Peace Corps offers worldly experiences

By Suzanne Tomse

NIU students interested in traveling, helping others and learning about different cultures can attend a Peace Corp film seminar tonight at 7 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center.

“The Peace Corps is a good opportunity for people to gain experience in their field and in living in another culture,” said Peace Corps Representative Steve Rypkema, who will present the film, “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love.” As a Peace Corps volunteer, he worked in the Phillipines for two years in forestry.

The Peace Corps has about 5,600 volunteers assisting in 62 countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific. Of these volunteers, 11 are NIU students. The Peace Corps has had more than 120,000 volunteers since its beginning in the 1960’s. Of these, 230 were NIU students.

Jean Callary, campus recruitment coordinator, said the Peace Corps has recruited on campus since 1981. “They (Peace Corps) interest students who want the opportunity to see some of the world before going directly to a job,” she said.

Volunteers are needed in a variety of fields including farming, math and science education, vocational training, medical technology, and special education. Volunteers serve for two years after three months of training, which includes learning the language and culture of the country where they will be serving.

Volunteers receive a monthly allowance, medical coverage, travel costs, a paid vacation, and a readjustment allowance of $4,500 at the end of service.

ypkema will be on campus April 2 to recruit seniors seeking employment overseas. Students can sign up for interviews at the Career Planning and Placement Office.