On Global Engagement Day I attended the Fulbright/Peace Corps Prep session. I’ve been to so many Fulbright sessions that unfortunately, I didn’t get much new information from it, although the first-hand account from the speaker definitely got me excited to go (if I get accepted). The Peace Corps talk however, really interested me. I’m not sure it’ll work for me in the long run – I doubt I have a skill set that would work for them now, and I want to get my veterinary doctorate before I make a larger commitment like that anyway. But if there is a way I can swing going after vet school I’d love to. Had I known about the prep program sooner (or rather, had it been started earlier in my college career) I probably would have done it. Having a marketable set of skills like that in addition to my somewhat less “practical” four year degree would definitely have appealed.
For some reason I found myself less willing to consider a Peace Corps stint right after my undergraduate program than I am to consider Fulbright. The extra year commitment in Peace Corps for some reason seems like a huge difference to me, although another part of me wonders how big the difference really is. A year is already a long time, a full round of missed holidays and birthdays, at that point a second year seems relatively small and at the same time incredibly long. I already know how easy it is to get drawn into a good program abroad. Once I was settled in Australia I felt like I could stay there far longer than I did. It was only the continuous travel at the end that really wore me down and made me ready to go home. I wonder if Peace Corps wouldn’t be the same, just settling into a place for the long haul, making another semi-permanent home that I can really relax at, the way I could at my apartment in Australia, and the way I couldn’t when I was switching hostels every other night while backpacking. But somehow I’m reluctant to jump right into that, I feel that I’d rather try for the Fulbright first. It seems like I want to work my way up to such a long stay – a month in Italy, five months in Australia, a year on Fulbright… baby steps, I suppose, is what I’m going for. Even after so long abroad I still feel very new to that kind of travel, and I want to be sure I’m ready for that kind of commitment.