There were a lot of helpful blog posts about the timeline for the Peace Corps when I was looking to apply, but they all varied depending on the country and the person. I decided to make a timeline to inform my readers of the process I’ve been going through for the past four months.
Mid-August: I recently returned from living in Malta and I decided I wanted to continue to work and live abroad any way that I could. I began researching my options and I came across the Peace Corps. I researched every country that had volunteer positions available and I decided that my top choices would be Mongolia, Kosovo and “Anywhere in the world.”
September 4-5: I began the application process on September 4th. I updated my resume, wrote my essay, and answered some basic application questions. On September 5th, I submitted my application and was informed I needed to fill out a Health History Form, submit a soft-skills questionnaire, and then I selected my country preferences.
September 6: I spoke to a local recruiter over the phone who said I have a good shot at being considered for Mongolia. (I was obviously excited since that was my first choice.)
September 27: I received notification from the Peace Corps Placement Office that I am being under consideration for a Secondary Education English Teacher in Mongolia. (YAY!)
September 29: I receive an interview request from a Placement and Assessment Specialist. I was asked to choose from 10 or so dates/times and I chose the soonest option. I was also given information about what types of questions would be asked so I could prepare for the interview over the weekend.
October 3: INTERVIEW DAY! The interview took place over Skype and it was kind of awkward. My interviewer told me at the beginning of the interview that she would have to interrupt me during my answers to make sure she is getting the information she needed. This only happened a few times but it definitely did throw me off a bit. I left the interview not feeling too confident, but also hopeful because I knew my interview didn’t go how I had planned due to the set-up.
October 4-12: I signed up for two Peace Corps webinars to learn more information and I also sought out ways to gain more experience. I emailed my interviewer twice throughout this time, once to thank her for the interview and explain that I would be looking for ways to gain more experience, and the second time to tell her about one of the webinars I attended.
October 12: I received an email from my interviewer thanking me for making an effort to learn more about the Peace Corps, and she informed me I would be receiving good news in my email that day.
…10 minutes later: I RECEIVED MY INVITATION!!!!! I was told that I was selected to serve as a Secondary Education English Teacher in Mongolia, pending medical and legal clearance. It was the best email I have ever received in my life. I even cried at work.
I was given 3 days to accept or reject the invitation, but I think I accepted it about 20 minutes after I finally stopped crying.
October 13: I began completing tasks in my new volunteer portal. These tasks included beginning the application for my visa and PC passport, updating some information and my resume, completing a hometown press release, etc.
October 14: I completed an online Background Check Certification which allowed PC to conduct my background check, and I also patiently waited for my fingerprint charts to come in the mail so I could get those done and mailed out as soon as possible.
October 18: I mailed my fingerprint charts to the headquarters.
October 26: I was emailed about my access to Learning Space, where I needed to complete a few online training courses. These courses each took about a half hour and I was able to get them done within a couple of days.
November 5: The Medical Clearance forms became available! I was told I had until January 5th to turn in about a million documents. I scheduled a bunch of doctors appointments for November to make sure I would have all of my stuff in early, in case if there were any issues.
Which there was.
November 23: I attended my physical exam, not thinking too much of it. I had a bunch of blood work done that was required from PC and I found out I had high cholesterol. Not your average high cholesterol, like REALLY high cholesterol.
I informed my PC nurse right away because I read horror stories online about people not being medically cleared or being deferred for up to a year because of small issues like this.
My PC nurse required me to have my doctor fill out a form stating that I was healthy enough to complete 27 months of service and told me she would need to contact the Medical Advisor before they could medically clear me.
December 12: I submitted all of my documents and hoped for the best news possible and no issues with my high cholesterol.
December 13: I AM MEDICALLY CLEARED!
This was a huge relief. I haven’t technically been legally cleared yet, but I don’t have anything on my record so I think I should be good to go in that department.
Now, my only worries are figuring out how I am going to fit 27 months of stuff into two suitcases!