February 16, 2003: Headlines: Recruitment: COS - Kazakhstan: COS - Uzbekistan: For Prospective Volunteers: Appoication Process: Personal Web Site: Bill Zepernick's Peace Corps Application Procoess for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kazakstan : Peace Corps Kazakhstan : The Peace Corps in Kazakstan: February 16, 2003: Headlines: Recruitment: COS - Kazakhstan: COS - Uzbekistan: For Prospective Volunteers: Appoication Process: Personal Web Site: Bill Zepernick's Peace Corps Application Procoess for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-13-244.balt.east.verizon.net - on Friday, January 21, 2005 - 11:46 pm: Edit Post

Bill Zepernick's Peace Corps Application Procoess for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Bill Zepernick's Peace Corps Application Procoess for Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

PC Application Process

The PC application process is long and tedious, and it takes constant vigilance on the part of the applicant as they wind their way through the Kafka-esque bureaucratic nightmare that in the PC application process. Actually, itís not quite that bad, but it can be a real pain sometimes.

First you fill out the actual application and the medical questionnaire. I did these applications online and it was fairly convenient. The biggest hassle at this stage is getting all your letters of recommendation in order. You need three letters from various people. It is important that you get this letters from the people writing them as soon as possible. All of my people were pretty good about getting them to me in a timely manner, but I could see how the letter of recommendation stage could be a bottleneck in the application process if not handled quickly. I started my application in early February and got my letter of recommendation done by early in March.

The next step is to have an interview with your recruiter. They mainly ask questions to make sure that you are emotionally, psychologically, and physically ready to join the PC. I think people often try to join the PC to escape life in the USA and this is not the best situation for the individual, or the community theyíd be serving in once in the PC. So the recruiter asked questions such as ìHave you had a major romantic breakup in the last year?î ìHave you had a death of a loved one in the last year?î ìDo you have financial debts you feel unable to handle?î They might seem a little intrusive, but they are important for screening applicants to make sure everyone that goes abroad is able to cope with the stress of living in a different culture. There were also a lot of questions about volunteer experience and what skills you have that are applicable to the PC. My interview happened in the last week of February and it was fairly informal. I donít know if all interviews are as lax as mine, so It would be best to ask your recruiter before hand what to expect.

After your interview, you will receive your nomination to the PC. This is a general acceptance into the PC, pending legal, medical, and dental clearance. Often, youíll be nominated for a specific country and region. In March, I was nominated for secondary English Education in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, or Turkmenistan. This nomination is tentative and subject to change.

Soon after receiving my nomination, I got my medical and dental evaluation forms in the mail and had to go have the exams done. I had to pay for the exams myself, and then I got reimbursed by the PC later. My exams took place at the end of March, but I hit a snag in the process because the UT-Austin Health Services who did my exam screwed up my tuberculosis test and I had to have it redone. Also, I had two cavities that I had to have filled before I could get dental clearance. By the time I had the test redone and my cavities filled, it was the middle of May. But shortly after I turned in all my final medical and dental clearance documents, I received notification from the PC that I had been cleared. And a couple days after that I got my invitation to join the PC in Uzbekistan.

I got through the application process relatively quickly (from Febuary to June = 4 months). At times I felt kind of rushed since I wanted to leave for my assignment this summer and had a fairly tight timetable in getting through the application process. I would recommend starting your PC application at least 6 -12 months in advance. And don't be afraid to call or email your PC recruiter or your medical screening nurse if you have any questions. I had to call them on a couple occasions and they helped a lot. The PC application process might take a long time and it may seem like an endless maze of paperwork and hoops to jump through, but just stick with it and don't get frustrated, and it'll be over before you know it.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Recruitment; COS - Kazakhstan; COS - Uzbekistan; For Prospective Volunteers; Appoication Process



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