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Peace Corps Representative
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
The Gambia (2011-2013)
785-864-7679 / firstname.lastname@example.org
To serve as a Peace Corps volunteer, you must be an American citizen and at least 18 years old. There is no upper age limit. Many assignments, but not all, require a bachelor's degree. Candidates must have demonstrated skills that are requested by host countries. Ask a Peace Corps representative well in advance about ways that you might enhance your qualifications.
So you want to be a Peace Corps Volunteer?The Peace Corps application process is lengthy. Plan ahead and submit your application roughly a year before your availability date. These are the general steps in the application process:
- Apply: Submit an application to the Dallas Regional Office (preferably online at www.peacecorps.gov)
- Interview: A recruiter will interview you by phone or in person. Together you will explore issues such as adaptability, cultural awareness, motivation, and commitment. The recruiter will assess your skills and look for overseas programs that match. You will be nominated to a specific program in a general region of the world with a tentative departure date if the recruiter determines that you are qualified and that Peace Corps is right for you.
- Legal Clearance: The Peace Corps requires a complete background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You may be cleared, deferred, or disqualified.
- Medical/Dental Clearance: A medical officer will review your health status forms and you will be required to submit to complete physical and dental exams. At this point you may be cleared, deferred, limited to certain regions, or disqualified.
- Invitation to serve: Your Peace Corps placement officer in Washington, D.C., will make the final match between the a specific country's request for volunteers and your personal skills and qualifications.
- Pre-service Training: If you accept the invitation, you will receive information about your host country and reporting instructions with the date and location of your pre-departure orientation.
It's never too early to prepare for Peace Corps service. Following are some tips on what to do as a college student:
- Attend a Peace Corps Event: Go to a general information meeting. there you will learn the basics about the Peace Corps mission and its programs overseas. See the calendar of events or go to the Peace Corps website for a complete listing of recruiting events.
- Study a foreign language: The ability to learn a new language is an important ingredient in a successful Peace Corps experience. Many volunteer assignments require at least one-year of college level French or Spanish.
- Volunteer in your community: Getting involved in the KU or Lawrence community will help you gain the organizational and leadership skills that you'll need as a Peace Corps volunteer. If you are not sure how to get started, visit the Center for Community Outreach.
- Read about the Peace Corps: While no two volunteers have the same experience, reading volunteer stories can give you insight into the volunteer experience. Check out the book list on the Peace Corps website. Or, for a more updated list of books, contact your campus representative.
- Talk to returned Peace Corps volunteers: Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV's) can be found at a Peace Corps event or by contacting the local RPCV group.
Peace Corps Writers
The Peace Gallery
Third Goal: Peace Corps Stories
Peace Corps Online
Peace Corps Wiki
National Peace Corps Association
Friends of Afghanistan
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Ethiopia and Eritrea RPCVs
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Friends of Ghana
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High Atlas Foundation
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Friends of Uganda
Mango Elephants in the Sun: How Life in an African Village Let Me Be in My Skin by Susana Herrera
So You Want to Join the Peace Corps: What to Know Before You Go by Dillon Banerjee
My Other Life by Paul Theroux
Nine Hills to Nabonkaha: Two Years in the Heart of an African Village by Sara Erdman
Letters from Zaire: A Peace Corps Life in Africa by John Jochum
The Princess and the Peace Corps by Lorene Hulskamp
River Town: Two Years in the Yangtze by Peter Hessler
From the Center of the Earth: Stories Out of the Peace Corps by Geraldine Kennedy
Peace Corps: A Profile by Kirk Hackenburg
The Village of Waiting by George Packer
Taxi to Taskent: Two Years in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan by Tom Flemming
Agents of Change: A Close Look at the Peace Corps by David Hapgood and Meridan Bennett
Come As You Are: The Peace Corps Story by Coates Redmon
Going Up Country: Travel Essays by Peace Corps Writers edited by John Coyne
A Moment in History: The First 10 Years of the Peace Corps by Brent Ashabranner
The Peace Corps by Robert G. Carey, foreword by Joseph H. Blatchford
At Home in the World: The Peace Corps Story by The Peace Corps
First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Posterboy Won my Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed my Life by Eve Brown-Waite
The Bold Experiment: JFK's Peace Corps by Gerard T. Rice
What You Can Do For Your Country: An Oral History of the Peace Corps by Karen Schwarz
Peace Corps by Celeste A. Peters
The Ponds of Kalambayi: An African Sojourn by Mike Tidwell
Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders by Jason Carter; introduction by Jimmy Carter
The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa by Josh Swiller
Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook by Travis Hellstrom
No Hurry in Africa: Life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya by Theresa Munanga