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Light Stays ( -
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 5:49 am:   

Hi, I´m a nominee slated to go somewhere in the PC world in Jan. 05. I´ve been in Spain for the summer and am planning to stay through the fall. Writing, traveling, farming. In short, my SPANISH is quite good. (I also spent some months in Peru, Bolivia, Chile picking up Spanish in 02-03.)

Trouble is I majored in FRENCH, five years ago, and have not used it since. My recruiter told me at the interview that ¨they are going to want to use your French¨. It seems the PC judges your language proficiency by what academic credentials you have, not by what you can actually speak/know best. And yes, I would much more desire a placement in Latin America over one in Africa.

So how do I really, really stress this to the PC. With my recruiter, or with placement when they tell me what´s what next month? Or do I just all out refuse a placement in Africa. I´m not sure I´m ready to do that. If it´s Africa or nothing, I´d guess I´d take Africa.
RPCV ( -
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 3:53 pm:   

Dear LS,

PC actually assesses, first, the demand for certain skills and then tries to match as best as possible your skills with what's needed most at the time of your placement. If French is a particular need - as there are many more Spanish speakers than French speakers among candidates - then PC will certainly consider your French studies. Considering you majored in French (albeit 5 years ago), you'd be highly proficient in French by the end of pre-service training, which includes intensive language and can be tailored to your level.

You can always advocate for a Spanish speaking assignment with your placement officer at PC headquarters. However, keep in mind PC is focusing on host countries' needs and matching skills sets, and secondarily considering a candidate's preferences. Hopefully, you'll be willing to serve where needed. The vast majority of PCVs are glad to have served, even those who didn't get their first (or second, or third ...) choice of assignment locations.

Good luck!
RPCV ( -
Posted on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 1:21 pm:   

Then go to spainish speaking country.

Paraguay and enjoy the Yerba Mate. If you are unsure about Africa, don't go.

Go where you want to go. Do want you want to do.

Good Luck

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