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Author Topic: Doing Peace Corps with my girlfriend  (Read 2856 times)

Offline Rockabilly

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Doing Peace Corps with my girlfriend
« on: November 28, 2014, 09:27:05 AM »
Hello everyone!

I am currently applying for a peace corps position and I'm looking for some suggestions on my girlfriend situation. Has anyone ever served with their girlfriend who was not in Peace Corps?  If I am accepted into this program, I would like my girlfriend to move with me, which she is willing to do. Has anyone ever been in this situation?  If so, how did it turn out?  What were some difficulties?

Thanks!

Offline koji

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Re: Doing Peace Corps with my girlfriend
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2014, 03:01:51 PM »
Unless they have changed the rules, I am almost certain that you are not allowed to have your girlfriend move with you. You are limited to the amount of time you are allowed to have a visitor stay without Peace Corps approval (I think it is two weeks, then they can stay for a month with you if they are approved). Having someone move into your PC provided house is a big no-no (and rather impossible if it is a shared housing situation). They cannot really do anything about her moving to the same country as you, and living in a different house, but if spending time with her distracts from your integration or work then you can be administratively separated.

Volunteering for the Peace Corps is a 24/7 job- even when you are off you are expected to be interacting with the locals and building your relationships. Significant others can be a big distraction- this is true of people who end up dating other peace corps volunteers as well. While I personally think that significant others or friends should be allowed to serve together just like married couples, I can see the reasoning behind their rules, and having one of you in service and the other not could be really distracting/frustrating.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Doing Peace Corps with my girlfriend
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2014, 08:51:40 PM »
Like Koji said, the PC doesn't like to have non-volunteers live with volunteers; in fact, in some countries I believe it can be grounds for separation.  While I was serving, we were not allowed to have visitors at all for the first and last three months of serving, not including training which was an additional 2.5 months at the beginning.  Violating this was grounds for Administrative Separation (aka, being fired).

That being said, we did have one volunteer who had his girlfriend (now wife) live with him for most of the second year we were there.  He had to get PC and his site's counterpart's permission.  PC will not provide any financial, medical, or any other type of assistance for that person, which should be a big consideration.

Long story short, if it's the same as when I was in, she wouldn't be able to join you until month 6, would have to leave 3 months before you close service, and would have no support from PC in case of emergency.

Also, PC now allows non-married couples to serve, so that might be something to look into if that's an option.

Again, all based on my experience 10 years ago...so it may be different now.
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

LittleJo

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Re: Doing Peace Corps with my girlfriend
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 04:24:24 PM »
There was a guy in my group who had his girlfriend living with him for most of his service. Some of the other PCV's thought it was funny and he actually had the balls to bring her to PCV events! I didn't think it was funny because rules are in place for a reason. If something were to have happened to her the consequences could very well have been devastating. (You don't want to go to a hospital in a developing country, believe me I know). I know how this is going to make me sound and I apologize but honestly a lot of people are trying to get into the PC and there are just not enough spots to accommodate everyone. This guy (and a few others who broke some other rules) were not serious PCV's and took spots away from applicants who were denied a place, and maybe would have made a significant difference in the lives of the people there.