Study abroad experience propels Husker to Peace Corps

· 3 min read

Study abroad experience propels Husker to Peace Corps

Castro, a biology grad, hopes to merge her passion for public health and the Spanish language during her time serving in the Peace Corps in Panama.
Castro hopes to merge her passion for public health and the Spanish language during her time serving in the Peace Corps in Panama.

When Carolina Castro signed up for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Global Experiences’ Peace Corps Prep program, she had not considered the possibility of joining the Peace Corps. At the time, she was looking for a way to study abroad and pursue her dual interests of public health and Spanish language.

“I decided that I wanted to do a study abroad early on in my college career,” said the biological science major who graduated May 18. “I learned about the Peace Corps Prep program and that they would give me a scholarship to study abroad if I joined the program.”

Launched in 2021, UNL’s Peace Corp Prep programcombines targeted coursework with hands-on experience to build the competencies needed for students to be Peace Corps volunteers or other intercultural fieldworkers. Upon successful completion, students will receive a special certificate from the Peace Corps.

Through the program, Castro got the opportunity to study cell biology in Murcia, Spain. The experience ignited a passion for international experiences and public health that seeded the idea of joining the Peace Corps.

“I got more and more interested in pursuing public health and realized that I was already set up for success to apply to the Peace Corps,” she said. “The prep program helps you with your resume, interviews and essays during the application process.”

Castro was still in Spain when she learned she had been accepted to join the Peace Corps in Panama for two years, where she will serve as a youth health facilitator focusing on sexual health education among young people.

“I’m super excited,” she said. “Public health is something I’m really passionate about, particularly when it comes to working with young people.”

Castro credits her professors at Nebraska, particularly the encouragement she found in the Spanish department, for preparing her for the challenges and opportunities she earned across the globe in the last year.

“The Spanish department here is just so awesome,” she said. “They really got me to love the language enough to want to immerse myself fully in it.”

While Castro is bidding farewell to campus, she is filled with gratitude for the experiences and support she found at Nebraska.

“I’ll miss everything about this campus and community,” she said. “In every single class I took, I found people who wanted to work together and help each other out. I feel lucky to have had these experiences.”

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