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December 26, 2012 by theloneblonde

It’s like the bandwagon of Peace Corps Post, the Timeline post.

A little background, I guess? The Peace Corps (PC) takes some serious time, though it is a serious commitment, and everyone likes to discuss how long it took them to get everything done, to jump through all the flame encrusted hoops, cut through the miles of multi-coloured tape, and dot every i and cross every t. Yet due to the new system this is really just a pity post, about how long it took me to make it to this point in time, and I will throw in some world events so you can remember where you were through my process!


May 2010: Turned in my application. It was my sophomore turned junior year of university and I was living in Panama and working for the United Nations at the time.


June-July 2010: FIFA world cup was held in South Africa


July 2010: I turned in all of my application, with the hope that I would be leaving in June or July 2011 (haha)


August 2010: I heard back from my recruiter, and scheduled my interview in Tallahassee, FL. Also the WHO declared the H1N1 pandemic OVER, which was good, but I avoided this by living on the isolation Isthmus of Panama. I also moved to Florida to the main Campus at Florida State in Tallahassee.


September 2010: I had my interview with my recruiter in the hotel of the doubletree in Tally. She asked a lot of questions, typed all my answers in detail and it was pretty non-threatening. I was told at the end of the interview that she would be nominating me shortly.


October 2010: In the midst of the midterm elections, working at a political polling facility I was nominated for service for July 2011 in Urban and Regional Planning in Lusophonic Africa (Portuguese Speaking African Countries, Think Madagascar or Cape Verde) Also during this time, The Chilean miners were stuck in a mine in Chile. I was also legally cleared shortly after.


November 2010: Midterm Elections in America and the demise of my minimum wage job. I also completed my medical paperwork in which I had to fly back to Wisconsin to complete it.


December 2010: I turned 21, of which I partook in the Florida State tradition of getting thrown into the Westcott fountain… with the exception of regardless of the fact that it was a cold December I ran jumped, and attempted to cannonball. I was also medically and dental cleared.


January 2011: I realize after taking Masters level planning courses that I really love school and am not really experiencing senioritis (maybe because I am only a 3rd year senior) maybe grad school would be a good idea, but I don’t want to take the GRE and I don’t want to waste two years of my life.


February 2011: I’m going to apply to Universities in England, just for fun. They are all one-year programmes, cheaper then the US, no GRE required and I would never get in! (Applied to University of Cardiff, University of Manchester, and University College London)


March 2011: I get into all of the programmes… Humm… I decide that I am going to put PC on Hold. I have one year to reopen my application, which at the point in time there were a lot of negative stuff going around about volunteering abroad due to safety concerns.  PC mentioned if I ever wanted to get back into the PC process that I would have to be highly flexible, willing to go anywhere and willing to do anything. There was also the earthquake in Japan.


April 2011: Graduation from Florida State!


May 2011: After a long awaited and overdue trip, I head to South America! Colombia, Brazil, Peru! Visiting my foreign exchange family! I learned on the way to the airport that Osama Bin Laden was killed (try getting on a plane after that… they searched EVERYTHING).


June 2011-August 2011: I return to one of the best summer jobs ever in Germany and Italy. Travelling around Europe with a Dinosaur hat, a math teacher and some Australians it was a good break. I sadly missed an amazing Brazilian Wedding of my former exchange student in July.


September 2011: I started my Masters Programme at the University of Manchester in Global Urban Development and Planning.


November 2011: Someone let me and my roommate rent a car and we drove in a circle around Scotland (we only hit 3 cars, ask me about it sometime…) I also threw my amazing thanksgiving, which you can read all about in my blog.


December 2011: I turned 22! I celebrated with my friends from all over the world in what I thought was proper British Fashion?


March 2012: After very careful consideration, and after looking at the job market with my degree I decide that it would be a great idea to open up my application with PC again. I also travelled across Europe studying transportation and connectivity of rapid public transit, I also learned a lot about London, which inspired my dissertation.


April 2012: PC tells me that they are booking for January and February 2013, I guess that will work!?


June-August 2012: Dissertation, Dissertation, Interviews, and Dissertation. And ok maybe some European Travel and volunteering at Girl Scout Camp in Germany too. Some correspondence with PC office regarding opening back up my application, I also sent an updated resume and they told me that I needed to ready to serve ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING… also there were few possibilities for urban planning positions. I also took the FSOT in June in Dublin, maybe it was the awful weather or the lack of studying but I did not make it to the second round.


August 2012: After not hearing back from them for at least a month, and being very unsure of my future post-dissertation, I give the office a call… they say they will call me back. August 14 I have an interview in which they asked me the SAME questions from my original interview over the phone. At the end of the conversation she told me that I would be nominated for Eastern Europe in Community Development (of which before I was even off the phone, I was googling where I could end up… Albania!? Macedonia!?)


August 31, 2012: I turned in my published copy of my dissertation and four hours later I was invited to serve in Albania, staging March 18, 2013!


September 2012: I had to re-do my entire medical process, and apply for my passport.


November 2012: I was once again medically and dental cleared.


December 2012: I turned 23! For the first time since my 17th birthday I celebrated my birthday at home in Wisconsin, this time in true Milwaukee Style.


March 18 2013: FINALLY leaving for Albania!


It was 2 years, 3 months, and 6 days between initial application and invitation (which 27 months… or the SAME time as Peace Corps Service… coincidence?)  


Or 2 years, 9 months between my initial application and my staging date


Which makes it 3 years from initial application to OFFICIAL PCV (looking to everything going well… as I learned from this process everything may not always go as planned).


After 171 emails, a heck of a lot of time, patience and will power, I am soon going to be off to staging and diving head first into my new life in Albania. Insha’Allah


Disclaimer: This is my own personal experience. Everyone’s experience with this process is very different, it does not reflect any actual timeline in which you should base the process of apply to PC. This extended process reflects my personal timeframe for the past three years and is not a reflection of the PC application process. 


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