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Meet a Master’s International Student

Master's International students can be found around the globe volunteering for the Peace Corps while also working toward their graduate degrees.

  • T. Ramona Arechiga

    Master of Forest Resources, 2013
    Oregon State University
    Ethiopia, 2010­-12

    I went into the Peace Corps Master’s International program with a focus on forest policy and how international forest policy ultimately affects U.S. forest policy. I have not lost that interest but I have discovered that my true passion is forest ecology. The world is facing continued population growth and this growth is occurring at an alarming rate in areas with often the most biodiversity and the fewest protections.
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  • Mayra Barcenas

    Master’s of Public Health, 2013
    Loma Linda University
    Guatemala, 2011–13

    As an undergrad, I decided to pursue a career in public health with a focus on immigrant health, and decided to join the Peace Corps to reinforce my graduate career and further experience why people immigrate to the United States. Master’s International offered this and more. I studied public health for a year at Loma Linda University and used Peace Corps service as a prolonged field internship.
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  • Ashleigh Burgess

    M.S. in Natural Resources, 2015
    Michigan State University
    Senegal, 2012–14

    Prior to coming to Senegal as an agroforestry Volunteer, I started a Master’s International degree in natural resources at the Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Department at Michigan State University (MSU). MSU has a long history of engagement in international agricultural development and African studies, so the school was an ideal fit since I knew that I wanted to serve in French-speaking West Africa. When I received my assignment in Senegal, I was very pleased by the cohesion of my studies, MSU’s long history in Senegal, and my interest in agroforestry.
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  • Jake J. Grossman

    Master of Forest Resources, 2012
    University of Washington
    Paraguay, 2009-2011

    I had dreamed of doing Peace Corps service since I was a teenager, but didn't want to put my formal education on hold. Through online research, I came across the University of Washington (UW) School of Environmental and Forest Sciences Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) program in international forestry. This program offered me everything I wanted:
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  • Courtney Owens

    M.S. in Agricultural Education, 2008
    North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
    Burkina Faso, 2006–2008

    As an undergraduate student, I always wanted the opportunity to study abroad or work overseas. Having a political science background, I had often wondered how other governments operate. I wanted to experience other cultures, understand public policy, and develop a deeper knowledge of international relations. I decided that volunteering for the Peace Corps was the absolute best opportunity for me because I enjoyed helping people who are less fortunate than me.
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  • Kathlyn Paananen

    Master of Public Administration
    University of Washington
    Thailand, 2009–2012

    My Peace Corps service in rural northeast Thailand has taught me lifelong lessons of how to work and integrate into another culture far different from my own. As a Volunteer in the community business and organizational development program, I have worked implementing grass-roots projects. My program is designed to bring local volunteers into the Sub-District Administrative Organization (SAO), the most local form of government, to assist in capacity-building activities.
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Last updated May 06 2015

Graduate School
Program Overview

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Contact Master's International

For more information contact:

Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters
1111 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20526

Phone: 855.855.1961, ext. 1812
Fax: 202.692.1727

Email: mastersinternational@

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