitive if I volunteered for at least 20 hours a hospital. So I did that as a senior in college.

So the take away: volunteer with anything you're interested in (don't force it, you have loads of time), get a degree in whatever you're interested in, study abroad, learn a foreign language.

Sydney

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Re: High school student
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 11:21:50 PM »
Thank you for the advice! What language would you guys say is most valuable? French or Spanish probably, right? Which one would be most beneficial?

Offline koji

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Re: High school student
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 02:42:43 PM »
It really depends on where you want to go. I think there are more Spanish speaking countries, but your level of Spanish has to be slightly better than your level of French. Almost every Eastern European and Central Asian country would benefit from Russian.