Costs During Peace Corps Application Process

I meant to keep a detailed listing of all the costs associated with my Peace Corps application, but too often life just got in the way. But hey, I like seeing costs broken down so I decided to do it anyway!

$10 – University transcript
$20 – Fingerprinting
$35 – Various printing/mailing costs
$108 – Lab work that health insurance wouldn’t cover
$112 – Econolabs (2 lab tests my doctor forgot to order)
$195 – Yellow Fever vaccine & administration

TOTAL = $480

Overall, that’s not bad. Especially because I expect to have $315 reimbursed by PC for physical exam & Yellow Fever vaccine. I also had no dental or eye exam costs, since I was already regularly seeing my dentist and getting work done and had recently had an eye exam (so he just filled out of the prescription form)… otherwise my costs easily would have been much higher.

The total also doesn’t involve ANY purchases after invitation (aside from Yellow Fever vaccine) for things like backpacks, shoes, rain coat, sleeping bag and everything else I plan on taking to Ethiopia.

I’m nominated! My Peace Corps nomination

via watercharity.org

I’m very excited to finally be able to share this news today!!

Last month, my Peace Corps recruiter got in touch to tell me about a program for which he wanted to nominate me. The program was cancelled and nothing else fit at the time.

Fast forward to yesterday, I recognized the phone number of the regional office pop up on my cell phone. My recruiter was on vacation, but another recruiter had called to tell me the good news: I was officially being nominated!

When I logged in to my toolkit this morning, I saw this and knew I could finally shout it from the rooftops.

Seven months after my initial application, I’ve been nominated for Business Advising in Sub Saharan Africa (French speaking assignment) departing in October 2012.

My first reaction was, of course, pure joy. The opportunity to actually become a Peace Corps volunteer, something I’ve hoped, dreamed, wished for the past several years is one step closer to actually coming true.

My second, was shock and doubt – they still want to send me in October? But that’s in SIX months! Africa? I might actually be going to Africa??

The doubt was very short lived. I had five years in between when I first realized I wanted to join the Peace Corps and when I actually finished the application and hit the send button. Every fear and insecurity I might have during this long application process, I’ve had.  Five years was enough time for me to know that this is the right decision for me and to find peace in that decision. I’ve felt lost, like I’m not sure what’s coming next, but this is where I want to be right now.

So, that’s my exciting news for the week!  I couldn’t ask for a better end to the MSH Weekend of Creative Genius than to receive this amazing opportunity to do the work that initially drew me to the Peace Corps in the first place. Time to go do my happy dance!

Peace Corps Interview

So I don’t really talk a lot about my Peace Corps application on here, but I do want it to help keep a record of the process for anyone who might be interested and stumbles across my humble little site.

I had my official Pace Corps interview on December 21, 2011, almost two months after I sent in my initial application.  (See my entire timeline here.)  I met my recruiter in a local coffee shop where he’d had (or was about to have) a Coffee Talk.

I started by giving my recruiter and update of what’s happened in my life (new job and volunteer opportunities I’m participating in) and he made notes on my file.

It was a little awkward at first since a lot of the questions were scripted and it was difficult to get real dialogue going as he constantly was typing in what I’d said.  The Peace Corps wiki has the questions SPOT ON (with the exception of the playground question… I didn’t get that one), SO if you are prepping for your Peace Corps interview I’d definitely prep for every one on this list.  It might seem tedious and redundant, but you will be asked so be ready!

Things picked up once I was able to ask questions and we just spoke about his experiences as a community development volunteer, any concerns I might have, how I can gain more experience to make myself a more competitive applicant, etc.  He mentioned with my new experiences I’d be eligible for Business Development and there is always a need for French speaking Business Development volunteers.  That definitely gave me the encouragement I needed to continue strong and practicing my French!

The following day my recruiter sent me the Health addendum as well as the Business addendum that I will need to have returned to him (with an updated resume) by February.  I’m pretty much ineligible for all opportunities until Jan-Mar 2013 open up this coming March.  I wasn’t nominated on the spot like many volunteers, but I felt optimistic when leaving that I could be nominated in the coming months.

To anyone who hasn’t yet had their interview, feel free to reach out to me with any questions!  Good luck to all the potential volunteers out there, I hope my experience has been useful!!


Application is IN!

I took a huge step today and, after 5 years of soul-searching and experience gaining, submitted my application to become a Peace Corps volunteer!

I still have a couple of pieces of information to submit (my transcripts) and I know that it will be a long road, but I’m so happy and excited that I’m finally taking this step and hopefully will be selected to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer.