Africa, Here I Come!

My Peace Corps Journey

I began my Peace Corps journey on March 1, 2013 when I submitted the very long application. I finally received my official invitation on March 10th…a little over a year later! I am heading to Ethiopia, Africa at the end of June! I will be teaching English as a second language.

One of the most helpful resources I have found to keep me patient through this long process has been PC volunteer blogs and websites, outlining the timeline of their application process. For those other readers who are not prospective volunteers, hopefully this will give you an idea of what the process has involved so far.

March 1st 2013- Application Submission
I submitted my completed Peace Corps Application. The Peace Corps Application is a very involved application. It took me about a week to complete before submitting the required information including: employment, volunteer history, practical skills experience, résumé, two essays demonstrating my motivation and cross-cultural experience, college transcripts, outline of outstanding financial obligations.

March 1st 2013– Completed and submitted the Health History Form in the Medical Portal.

March 11th 2013– Received an email stating that I qualified for the Community Service Program but should consider gaining more work or volunteer experience in the coming months.

March 11th 2013– Request to give 3 References within the next 10 days. References are required from a current or previous employment supervisor, a current or previous volunteer work supervisor, and a close friend who has known you for at least two years.

April 1st 2013– Received an email scheduling my Peace Corps Interview for April 16th.

April 15th 2013– The Boston Marathon Bombings. I received a phone call from the Peace Corps New York office showing their concern and hope for my well-being due to the occurrences in the city. They stated that they would of course reschedule my interview.

April 26th 2013-Interview
I had my interview at a small coffee shop in Cambridge, MA. I was finally able to meet my recruiter who has been amazing through this entire process.

May 9th 2013- Nomination for Peace Corps Service
I had to do a little persuading and stay on top of my recruiter and the legal team to move to this step. Due to an injury claim that I had pending from a car accident in which I was involved, they were leery to issue me a Nomination. I assured them that I would have no trouble settling before they would issue an Invitation. So they decided that I could continue through the application process with the understanding that I could not be Officially Invited until it was resolved.

May 30th 2013– I sent in my fingerprint kit and Confirmed that my legal/fingerprint kit was received.

June 5th 2013-Confirmation that all medical documents had been received.

October 29th 2013– I contacted my recruiter and she set a rough timeline for me since I did not receive a tentative departure date along with my nomination. She stated that the program I qualified for would leave in May of 2014 and that I should receive my Official Invitation in January or February.

November 5th 2013– Medical Portal requested my prescription history for the past year.

November 8th 2013– I contacted my reviewing nurse through the medical portal stating that I no longer took one of the medications that was originally in my medical information and in my prescription history. They issued me a new request to get filled out by my neurologist.

December 17th 2013- Medical Pre-Clearance

February 6th 2014-Legal Pre-Clearance
After receiving an email from the legal office asking about the status of my injury claim, I responded with proof of the settlement.

March 10th 2014- Official Invitation!

June 30th- Staging/departure

Ethiopia, Africa as an Education volunteer

I still have tons of deadlines, paperwork, doctors appointments, immunizations, and final clearances to obtain. But I now have the fuzzy feeling and anticipation of Africa to keep me motivated!

All photos retrieved from Google Images.
Great Application Resources:

Application Check List and Tipsheet

2 thoughts on “Africa, Here I Come!

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