The content of this blog is the creator's own thoughts and does not represent the views or opinions of the Peace Corps or the United States Government. I would also like to apologize for all my spelling and grammatical errors... there will be a lot.

Application Process and Time-line

 While applying for the peace corps I know looking at other applicants timeline's helps you get through the process and not feel alone in application limbo, here has been my experience so far enjoy!

September 17 - Began Peace Corps Application

January 30 - Sent in completed online application
February 5 - Received additional forms and references to complete before interview
March 30 - Scheduled interview with requiter.
April  6 -  Drove to NYC for Interview
April 13 - Was nominated for Community Development in Africa January/Feb 2011 and was mailed medical kit (this date was negotiable due to a family event so it was most likely going to be much later)
June 4 - Sent in completed medical information
August 13 - Application Status Update - Hold on account! :(
August 31 - Hold is taken off after getting immunization records re-sent - apparently they got lost?
September 22 - Application Status Update - Medical Review is complete (woo!) waiting for letter in the mail. Nervous as hell...
September 29 - MEDICAL CLEARANCE LETTER! (Only stipulation is I'm cleared for countries that can handle mental health issues but I'm not on medication so its not extreme need)
October 8E-mail from placement asking for updated resume, final transcript and info on new HIV and AIDS experience. Woo we have contact! Sent info same day.
October 26 Had to resend resume and info. Information was lost by placement due to a mass E-mail purge. File is was re-completed same day.
December 1 - Contacted placement officer and was offered earlier invite for rural education program leaving January 31! Invites is supposed to go in the mail tomorrow!
December 2 - INVITE IS IN THE MAIL! (306 days after I pushed submit on my online application)
December 8 Invite received! (after I had to rescue it from the wrong apt). Assigned to Zambia as a community education specialist with the RED (rural education development) program. Staging is January 31st. End of time lime!

January 31st - Staging in Philly!

Total application process - 312 days

The Application:
There are many resources for the application process but I figured I'd add my two cents. The Peace Corps application is not a simple send in your application and go (despite what tv would have you think). Generally the application take a year, sometimes more sometimes less. It is divided into segments...

Step 1 - The Application:
Pretty basic you fill in your information and complete a series of essays and recommendations think a college application, might take you awhile but fairy self explanatory.

After you send in your information you are sometimes asked to fill in some extra work before you interview. I was asked to write 2 extra essays, 1 about being a vegetarian and the other about a past mental health issue.

Step 2 - The Interview:
Soon after everything is send in you are contacted by your requiter who will try to scedule an interview at the regional office. I have heard some interviews can be conducted over the phone if you are too far away.

The interview is fairly basic, mine was very low key. We talked about my interest in the peace corps, where I would like to go, what I would like to do and any concerns I had. The whole interview for me was about an hour and half but that was because she and I had a long talk about her time in Madagascar. Bring questions and feel free to ask about your requiters assignments. And remember to relax! Some people are told right away they are going to be nominated, I was not - which resulted in a mini panic attack about not getting in.

Step 3 - The Nomination:
In my case a few days after the interview I was contacted by my requiter and asked what assignments I'd be more interested in environmental education, or community development since I was qualified for both. She then nominated me my program leaving January or February and mailed out my medical packet.

Step 4 - Medical (aka the universe hates you):
This is the part most applicants get tripped up in, myself included. Your packet is large and full of very specif forms. READ THEM ALL! Make sure you have everything, over and over again. Don't send anything in until it is all complete and you are sure you have it all. The medical evaluations are costly even with insurance. I cut down on the costs by getting them done at my College health center and at the free peace corps dentists. Even with that and insurance I still had to pay about $500 out of pocket for the medical tests, shots and procedures, some report spending more.

After the peace corps receives you completed medical file it can take awhile to hear anything. Dental can be cleared very early but your medical can take months. I found calling and "checking" helped to speed things up, they don't like it but at least your file is getting looked at.

Step 5 - Placement:
After you are medically cleared your file is pushed to the placement office. Expect some kind of contact from them asking for additional information, your updated transcripts, resume and anything else they need. This is the part that seems to be different for everyone.

Some people are placed basically the next day after info is sent. Some people hear nothing for months and are placed. Some people are given an additional interview to help placement. Some people are told they need to make them selves more competitive for service, before they can actually be placed.

Step 6 - Invitation:
After all that you receive a beautiful blue envelope with your assignment, and a lot of paper work... Now is the time to get ready for service, quit your job, start packing, get your affairs in order. The rule is you will receive you application at least 6-8 weeks before assignment, some people are given months ahead of time.


After you arrive in Zambia you'll go through 3 months of training.

Community Entry
After you're sworn-in you go through 3 months at site known as Community entry. During which you stay at your site, to try and establish relationships at your village.