Name: Brian Arbic
U-M Affiliation: Alumni, Faculty

Where do you work?

Department of Geological Sciences

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1990-1992

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Liberia (evacuated due to civil war) January-April 1990 Ghana July 1990-July 1992

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Secondary school math and physics teacher

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

My students

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

When my students did much better on their national exams than students of previous years had done, I realized I had done some good after all!

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

It stimulated an interested in educating young people.

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

Inside the classroom, my U-M math and physics courses prepared me academically for teaching math and physics in Ghanaian secondary schools. Outside the classroom, the great diversity of the U-M community helped prepare me for the multi-cultural challenges I would face in Peace Corps.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

If you think you would love it, you probably will, and should apply!

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

I learned a great deal about African culture. I hope that the Africans I interacted with learned something from me as well, but the truth is that I probably learned more from them.

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

The great value of tolerance and patience.

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