Application: The application is tedious and took me three months to complete. I started right after I graduated from college in May 2011, finished in August, but waited to submit because I wanted a recommendation from City Year in October. The Peace Corps recommends that applicants submit their application exactly a year before they want to leave the country. I was shooting for Fall 2012.
Interview: I interviewed with my recruiter, Lindsay, who is a Ukraine Returned Peace Corps Volunteer on October, 14, 2011. The interview lasted for two and half hours, but was the best interview I’ve ever had. Lindsay told me that she was going to move me onto the nomination process as soon as nominations opened up for English teaching or youth development. I was so happy and at ease that I didn’t have to wait a month to hear if I had made it to the next step or not.
Nomination: I waited, waited, waited and kept in touch with my recruiter. Other applicants ahead of me kept receiving nominations and there was a shortage of positions because of budget cuts. I thought I was going to be pushed to a Winter 2013 or Spring 2013 leave date. I was patient. Then, on January 20, 2012, I randomly heard from my recruiter. She said the Peace Corps received more funding for English teaching positions around the world. She nominated me for a Secondary English Teaching assignment with the Peace Corps located in one of the eight geographic regions, with an anticipated departure date of July-September 2012. SO happy, excited and relieved. I was finally nominated, leaving sooner than I expected and could be ANYWHERE in the world!
Legal Clearance: The Peace Corps looked over my legal paperwork – like speeding and traffic tickets – and cleared me in February.
Medical Evaluation: The Peace Corps mailed me a thick packet of medical and dental forms. I got a bunch of shots, lab tests and my wisdom teeth out all within the month of February. Finally, I sent my packets back to headquarters on February 24, 2012. The Peace Corps received my medical packets on March 12, 2012. On April 19, 2012, I was dentally cleared and the Peace Corps started to look at my medical documents. On April 23, 2012 I got a letter from the Office of Medical Services stating that I have not had my adult polio booster shot. Although my doctor showed them that I am immune, I have to get the booster if I plan to serve overseas. I got the shot on April 24, 2012 and faxed it on over.
Medical Clearance: Medically cleared on May 2, 2012 (about two months after the Office of Medical Services received my information).
Placement: I got an e-mail from a placement specialist on April 17, 2012 asking if I can change my availability date from July 2012 to the end of June. I agreed and she said she would start considering me for programs departing after June 15th and on. I submitted a Peace Corps English Teaching Questionnaire to my placement specialist on April 27, 2012. I submitted my updated resume on April 30, 2012. The Peace Corps must issue an invitation to serve at least eight weeks prior to leaving.
Invitation: My placement specialist sent me an invitation on May 10, 2012. Received it on May 18 and was invited to serve as a school teacher with the Schools and Communities Resource Project in South Africa!
I wrote a blog post pretty much every time something new happened in my application process. To read more, visit the category Liz’s Peace Corps Application Process.