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July 15, 2007

FSU grad heading to Mongolia for two years with Peace Corps

CUMBERLAND — Ready for some new adventures and challenges, one Frostburg State University graduate decided to join the Peace Corps and will be in Mongolia for the next two years.

Having majored in international relations with a concentration in political science and a minor in Spanish, Amanda Chenkin of Salisbury, a 2004 graduate, said she first started thinking about the Peace Corps during her last year at FSU.

“There are many reasons (I wanted to do this),” Chenkin said. “I think I would like to work for a non-governmental organization or non-profit (organization) doing fieldwork, but you can’t work in the field if you have no experience. Peace Corps is good field experience.”

She added it helped she loved traveling and helping people.

However, Chenkin said she didn’t feel ready to apply for the Peace Corps during her last year at FSU and decided to wait. She moved to Boston where she worked for six months as a residential assistant at an English Language School and then went to work at Tufts University.

“I started thinking about (the Peace Corps) again almost three years later and decided to fill out the application and see what happens,” Chenkin said. “I was at a point in my life where I was bored and needed something new and different.”

Chenkin filled out an application in April 2006 and was invited to the Peace Corps in November 2006, after she completed the medical screening. She said she had the option to travel to Latin America, Eastern Europe or Mongolia.

“Mongolia is the most adventurous country there is, plus I didn’t want to be an English teacher,” Chenkin said about why she chose Mongolia. “When I think of Peace Corps, I thought of Mongolia. You can still live in traditional housing and visit the nomads. It’s also considered the hardest country to serve because of the language and the weather conditions.”

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