6 common questions about applying to Peace Corps Response

By Peace Corps Response
Sept. 17, 2018

Peace Corps Response sends experienced professionals on highly specialized volunteer assignments for three to 12 months. 

Interested in becoming a Response Volunteer? Here are answers to some of our most common questions about applying to Peace Corps Response: 

1. What’s the application process and timeline for Peace Corps Response? 

The entire process works on a rolling basis – from putting the openings online to issuing invitations to serve. Generally, you can expect to see new volunteer openings online about four to six months before the projected start date. We usually issue invitations no later than two to three months prior to the projected start date. However, if a position is very popular and we receive many qualified applicants, we may take the position offline at any time. Within two weeks of submitting your application, you should receive notice of whether or not your application has been put under review. Only the most competitive applicants will be contacted later to schedule an interview. All candidates receive an email notification if they are not selected to move forward in the application process. 

2. Am I a qualified and competitive applicant for Peace Corps Response? 

It varies depending on the position. Some positions require a bachelor’s degree and two or three years of professional work experience. Other positions might require a master’s degree, or even a Ph.D., and possibly 10 or more years of experience. It is most important to apply to positions that you meet the minimum qualifications for and strongly align with your education and experience. Peace Corps Response does not provide technical training; it is expected that you already possess the skills and expertise needed to successfully complete the assignment. 

3. Can my partner and I serve together in Peace Corps Response? 

Again, a tricky question! Both you and your partner would need to apply to and qualify for different open positions in the same country in order to serve together. We often have opportunities for multiple volunteers to serve in the same country; however, we cannot guarantee that you will be placed in the same site. Should you and your partner decide to apply, make sure you note in your applications that you would like to serve together. 

4. I don’t see any openings that match my background. Do you know when you’ll have new openings and if those openings might be a match for me? 

Response Volunteer openings are posted and filled a rolling basis. As soon as new positions are finalized, we publish them on our Peace Corps Response Openings page. You may have seen unique opportunities we have had in the past. As a flexible program, we often do not know what kinds of positions we will have until we receive them from our staff in the field. The best way to find out about new positions is to subscribe to both our monthly IMPACT newsletter and featured openings list

5. Who should apply to Peace Corps Response? 

Although Peace Corps Response is open to any U.S. citizen over the age of 18, the program is for experienced professionals. Most positions require several years of specialized work experience, so our openings are not the right fit if you’ve recently completed your undergraduate studies. We look for candidates who are flexible, open minded, and able to adapt to changing circumstances. We have a diverse range of Volunteers from all over the United States; some are in a mid-career transition while others are retired. You do not need to have prior international experience to serve with Response, but you do need cross-cultural skills to successfully work with local counterparts whose communication and work styles may differ drastically from your own. 

6. Do I need to speak with a Peace Corps Response Recruitment and Placement Specialist before applying? 

No, you do not! We encourage you to submit your application online as soon as possible. Our application process is very similar to that of a job application, so if you have a strong résumé at hand, then you are ready to apply. We also have lots of resources available – from webinars to blog posts – which provide additional tools and information to prepare your application and help you gain a better understanding of the Peace Corps Response Volunteer experience. If you have a question which is not answered by these resources, feel free to contact us.

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