Hello! Any feedback would be highly appreciated! I need to get it down to 500 words (about 120 words too much as of now!) Prompt: Essays
The two essay questions below will provide the Peace Corps with additional information and insights that will be used to assess your suitability for Peace Corps service. If you are invited to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer, your essays will be shared with staff in your country of service.
Foreign Languages and Travel
My fascination with the idea of joining the Peace Corps began when I was in high school. I was driven by a desire for adventure, intercultural exchange, and the opportunity to help others while learning important skills. Since then I have had significant experience volunteering and working as an English teacher, as well as volunteering in food security and sustainable agriculture. This led me to develop an understanding of some challenges that face our planet and society, as well as inspiring me to work to make positive changes in the areas of my experience.
My motivation to join the Peace Corps was reinforced by an eye-opening experience I had volunteering at a public education centre in Vancouver, Canada. I acted as a Teacher's Assistant in a class of 20 immigrants and refugees, where I cultivated friendly relationships with many of the students. Many of them had come to Canada from lives of hardship and even tragedy. I respected each one and was impressed by their courage, hard work and perseverance. Since communication and literacy are so fundamental to success in a new country, teaching English gave me insight into the challenges that immigrants face. I am interested in teaching English through the Peace Corps because EFL teachers have the ability to help students move forward in many areas, and to open many doors of opportunity to them. I would like to share my skills in education, agriculture or environment with people in need through the Peace Corps program.
In addition to the cultural exchanges in this EFL class, I have also lived and travelled in Europe, Turkey and Israel for two and half years in total. Volunteering, working, and living in the conditions of the local people were truly rewarding experiences, from which I learned many important life lessons. They also fostered an aspiration in me to continue my travels in destinations whose culture were even farther from my own, staying in one place for more time, while working and contributing something of value. By volunteering with the Peace Corps for 27 months, one can truly integrate oneself into the culture of the area, build trust with the people there, and take on social responsibilities. In the process, volunteering through the Peace Corps is a chance to promote a better understanding of other peoples in myself, which I would share upon my return to the USA, and to promote a better understanding of Americans abroad.
I know that it will be a challenge to serve as a volunteer under conditions of hardship [core expectation], but I look forward to facing that and adapting to my new living situation. I view it as an invaluable learning opportunity and a chance to deepen my appreciation for all that I have. I plan to overcome this challenge by working hard to integrate myself into the local culture and to make friends there. I will also continue my practice of awareness of the present in order to deal with the feeling of being out of place, overwhelmed and frightened.
The Peace Corps is an incredible opportunity to help others while learning new skills and creating an experience of mutual learning and cultural integration. Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer is in line with my life goals as a citizen of the world who works proactively for positive changes, as well as my career goal of becoming a teacher of English as a foreign language to immigrants, refugees and others.