For any future Peace Corps Volunteers out there, I know that I absolutely stalked as many timelines as I could so I would know what to expect. Fair warning, my entire process went much quicker than usual–I got very, very lucky. Not just in terms of my application process, but my legal & medical clearance process went way faster than I expected. Hopefully the same will happen for you! 🙂
Application Submitted: December 12, 2016
I started my application fairly late in the cycle, particularly since the deadline was January 1! Originally I was looking at positions departing in September/October, but I decided earlier was better.
Under Consideration for Botswana & Interview Request: December 19, 2016
This was a fairly quick turnaround for me, especially getting the interview request the same day. I’m guessing it was because I didn’t request a specific position. I said I would prefer to be in the health sector, but I didn’t care what country I went to.
Interview: December 29, 2016
The interview was a beast. My recruiter was super nice and really easy to talk to, but the entire thing lasted TWO HOURS. Some of it was her going over Peace Corps guidelines/rules, but it was a good hour and a half of me answering questions.
INVITATION TO BOTSWANA: January 5, 2017
Again, another very quick turnaround for me. My know-by date was April 1, so I’m not sure what it was exactly that got me such a quick invite. I think I got lucky with a position that really matched the experience I had on my resume.
Medical Clearance forms available: January 6, 2017, due March 8, 2017
The medical clearance process was also a beast. I think I had around 18 different forms to fill out, based on the health history I gave them. They were all due March 8, and by the time I was able to get everything done I didn’t turn them all in until March 6.
Legal Kit sent to Peace Corps: January 24, 2017
I got the legal kit a bit late as there was a delay in sending them out. I got fingerprinted and sent my kit back to PC January 24, which I think was a bit after the two week deadline. Sent them an email letting them know, but since there was a delay it was fine.
Background check begun: January 30, 2017
Got an email from PC letting me know that my background check had begun.
Legal Clearance Granted: April 19, 2017
It took around three months for this, and I still got legal clearance much earlier than a lot of my cohort. There were delays in processing the background checks, and a lot of my group still wasn’t cleared 8 weeks out.
Final Medical Clearance: May 7, 2017
Again, lucky on this too. I only had two follow up tasks to do, and they both were due to me uploading the wrong files to the wrong place (try uploading 18 extremely similar forms without making a mistake, I dare you). I was cleared pretty quick after I was assigned a nurse.
Booked flights to staging!: June 15, 2017
Our staging is in Philly, so I called the PC travel agent and they book the flights for you (free flights!). You don’t get the information to book the flights until you’ve been both medically and legally cleared–super scary for people who are waiting right up until the wire.
Staging: July 21-23, 2017
We’ll check in on July 21 and have a welcome session, then spend the entire day of the 22 going through different sessions. Finally, on the 23 at 2:30am we will be put on a bus to JFK airport.
Depart for Botswana: July 23, 2017
We will fly 14 hours from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa. From there, we’ll transfer onto a shorter flight to Gaborone, Botswana.