Originally Posted by PhattTyre
I'm 25 and in my third and final year of grad school in a field I don't want a career in. I plan on finishing the degree because I've already invested time and money into it, but I probably won't really use it. Come June 07' I'll have a lot of free time and no real ties so I'll need something to do.
I've been looking into the Peace Corps a little bit, but it's a big decision. I like the idea of being somewhere else, learning a new language, and helping out, but I'm not sure it's for me. Have any of you served in the Peace Corps? If so, what was your experience like? Where did you volunteer? Did you get the place you requested? Were living expenses fully covered? How was the support network? Did you have any student loans before you left? What was it like to return home afterward?
I'm trying to get all the info I can. I figure first hand experience is a good source of info. If anyone knows of any other info sources please let me know.
I guess I'm not of much help to you, but I'm in a very similar situation. I'm in my second year of grad school and I found out last year that I don't want to do this (psychology) anymore. I like the teaching I do, but I've lost my interest in research. I'm not sure if I'm tired of research in general or if I'm tired of research that nobody outside of this university is going to care about. If I had to be stuck doing research I'd rather do something that is important to everyday people, like the research that's being done on driving while using cell phones.
Anyway, I'll get my MA in May and my girlfriend will get her BS. We'll get married in August, and for a while we had been planning on going into the Peace Corps because we both wanted a break from everything. Well, she's kind of changing her mind on that and she's ready to get started getting experience for her career, so I'm not sure we'll be doing that.
That's fine with me, because I found this: http://teachforamerica.org/
. I don't know if it's up your alley, but what happens is you teach in a low-income community for a couple years. It's great fit for me because of the teaching, but I'm not sure what things you might be interested in. I know the Peace Corps does a lot of different stuff, but I thought I'd just let you know that if you have something specific in mind that you'd want to do, there are lots of these types of volunteer programs out there.
What is your major? What kind of volunteer activity would you like to do?
Anyway, it turns out that I had my Peace Corps application pretty much complete, so if there's anything you want to know about the application itself (I didn't submit it yet, so I haven't done interviews or placement or anything like that) let me know.
Also, they have events at a lot of colleges where former volunteers show up. You might take a look and see if they have one of those coming up in your area.