Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Rebecca Hovey

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the impacts of international volunteering for both Peace Corps volunteers (PCV) and the host communities. More specifically, it looks at the counterparts’ awareness of the impact and benefits to Peace Corp volunteers.

Through qualitative interviews and surveys of PCVs, counterparts and Peace Corps (PC) staff, data was collected reflecting the opinions on each member’s benefits as well as a comparison of each from both parties. Personal observations from the last ten months have also been taken into consideration in formulating the research, analyzing data, and coming up with concluding ideas.

The concluding results show that most PCVs believe that they benefit more from the volunteer experience than do their counterparts, both during and after their international voluntarism, while most counterparts believe that the benefits are equal. Both PCVs and counterparts show awareness of their own benefits and the benefits of the other party; however, it is difficult to know the extent of awareness. Generally, most participants of this study are curious to know how the other benefits in order to improve the experience for the other party. The interviews drew out more in-depth discussion on relationships and how the counterparts’ view of their relationship with a volunteer changed over time. It is suggested that further studies on relationships built during international volunteer activities are conducted to learn about the change in power dynamics between international volunteers and their host communities.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Civic and Community Engagement | International and Comparative Education | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Service Learning | Social Psychology and Interaction

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