Success Stories Article
International Studies Graduate Joins Peace Corps in Ghana, Africa
8/19/2011

Suzanne PasztorSuzanne Pasztor, a 2006 International Studies graduate of the University of St. Thomas, is embarking on an adventure with the Peace Corps where she will work to reduce widespread poverty in Ghana, Africa by helping local entrepreneurs improve their business practices.

Pasztor, 62, has been assigned as a small enterprise development business advisor.  She said she enjoyed being a nontraditional student at UST and her degree has and will continue to assist her in this endeavor.

“I loved every minute I spent at St. Thomas,” Pasztor said.  “The International Studies degree and the cultural training I received will enhance my work with the Peace Corps.  I had the best time of my life here; everyone accepted me and it was wonderful.” 

Dr. Hans Stockton, director for the Center for International Studies, taught Suzanne in several courses.

“Suzanne already had a great deal of experience, keen intellect, and powers of observation by the time she came to UST,” Stockton said. “This made her a real joy to have in the classroom and as part of the CIS family.”

Joining the Peace Corps is not the first adventure Pasztor has undertaken in her life.  She lived in Europe for several years, moved with her husband to Mexico and Venezuela to study Spanish, worked at Yellowstone National Park for a season and lived and worked for a while in Alaska.

“I’ve known about the Peace Corps since it was created in 1961, but I first wanted to join after meeting a recruiter at a job fair in 2006,” said Pasztor.  “I went home and told my husband, ‘Let’s join the Peace Corps!’ but he said, ‘No way, we’re not going to do that.’”

After the unexpected death of her husband in 2008, Pasztor met another recruiter and decided to apply.  After two years of an intense application process, medical screenings and the loss of her initial nomination, Pasztor received the assignment to go to Ghana.

Pasztor reports on Oct. 4 to meet her team and leaves for Kukurantumi, Ghana on Oct. 6 where she will have 10 weeks of pre-service training.  She won’t know her exact location or assignment until she arrives for training. During her 10 weeks of training, Pasztor will live with a Ghanaian host family and is required to learn Twi, the most widely spoken of the 40 languages native to Ghana. 
“Twi is nothing like any of the Romance languages I’ve studied before,” Pasztor said. “It’s a tonal language – the tone can change the meaning of a word.  Ghana is a former British colony so the language of government and commerce is English, but we are expected to learn the language of our location and I’ll have to pass a language skills test after training.”

Pasztor said she will miss her two children and two grandchildren, but she plans to make a home visit after nine months in Ghana.

For more information about International Studies at UST, contact the department chair, Dr. Hans Stockton, at stockth@stthom.edu.

Internships

Internships  

Through the network of International Studies faculty and alumni, Center for International Studies students have access to numerous internship opportunities.

Learn more...

 

Study Abroad

Study Abroad  

Take advantage of UST’s top-ranked study abroad program to travel to foreign countries individually or as a group, for a few of weeks or a semester. 

Learn more...

 

Support the Center

Support the Center  

The Center for International Studies is Houston’s oldest degree-granting center of international higher learning. There are many opportunities to support the Center.

Learn more...

 

Center for International Studies Success Stories Article
Center for International Studies
Established in 1981, the Center for International Studies is Houston's oldest degree-granting center of international higher learning. International Studies prepares students for careers in international business, law, politics and public service. In addition, the Center promotes understanding of international relations, cultural differences and the benefits that come from cooperation within the human family.

Copyright © 2013 University of St. Thomas.
All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Clery Act

Sitemap
Contact Us
  Mailing Address:
University of St. Thomas
Center for International Studies
3800 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006

Physical Address:
Center for International Studies
Tiller Hall
4121 Yoakum Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006

     
  713-525-3530
Toll Free: 713-525-3872
     
  centerforinternationalstudies@stthom.edu
     
 
Follow Us
CBE Facebook