Timeline

Peace Corps updated their application process not too long ago, to make it quicker and less wait time throughout the process. I found it helpful to see other timelines, though many were for the older system. For anyone interested in the timeline of PCV admittance process, here is mine:

  • November and January 2013/2014: I took two trips to northern Uganda to work with a great group of primary school teachers. I decided it’s time to follow my Peace Corps goal that had been edging towards the front of my mind for years.
  • January 2014: Start Masters of Education program (consequently around the same time I decide to seriously consider applying to Peace Corps.)
  • April 21, 2015 (4:15pm): Submit application
  • April 21, 2015 (4:18pm – fast!): Receive email to set up my MAP (Medical Applicant Portal) to complete my initial Health History Form. This helps determines which countries you are eligible to serve in, and sets the stage for how many documents the PC nurses need completed to get medically cleared.
  • April 23, 2015: Based on my initial Health History Form, I was told I could possibly serve in 39 countries. From there I research positions and countries, and submit an assignment selection form where I could pick my top three locations. I also receive a link to a Soft Skills Questionnaire, with claims that it would take about 15 minutes to complete…45 minutes later, I was done!
  • May 5, 2015: Receive notice that my application was in consideration for Colombia departing January 2016 (!!!) September 1st would be the deadline for notification about the decision.
  • May 11, 2015: Official notification that I was going to be interviewed for a Teaching English for Livelihoods (TEL) – Primary Level position.
  • May 12, 2015: Receive notification of my (skype-ish) interview scheduled for June 9th. Entertainingly there were many notes imploring candidates not to wear tie-dye to their interview.
  • June 9, 2015: Interview! Followed by a thank you and follow up questions for the following few weeks to my placement officer.
  • July 13, 2015: Email from MAP noting that I may have health issues that PC could not support and informing me not to make any large life decisions or changes before being cleared medically. Let the worrying commence.
  • August 3, 2015 (4:13pm): Receive invitation to serve with Peace Corps!!! (Got this while sitting in my parent’s kitchen. Their response was different than mine.) Confirmed my invitation, deciding to put my grad program on hold if it all goes through.
  • August 3, 2015 (4:22pm): Receive notification from my placement officer to congratulate me on my invitation and inform me they were actually inviting me to the Teacher’s College position.
  • August 4, 2015: MAP fills with about 17 medical and dental tasks that had to be completed. Also receive an email reminding me my health history could be an issue (which = don’t get too excited.) Then receive information from staging about all the paperwork, application portal, learning space, etc to set up. So begins months of what feels like non-stop doctor and dentist appointments! I am very informed of my body post clearance.
  • August 7, 2015: First introduction to my amazing PC nurse. Start two months of nonstop emails, questions, and concerns.
  • August 11, 2015: Receive notice that my legal kit would arrive within three days and I would have ten days to complete it (fingerprints, etc.) Fingerprinting is its own great story.
  • August 31, 2015: Sign onto Duolingo under Peace Corps Colombia to practice Spanish.
  • September 10, 2015: Receive an invitation to a secret Facebook group that other PC Colombia volunteers leaving in November (Response Volunteers) and January (my cohort) had started. The page had been started months earlier, as some people in the group had been approved for Colombia with a leave date in August, which was then moved to January. Frantically read through everything and joined into the community, excited to meet the group!
  • September 30, 2015: Receive notification that my legal background check had begun.
  • October 2, 2015: Find a helpful but slightly overwhelming email in my inbox about everything that needs to be signed up for/set up. The start of months of emailing main contact with tons of questions. (Thanks!)
  • October 19, 2015: Medically cleared!! Cue big brass band! Just need one more doctor’s appointment with lab results before I depart…
  • October 31, 2015: Inform my roommates I would be moving out in the end of December. A little scary as not everything has been confirmed with the doctor’s appointment, passport, visa, etc.
  • November 1, 2015: Email family and close friends about invitation to serve with Peace Corps. Get a wonderful mixture of sad but very excited and supportive responses.
  • November 12, 2015: Complete 10 weeks of Duolingo challenges. Had so many good opportunities to work in groups and have conversations in Spanish on Facebook. While it took me about 20 minutes to compose a three sentence comment, it was great practice to write and read everything.
  • November 18, 2015: Receive notification that the visa application would be sent out November 30th, and we had until December 11th to submit. Official welcome book and outline of PST (pre-service training) and first few days schedule sent! Cue the butterflies.
  • November 20, 2015: Submit lab results for last piece of medical. Crossed my fingers and emailed my nurse, who was out of the office.
  • November 27, 2015: Receive notification that my final lab results were all set. Large breath out from being held since November 20th. Fill out an application to be part of World Wise Schools. Yea I want to be in touch with a U.S. classroom!
  • November 30, 2015: Visa application sent and completed (quick turn around, I want everything in and good to go!)
  • December 4, 2015: Language Proficiency Interview (LPI) scheduled for December 15th. The interviews will determine our training groups and the pueblos we will live in for the first three months of training.
  • December 15, 2015: Language Proficiency Interview. Google Hangouts wasn’t working, so it was on the phone. It took about 25 minutes with a lovely gentleman who waited patiently through my long stretches of forming basic sentences. Three months of language classes, vaminos!
  • January 12, 2016: Staging in Miami
  • January 13, 2016: Fly to Colombia. Let Pre-Service Training begin!

 

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