Application Process

The following is a timeline of all the steps involved in applying to the Peace Corps. Their new all-electronic system is surprisingly fast and pain-free.

Time from application to nomination: 42 days Time from nomination to invitation: 66 days Time from invitation to staging: 4 months Approximate out-of-pocket cost: $120

2012-11-02 Initial Application - All electronic with two 500-word essays. Took about 3 hours in total. 3 references required (1 employer, 1 volunteer coordinator, 1 friend).

2012-11-07 References Mailed - "I have reviewed your education, work and volunteer experiences and have determined that you meet the minimum qualifications necessary for further consideration. Please contact your references to make sure they complete their recommendations within ten business days of this email

2012-11-21 Assigned to Regional Recruiter - "We have received your references, but I have not yet reviewed them to make sure they meet our requirements"

2012-11-26 Rejected Frank as 'Volunteer Coordinator' - I had ten days to get someone else to write a reference letter.

2012-12-10 Interview Scheduling - All interview locations are in South Florida - Skype interview is possible but "will put me at a disadvantage"

2012-12-14 8AM Skype Interview - "I will try to find an assignment in the next 3 weeks but it may take up to a year."

2012-12-14 3PM Nomination - "I am pleased to nominate you to the following Peace Corps assignment: Sector: Education, Tentative Departure Month: June, 2013." A nomination is not the same as an invitation - it is just a recommendation to move an applicant to the next round.

2013-12-27 Fingerprint Documents Received in Mail - Had to go to UPD and mail back fingerprints (first piece of mail I had to send)

2013-02-15 Followup from Placement Office - Email with 11 questions (mostly along the lines of "How does using a squat toilet make you feel?") - took about 3 hours to complete

2013-02-18 Answers Sent to Placement Office

2013-02-20 Invitation - "It is with great pleasure we invite you to begin training in Sierra Leone (Staging Date: June 17th). Please read these 300 pages of manuals and check this box within 7 days"

2013-02-21 Medical Applicant Portal - "Scan in all your immunizations and get a physical and dental screening"

2013-02-25 Physical at Student Health Care Center

2013-02-27 Blood Work at Student Health Care Center

2013-02-27 First Dental Screening

2013-02-29 Second Dental Screening and X-Rays - Fees were $170 and Peace Corps reimbursed $65

2013-03-11 Medical Docs Picked Up, Scanned, Uploaded - Fee for physical was $1200 and Peace Corps offered $150 reimbursement (luckily UF health plan paid for all of it)

2013-03-12 Passport Instructions - "Apply for no-fee passport and visa and send via UPS/FedEx (not USPS) to our travel agent."

2013-03-14 Resume and Introduction Sent to SL Office - Some short forms to fill out online as well - this probably took about 2 hours total

2013-03-21 Passport Application Mailed - University Mail Services waived $25 execution fee - $11 to send via UPS.

2013-04-02 Final Medical Clearance

2013-06-17 Staging in East Coast City (informed that it was Philadelphia on May 14th)