UCSB ranked in the top 10 colleges that sent graduates into the Peace Corps for 2013, with 76 alumni currently participating in the U.S. government’s volunteer program.
This new ranking marks an increase of six places from last year and is the first time in nearly a decade UCSB has managed to rank in the top ten. Since the founding of the Peace Corps in 1961, over 1000 UCSB alumni have served as volunteers for the organization.
UCSB is the third highest ranked UC campus on the 2013 Peace Corps list, with UCLA and UC Berkeley tied at sixth place with 85 volunteers each. University of Washington and University of Florida both sent 107 of their alumni, both ranking in first place for this year’s list.
According to Nadra Safi, UCSB alumnus who graduated 2009 as a psychology major, she had always been interested in the opportunity as it presents a unique chance for graduates to gain real-world experience at the international level.
“I have always wanted to join Peace Corps,” Safi said. “I thought it was a really noble thing to do for our country [and] for others.”
Safi said joining the Peace Corps sparked her interest in philanthropy in her postgraduate years, while also providing her with time to decide on a career path.
“I figured I might as well do something good that I’ve always wanted to do while simultaneously taking time to figure out the career I want,” Safi said. “Not to mention it looks great on a resume.”
From 2010-2011, Safi served as an English teacher in Mongolia, teaching underprivileged students a curriculum they may not have otherwise learned.
According to Safi, Peace Corps advertisements throughout campus, particularly in the Career Services office, compelled her to become more involved in such organizations
Fourth-year history major and career peer advisor Daniel Russell said the university’s counselors are familiar with the Peace Corps’s expectations and encourage students to apply, providing students with the necessary assistance in completing the application process.