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Author Topic: I am accepted! But I am hesitant...  (Read 5156 times)

Offline samuelhgflax

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I am accepted! But I am hesitant...
« on: February 25, 2015, 03:40:15 PM »
So please understand my reservation asking this question, because I am super thankful to be in this position, but...
I have been accepted to serve in South Africa starting in July, and serving in the Peace Corps has been my dream and goal since before college.
However, I am nervous about my placement in South Africa. I have very specific interests in life (I love the French language, Islamic countries, I am writing my final Thesis over Feminism and Islam in Morocco and Indonesia), and to my surprise I was placed in a country where none of my existing interests overlap.
I am very grateful to be accepted, don't want to seem spoiled, and will love my time in South Africa, but I have more hesitations than I would because I will be cut off from the topics which drive me academically, instead of furthering them if I was in a country which overlapped with my interests (Furthering my studies of Islam in Indonesia, for example, instead of losing that knowledge in South Africa).
Does anybody know if I should contact my Placement Specialist about this, or is it too late/ rude and ungrateful to do so?
For the record, my desire to serve outweighs my specific country, but I am having so many more hesitations than I would normally.
Thank you for your advice.

Offline koji

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Re: I am accepted! But I am hesitant...
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 12:35:18 AM »
I've known a few people who have left early because they did not feel professionally stimulated at their post, so your concerns are definitely valid. If I were you, I would try to get in contact with some current volunteers in South Africa and ask them about your concerns- they will most be able to answer whether there will be side projects that will stimulate you. Perhaps ask your recruiter if they can help you get in contact with current or past volunteers and let him/her know why, as a subtle way to express your concerns.

I took online classes while I was in PC to help keep me academically stimulated. And, towards the end of my service I used my contacts and experience to help keep me living abroad. So, that is something to think about- even if your potential post does not help you expand professionally right now, it may be helpful for your future contacts and research.

Offline samuelhgflax

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Re: I am accepted! But I am hesitant...
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 11:58:29 AM »
Thank you for your advice,
I have talked to a few SA volunteers and they said that there wasn't much contact with any of those subjects...
In addition, it seems that bringing a computer and engaging in self-study is increasingly not an option (lack of power, internet, and safekeeping in many areas)
I wholeheartedly agree with the post-service opportunities - this is something I am interested in - but everyday I realize more and more how long two years is without those established mediums of interest...
If anyone else has recommendations, I would greatly appreciate to hear them!

Offline Steve S

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Re: I am accepted! But I am hesitant...
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2015, 05:21:19 PM »
Your concerns such as two years service are worth thinking about. My experience is that you should not underestimate  two factors or overestimate your ability to independently follow your current interests or be "cut off" in South Africa. You will gain a comparative international case and an immersive experience that may challange some of your assumptions about your current areas of concern?

Offline Jenny

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Re: I am accepted! But I am hesitant...
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2015, 06:27:42 PM »
I might have missed it, but did you already accept the invite?

I know you said you were accepted, but did you accept back?

If you have not accepted the invite yet I don't see a problem with voicing your concerns with your placement officer. I voiced some concerns to  my placement officer because I was not sure about working in economic development given I have no experience in that area, was hoping for an education/tefl/youth services position, and was not sure how I would continue in the education/youth services field upon returning home after two years in economic development. He was great and understood my hesitation and we just waited until something else came along in the education field.

So if you have not accepted the invite yet; don't accept it until you can voice your concerns. If you have accepted it, I still don't think it would hurt to let your placement officer or someone know your concerns, but you might have to wait a while or withdraw and reapply and explain on your next application what happened this time around.


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Re: I am accepted! But I am hesitant...
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 06:00:20 AM »
I agree with Jenny...2 years is a long time to do something that you know is not what you really want. Ask for a specific skill-set placement. It may mean you have to wait a bit, but in the long run, you'll be much better off and infinitely happier.

Offline shawn

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Re: I am accepted! But I am hesitant...
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2015, 09:36:29 PM »
I've always been of the mindset that it's possible for any PCV from any background to be intellectually and professionally stimulated at pretty much any post. It might take more effort in some over others...

That said, I think it warrants a conversation with your Placement Officer. There's really no harm in voicing your concerns and openly talking about the possibilities. Might you be able to serve to great success in South Africa? I say Yes.

But you don't want to be that person who gets there having just accepted their fate like a prison sentence and is miserable the entire time. This isn't the 90's...

(jk about the 90's part)
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
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