Before this becomes too much of the distant past, I wanted to guide you through what it takes to apply for the US Peace Corps. Over the last few years, the application process has undergone some major revamping to make it a little less daunting and to add a little more fluidity to the application process.
It is a very thorough process, but I saw this as more of a gatekeeper to initially set apart those actually willing to serve or to question people like myself, why I was still doing this? Best advice during this process, stay proactive, keep all your records organized, and stay in contact with Peace Corps.
There is no real “set” time frame on the time of which you apply to the Peace Corps to the time you get accepted. I think a majority of that comes from the application deadlines and also how open a future PCV is willing to serve anywhere around the globe.
- August 1, 2015 – Started my Peace Corps application
- August 16-18, 2016– My friend RPCV Morocco, Lindsey, helped in editing my motivation statement
- August 19, 2015- Scheduled a phone appointment with RPCV Kenya, Michael Madej, to discuss Peace Corps- concerns, interests, advice on applying, what to expect, etc. (Mostly so my family would stop worrying)
- August 30, 2015- Submitted Peace Corps application
- September 2, 2015– Submitted HHF (Health History Form)
- September 3, 2015- Selected preferences on places to serve as well as soft skills questionnaire
- September 9, 2015- Received an email from Office of Recruitment and Selection asking about my availability to depart as early as April 11, 2016. On my application, I indicated April 30th as my earliest availability, mostly because I thought, if selected, a solid 6-8 months would give everyone (including myself) enough time to get everything together.
- September 10, 2015– Placed under consideration for Peace Corps Namibia (then Googled how to pronounce Namibia)
- September 15, 2015 – Skype interview with David Goff
- September 16-October 22, 2015- Wait, wait, wait some more.
- October 23, 2015– Received and accepted my official invitation to serve in Namibia as a Health Extension Volunteer
- November 2, 2015– Legal kit sent from HQ and started online modules on HIV Basics, Safety and Security, as well as PC Core Expectations
- November 13, 2015- Completed fingerprints and legal kit and returned via expedited mail
- November 20, 2015– Placement Office received my completed legal kit
- October though December– Spent making appointments and digging up medical records for medical clearance.
On that note:
Thank you Gabby from Texas Hip & Knee for you incredible patience in filling out seemingly never-ending paperwork regarding my knee.
Also, thank you Head Athletic Trainer Edwin Detweiler from SWOSU for going to the vault and finding records on my knee surgery from 10 years ago during my soccer days.
- December 17, 2015– Finally tracked down a Yellow Fever Vaccine
- February 16, 2016 – My birthday and the day I announced to on my blog about my offer to serve in the Peace Corps, oh and I had to visit Quest Diagnostics to have lab work for G6PD, guess this was unintentional missed during my physical, travel immunizations, and dental appointments.
- March 2, 2016– Finally, received medial and dental clearance to depart for Namibia
- March 8, 2016– Updated resume and aspiration statement
6 months and 1 day, for start until finish.
Even though the medical clearance was a pain in the rear during most of the time, three things particularity made this portion a tad bit easier for me:
1) Being enrolled in my dietetic internship required me to be up-to-date with most of my immunizations, so I only need a few.
2) Part-time employment at Starbucks. This meant I had insurance which covered many of the medical/dental expenses, or made them more affordable for me.
3) Also, PC has a reimbursement program, so save your receipts and some medical expenses are reimbursable.