The Application Process
On average, the application to invitation departure process is seven to 12 months, but may take longer in certain cases. This is due to a number of factors, including the number of positions available, turnaround time for reference checks and the medical evaluation, and determination of applicant suitability for assignments.
For details on the application process, click on the steps below.
The first step toward becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer is to complete your application at peacecorps.gov/apply. If you save a draft application prior to submitting it, you must re-open and save the draft at least once every 30 days or it will be deleted. Once you submit your application, you will be asked to complete a Health History Form.
During the interview, you and a Peace Corps staff member will discuss your skills and interests, positions available, and your suitability for service as a Peace Corps Volunteer, including personal attributes such as flexibility, adaptability, social and cultural awareness, motivation, and commitment to Peace Corps service. This is an opportunity to ask questions and explore with the interviewer—who is almost always a returned Volunteer—if the Peace Corps is appropriate for you and how you might best fit our available assignments.
If your application is among the best for a particular assignment, you will receive an invitation to serve. Your invitation will include the date of departure, the program assignment, and links to a welcome packet with details about the country where you will serve, the Volunteer Handbook, and more. These materials will help you make an informed decision to accept the invitation.
After you accept your invitation, you will be required to complete a physical and dental examination. At a minimum, the physical includes a trip to your doctor for a medical exam with basic lab work and immunizations necessary for your assignment, as well as a visit to your dentist for X-rays. The Peace Corps offers some limited cost-sharing reimbursement. Depending on your health insurance coverage, some costs incurred during this process may be at your expense.
Preparation for Departure
After you have been medically cleared for service in your assignment and country, the Peace Corps travel office will issue an electronic ticket for travel to your pre-service orientation site (also known as staging). Immediately prior to leaving for the country of assignment, Peace Corps “trainees” meet in the United States to prepare for their Volunteer service.
Departure for Service
The Peace Corps schedules and pays for your international flight. You will fly with your training group to your assigned country to begin in-country training.
Last updated Jan 30 2014