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International Center

Prep Program Overview

The Peace Corps is the United States' distinguished international volunteer organization which provides service opportunities for Americans to immerse themselves at the grass roots level in a community abroad. Volunteers are able to work side by side with local leaders to face some of the most pressing needs around the world while creating sustainable and impactful change that lasts long after service.

As of Fall 2017 the University of North Florida is partnering with the Peace Corps to offer a Peace Corps Prep Program.

Peace Corps has identified four core competencies that are critical to the intercultural fieldwork Peace Corps Volunteers do:

  1. Sector-specific skills
  2. Foreign language proficiency
  3. Intercultural competence
  4. Professional development and leadership

The Peace Corps Prep program allows you to create frameworks to build these four competencies, integrating coursework with hands-on experience and professional development. Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps-and a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service.

Peace Corps Prep programs correspond with the Peace Corps' new application process, which lets you choose where you want to go and what you want to do. You can first explore and discover the Peace Corps Prep opportunities that excite you, and what skills you will need to be a competitive applicant for those positions. If you enroll in the Peace Corps Prep program, you can then shape your curriculum around those requirements!


The Peace Corps Prep program will prepare you for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service. To accomplish this, you'll build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development support. The following chart presents the requirements in each of the four core competencies:

  1. Training and experience in a specific work sector - coursework and experience in one of the six Peace Corps work sectors:
    • Education
    • Health
    • Environment
    • Agriculture
    • Youth in Development
    • Community Economic Development
  2. Foreign language skills - Requirements depend upon desired Peace Corps volunteer placement site. Spanish-speaking countries have a minimum Spanish language requirement. French-speaking countries have a minimum Romance language requirement. Everywhere else hasno explicit language requirement (but language skills are a plus).
  3. Intercultural competence - Coursework that bolsters your intercultural competence:
  4. Professional and leadership development

Further information and details on the program requirements can be found in the UNF Peace Corps Prep Student Guide.

Application Process


  1. Be an undergraduate student
  2. Have at least three semesters to complete before graduation
  3. Be in good academic standing (GPA = 2.0 or above)

Steps for Applying:

  1. Review the Peace Corps Prep Student Guide.
  2. Download and complete the Peace Corps Prep Student Application.
  3. Contact a Peace Corps Prep Advisor to submit the completed Application.

Peace Corps Prep Advisors


Dr. Luisa Martinez Joyce

Director of University Study Abroad
International Center
Student Union East, Room 2300
Telephone: (904) 620-2657

Student Testimonials

" In March 2011, I joined the Peace Corps as a secondary English teacher in Kazakhstan. Due to various factors, that post was shut down in November 2011. After that event, I reentered PC service as a youth development volunteer in Ukraine from March 2012 to February 2014. By living and working in other cultures, Peace Corps service taught me values on how to cooperate and develop solutions to solve problems in our communities." Aaron Quick (BA, History, 2009).


Students in Kazakhstan Students in Ukraine

Secondary English Teacher in Kazakhstan 

Youth Development Volunteer in Ukraine


"I recently finished my service in the rural town of Morrope, Lambayeque Peru. After 27 months, I decided to extend my service and work in conjunction with the department of education in Lima, Peru. . . . I'm currently still living in Lima and seeking to continue my career in the international development with my now second home, Peru." Valerie Ceballos (BA, International Studies, 2012).

Valerie with students in costumes Valerie in classroom

Valerie with students in costumes

Valerie in class


"I was a volunteer in the first Youth Development program in Peace Corps Cameroon's history. My work mainly focused on developing the program from the ground up, and promoting girls' and women's empowerment in my community. I value the unique opportunity I had to build the "YD" program, but also to work with so many dynamic and motivated community members, and give them the tools they needed to empower youth in their communities." - Shanna Beech (BA, Political Science, 2011)

Shanna in a group activity Shanna with Red Cross

Group activity during an elementary school girls camp on life skills

Working with a local university Red Cross student organization during their student led "training-of-trainers"


"I served as a HIV & Aids educator for 27 months of service in Kachikau, Botswana. I created a life skills program and taught 40+ young adults to teach life skills to younger generations. We held summer camps and were able to teach over 600 students from surrounding schools everything from HIV education to how to study for a test. My experience changed me forever and I would go back & do it again in a heartbeat." Kara O'Shaughnessy (BA, English, 2006)

Kara waiting for transportation Kara rubbing lion's belly

Kara waiting on transportation back to her village after grocery shopping in the nearest village 50+ miles away

 Kara in Zambia, giving a lion a belly rub on a vacation with friends.


Student Highlight

Dan Woodhouse, UNF 2016, English teacher in Antsirabe, Madagascar
Dan with his host family Dan in the classroom
Dan with host family
Dan in the classroom

For more information on the Peace Corps, go to Peace Corps website  and watch "Be a Volunteer - Peace Corps" video.