Way back in June, I stumbled across an article that just happened to be on the Peace Corps official blog. I don’t even remember what the article was about, but I clicked some links and ended up on the Peace Corps website. I probably spent about five hours that day checking out practically every page on the Peace Corps site. Less than a week later, I submitted my application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer (otherwise referred to as a PCV).
My parents have always encouraged my siblings and I to follow our dreams. And, while I had never really mentioned it to anyone, going into the Peace Corps has been in the back of my mind since about middle school, perhaps even before then. As a result, my family was a bit taken aback when I announced to them that I had submitted my application that morning (and yes, I did wait to inform them until I had already pushed the “submit” button). Since then, however, they have been nothing but supportive.
The application process is pretty lengthy and complicated. First, you need to submit an application, then you fill out a very comprehensive medical application. After that, you wait a bit, and then you have to do some little activities where you have to sort your values and priorities. You then wait some more, and then you fill out a form about your preferences for where you would most like to serve (you can either select “anywhere in the world” or put your top 10 countries down). I put down two Eastern European countries as my top two choices, and then “anywhere in the world” as my third choice. There is also one of those little comment boxes, where you can list any other preferences. I wrote that I would prefer an Eastern European country, and that I would be open to other locations as long as it isn’t a country that is hot year-round as I don’t deal well with heat. I then waited about a month before getting an email to schedule an interview. The interview is usually a Skype interview, but I had some technical issues, so mine ended up being over phone. The interview lasts about 90 minutes, and I’ll be honest, I thought it was a pretty difficult interview. At the end of the interview, I was told that I probably wouldn’t hear anything until I found out whether I would be offered a position or not, probably sometime in late November, but definitely by December 1st. Because it was far off in the distance, I kind of pushed the whole thing to the back of my mind for awhile.
Towards the end of September, I got back from a long day of student teaching and a club meeting and much to my surprise, there was an email from the Peace Corps! I quickly forgot everything else that was going on and clicked to open the email, which was a letter inviting me to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova! To say that I was (and am) excited would be an understatement. My official job title is Primary English Teacher and Teacher Trainer. I will be teaching English as a second language and I will also offer teachers with workshops. Moldova is a small country (about the size of Maryland) located in Eastern Europe between Romania and Ukraine.
I’ll try to post more about my decision to join the Peace Corps, more information about what I will be doing there, and talk a bit about what my life will most likely be like in Moldova sometime soon. I am so excited for this amazing (and challenging) experience!