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UVA Ranks No. 3 in Sending Alumni to Serve in the Peace Corps

Mar 04, 2020 |

The University of Virginia is ranked No. 3 among America’s large universities in supplying volunteers to the Peace Corps.

Tom Daly

In the Peace Corps’ “2020 Top Colleges” list, UVA is just behind the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Florida, with 68 volunteers in the 2019 cycle. In the 59 years the Peace Corps has been in existence, the top 25 schools in the large school category have sent more than 15,000 undergraduate students to 10 regions around the world, including Africa, Eastern Europe, the Pacific islands and South America.

This is the eighth year UVA has been ranked among the top 25 schools. Last year UVA ranked No. 2. In 2017, UVA was sixth, and in 2016, it was No. 15.

2015 UVA graduate Thet Htar Win spent two years in her native Mongolia as a secondary education English teacher. In an essay she wrote for the Peace Corps, Win said her transition to life back in Mongolia wasn’t as hard as she’d anticipated.

“It was made easier with the friends I made early into my service, but it was still a whole new world,” she wrote. In addition to teaching English to her students, Win also reached out to the local community by holding weekly English clubs and classes for anyone who was interested.

“I believe that the difference I am making now will last long beyond my time here in Mongolia,” she said.

“There’s no greater validation of our University’s mission to be both ‘great and good’ than in being a national leader in providing the world with new Peace Corps volunteers,” said Stephen Mull, UVA’s vice provost for global affairs.

“Together with the recent news that for the second year in a row, the Charlottesville metro area generated the most Peace Corps volunteers per capita in America, this shows we are part of a very special, service-oriented and global community committed to making positive change in the world.”

Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, nearly 1,300 UVA alumni have served as volunteers. During a volunteer’s service, the Peace Corps covers all expenses, including travel to and from the country of service, living and housing expenses, full medical coverage and vacation time.

UVA’s Career Center invites students to learn more about volunteering by scheduling an appointment through the “Handshake” student portal, by emailing the on-Grounds recruiter at peacecorps@virginia.edu, or by stopping by during drop-in hours (Tuesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m.) in the Career Center Express office in Newcomb Hall, room 170.

The Peace Corps offers volunteer opportunities in several areas, including agriculture, health, community economic development and the environment.