Applying to the Peace Corps during COVID-19

By Latisha Pledger
Aug. 27, 2020

In recent months, adjusting to the “new normal” has been an experience shared throughout the world. The Peace Corps, and our applicants who apply to serve during this time, will have to do the same.

As the Peace Corps continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 pandemic domestically and internationally, we have temporarily listed all future Volunteer Openings by work sector and region of the world rather than individual country. Since the Peace Corps is a mission-driven organization with 10 essential Core Expectations for trainees and Volunteers, placement officers are trained and equipped to assess a candidate for Peace Corps service no matter the sector or region of the world an applicant is applying to.

While assessing the readiness to return to operations for each of the countries we serve, we realize that some countries may be ready to receive Volunteers well before other countries. Even within a single country, there may be regions or programs that may open earlier than others due to health, safety and security concerns, or due to pandemic-related programmatic disruptions. Consequently, applicants may have to wait longer to receive a final decision on their application, or may be asked to consider alternate assignments if their original assignment is not able to depart as scheduled.

As the Peace Corps continues to navigate preparing prospective Volunteers to serve in the midst of a global pandemic, it is important to keep in mind the commitment it takes to be a Peace Corps Volunteer and why that is your goal. Make sure to educate yourself on what exactly is expected of you as a Peace Corps trainee or Volunteer. As a Volunteer, you will have the privilege of becoming a part of a community somewhere in the world, which calls for Volunteers to have the willingness to be flexible. Being able to demonstrate an increased level of flexibility during the application process is a key attribute that placement officers will consider when assessing an applicant.

Pro Tip: Before starting an application, a Peace Corps recruiter can benefit prospective applicants by providing:

  • Understanding of the current application process, especially during the pandemic
  • Answers to questions about job postings
  • Tips about the interview process
  • Connection to others who have served in the Peace Corps

Once the temporary suspension of Volunteer operation is lifted, Americans around the country will again have the opportunity to immerse themselves in communities abroad and work side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation. When applying to the Peace Corps amidst COVID-19, it is beneficial for all applicants to demonstrate a high level of flexibility and understanding of the Peace Corps 10 Core Expectations. This is expected and greatly appreciated by your placement officer during your application process.

For updates and announcements on the Peace Corps return to global operations, please refer to https://www.peacecorps.gov/coronavirus/.

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