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Peace Corps Training for Thailand (1965-1968)

Northern Illinois University (NIU) was one of the earliest and largest training places for the Peace Corps when the program was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. From 1961 to 1968, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at NIU trained Peace Corps members serving in Malaysia (1961-1965), the Philippines (1964-1965), and Thailand (1965-1968). For more information about this collection, please see its finding aid.

NIU trained five groups of volunteers for duty in Thailand between February 1965 and May 1968. Training for Thailand X and XIII occurred during the spring semesters of 1965 and 1966, while training for Thailand XV, XIX, and XXIV happened over three phases during trainees’ senior year. The collection on the training program for Thailand includes about 4,000 pages of correspondence, proposals, orientation aids, financial records, directories, and reports. These documents contain rich information about the Peace Corps training program at NIU, the Peace Corps in general, as well as the health status and politics in Thailand at the time. The collection is a valuable primary source for Southeast Asia Studies, especially for political science research.

Contact: Hao Phan, Southeast Asia Curator