You've accepted your invitation. Now what?

By Robyn Cadwallader
May 31, 2017

Congratulations!

By making it through the very competitive selection process and accepting your invitation to serve, you have become an invitee, a major step in becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. This opportunity is an honor and privilege and likely to be one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in your life.

Your first task is to complete the medical and legal clearance processes within the provided deadlines; they will take time to complete, and failure to meet these deadlines may result in your invitation being rescinded, so stay on top of these tasks and get them completed as soon as possible. There will be other required tasks and deadlines for your attention throughout the onboarding process.

Throughout the selection process, our placement officers have made helpful suggestions that are both productive and useful for invitees to utilize to prepare for their service, even after departing for service. After all, the selection process is not yet complete. 

Peace Corps in-country staff will determine where in country you will be serving. Whether in-country staff evaluates and selects the sites for invitees to serve prior to their arrival or during the process of pre-service training, there will be further evaluation completed to determine exactly where a Volunteer will be placed.

There are still activities that invitees can do to best prepare themselves for 27 months of service. Your dreams of service are closer to reality then they have ever been and there is a lot to learn even before stepping onto the plane. 

Remember, Peace Corps service is a professional volunteer opportunity with duties and responsibilities, not a vacation. Invitees should continue to gain sector-specialized experience and training as time and opportunity allow prior to departure. Targeted training and educational research that is as geographically specific as possible to your country of service can drastically help you further understand your role as a Volunteer. Invitees should continue to do research on the Peace Corps, their country of service and their position, and can use a variety of online resources to reach out to someone who has served in the country and the position in which they will serve.

At the very least, invitees should be aware of information specific to their country of service, important information about health and safety in the Peace Corps, our core expectations for service and the benefits Volunteers receive in conjunction with their service. Invitees should also revisit the communications that they received from their placement officer and country desk officer throughout the selection process; they are full of vital resources and links.

And please don’t forget about communications with family and friends throughout the selection and departure process. Don’t let it be a surprise to anyone that you care about that you have been selected for Peace Corps service – or, even worse, that you've already departed for service before people you know and care about find out you are serving in the Peace Corps.

Ready to start your Peace Corps journey? Connect with a recruiter today.

Robyn Cadwallader

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