*To view all posts regarding the Peace Corps and Moldova, please click on the map to the left.
*If you’re considering Peace Corps service here in Moldova or have accepted an invitation to serve here, you can find information for future volunteers here.
From June 2016 to August 2018, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Eastern European country of Moldova. Moldova is located between Romania and Ukraine, and was part of the Soviet Union until its independence in 1991. It is the poorest country in Europe.
Some tidbits about Moldova:
- Moldova is known for its wine, and is the location of the largest underground storage cellar for wine in the world
- Although Romanian is the official language, most people speak a combination of Romanian and Russian, and there are some words that are spoken that do not belong to either language
- The population of Moldova is 3.559 million, although that number includes a large number of Moldovans who live and work in other countries
- Approximately 1 million citizens live and work in other countries, which accounts for almost 25% of the population
- Little Big World: The Beauty of Moldova Captured in Miniature (PetaPixel, 2021)
- Revisiting My Soviet Childhood in Moldova, 30 Years On (CNN, 2020)
- Drum Bun: Socialist Heritage Along the Roads of Moldova (Drum Bun, 2018)
- Why Moldova Is a Wine Destination Worth Knowing Now (Vogue, 2018)
- Why Wines of Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova Are a Hot Topic (Forbes, 2018)
- Moldova May Be Eastern Europe’s Best Secret (Architectural Digest, 2018)
- This Tiny Country Is One of the Top Travel Destinations for 2018 (New York Post, 2017)
My Peace Corps Timeline:
Applying to the Peace Corps is a very long process. Lucky volunteers often leave to begin their journey about 1 year after they first apply. Here is what my timeline looked like (but keep in mind that it’s different for everyone and that it could take much longer).
- June 21, 2015: Submitted my online application
- June 22, 2015: Submitted my health history
- July 2, 2015: Received an email informing me I had been placed under consideration for Moldova
- August 3, 2015: Received an email saying that I had made it to the interview stage and that I needed to schedule an interview
- August 4, 2015: Interviewed with a placement officer via phone
- September 22, 2015: Received my invitation!!! I accepted the invitation that day as well
- September 27, 2015: Began my MAP (medical clearance process)
- October 5, 2015: Received the legal kit and started to search for a place to get fingerprinted
- February 29, 2016: FINALLY finished my MAP, and received official medical clearance
- May 29 – June 1, 2016: Staging (in-USA orientation) in Philadelphia
- June 1, 2016: Departed JFK airport
- June 2, 2016: Arrived in Moldova and started PST (pre-service training)
- July 29, 2016: Swearing-in; officially became a Peace Corps Volunteer (before that I was considered a trainee)
- August 11, 2016: Moved to my permanent site located in the south-eastern part of Moldova
- July 5, 2018: Officially closed my service and became an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer)