Pre-Training Timeline

The first part of this timeline (Dec-Feb) is discussed in more detail here: A Timeline of my Application Process.

December 2016:

12/26 Submitted basic application online. This included questions that took about an hour and a 500-word Aspiration Statement.


January 2017:

1/1-1/21 It took about 3 weeks to complete my Health History Form-picture having to get medical records from a bunch of doctors, complete questions, list medications, give an illness history, etc.

1/23 After submitting my Health History, I had 2 calendar days to make the selection of where I wanted to be considered for and what work I want to do (You make three paired choices, in order of interest for example: Thailand-Education, Philippines-Health, Madagascar-Education). I didn’t have a specific place in mind, so after thinking about this decision since December, I decided to just go for it and choose to be sent anywhere.

My three choices were:

  1. Send me where I’m needed-Education
  2. Send me where I’m needed-Youth in Development
  3. Send me where I’m needed-Health

1/25 After submitting those, I had two more calendar days to complete a Soft-Skills Questionnaire. This consisted of putting 60 traits/skills/ideas in order from most important to least important. (This was one of the more difficult things that I’ve had to do!)

1/25 During this time I also was creating and perfecting a Peace Corps Resume and cover letter. I wanted final drafts of both of these things submitted at the time of my Soft-Skills Questionnaire because once that is done, placement officers can start looking at your “application portal” to consider you for positions.


February 2017:

2/1 I received two emails. The first said that I was being considered for Tanzania and that I would receive an email ‘in the coming months’ regarding what position they were considering me for. The second email (which usually does not come the same day, I am gathering) said, “Thank you for your interest in the Peace Corps, I would like to arrange an interview with you for a Secondary Education Math Teacher position in Tanzania.”

2/14 I had my interview at 1:00 on Valentine’s Day. It took a little over an hour. My interviewer reminded me that I will not hear anything until March 1st.

2/15 I received an email formally inviting me to serve as a Secondary Education Math Teacher in Tanzania. (Commence happy-crying in public, calling family members, and more crying.)

2/16 I accepted my invitation and received emails with more information and resources than I knew what to do with about service and specifically Tanzania. I also received a lot of legal and medical “tasks” that need to be completed within a specific time frame. Here is my blog post from about this time: To Say That I am Busy Would be an Understatement


March 2017:

Commence doctor’s office hopping. The Peace Corps will assign you “tasks” in your medical portal. For reference, I had about 25 of them. Some of them are packets, sometimes one doctor has to deal with more than one task..etc. Your doctors’ offices are going to know you by name by the end of this. Even though it isn’t that far, my doctors’ offices are each almost exactly an hour away from where I live at school. So each of these appointments was accompanied by a total of 2 hours driving (aka wasted in my day as a full time student). These are the only appointments I had written down, so I am guessing there are a couple I missed, but here’s an idea of what it was. P.S. The week of 3/6-3/10 was my spring break, that is how all of those appointments fit in.
2/21 Dentist appt: cleaning, X-rays, found out I needed a filling and had one wisdom tooth to remove
2/28 Wisdom Tooth Consultation
3/2 Filling
3/6 Normal gynecologist appointment + Nexplanon replacement in my arm (birth control implant, local anesthetic for old one cut out, new one put in)
3/7 Wisdom tooth removal, also finally received legal kit
3/8 Get fingerprints done (after trying 3 places) and mail in legal kit, mail in dental X-rays
3/9 Eye doctor for routine exam, new glasses (PC recommends 2 pair)
3/10 General doctor appt. including bloodwork, vaccinations, TB test, etc.
3/12 Complete Peace Corps learning modules
3/16 Wisdom tooth checkup
3/20ish Find that myupmc has a lot of medical records that you need (ER visits, bloodwork), download those and format for tasks.
3/31 Pittsburgh for Yellow Fever vaccine

There were also probably 5 undocumented doctor runs that weren’t appointments. This was nobody’s fault (mine, if anyone’s. My doctors were fantastic.) but I ran into a couple things that I hadn’t realized needed signatures or were incomplete.

I am typing this based on my planner, so looking back I just want to whine a little: in March, I also had 5 exams, countless quizzes, homework assignments, weekly concrete canoe meetings, paddling practices and workouts, class projects, my senior mechanical engineering project, I worked as a drop-in and one-on-one physics tutor, 5 weeks of the Crossfit Open (I just judged)……..Moral of the story? If this is something you’re interested in, you’re going to be busy. But it is definitely, 100%, without a doubt possible to manage.


April 2017:

4/15ish Realized that I had lost two of my medical packets (my gynecologist and eye doctor, of course the two farthest away) Scrambled to figure that out (thank you mom for the help).

4/18 All of my medical tasks were uploaded and completed (FINALLY, THANK GOD)

4/29 graduated from college!


May 2017:

5/1 An updated resume and aspiration statement were submitted. This is required and is mainly reformatting and expanding your original aspiration statement by responding to more prompts. You also reformat and add to your resume.

5/17 Received an email about my legal status, update here: Now We Wait: A Legal Update and an Emotional Update

5/18 Finally matched with a nurse who reviewed my medical tasks and told me which to update/correct or add to, had to give personal statements on a couple medical “conditions.” For example, I had a wrist X-ray after a car accident and I had to answer questions about how it will affect my service and detail any treatment or surgery I received for it. Through all of this, of course, there were even more doctor visits! Good news, they still know me by name..but I think they’re more than ready for me to be in TZ where I won’t be harassing them anymore.

5/22 Received legal clearance!!!!

5/23 submission of my diploma and transcripts

5/24ish This is about my “45 days until departure” date when most medical clearance should be granted. As you can see, that is about 6 days to complete all medical updates needed. Not everyone’s timeline was this rushed, but I have really been rushing around to meet deadlines given by the nurse.

5/25 Final medical clearance granted(!!!)

CURRENTLY: I ‘ve received a ton of information about training, family communication during service, electronics, a packing list, need to complete a homestay questionnaire for my host family during training and a personality assessment. Preparing to pack, deciding what to do with all of my things, etc.