I thought I’d take a few minutes to fill you guys in on my process with the new application system since it is new and there are a lot of questions about it. Obviously this is only my experience and it might vary greatly for someone else.
I applied Jan 1st, 2015. On my country selection form I chose Go Anywhere as my first option, Morocco as my second option, and Ukraine as my third option. However truth be told I did not care where I went, I just filled it out kind of randomly, I was more concerned with getting into an education position or youth development as that is where the bulk of my experiences so far is and what I’d ideally like to continue when I get back.
I received an email saying I was under consideration for Ukraine leaving in July 2015 and I set up an interview. I thought the interview went well (although I guess most ppl think their interviews go well…), I am an AmeriCorps State National Alum and an AmeriCorps NCCC Alum, and my interviewer/placement officer was also an AmeriCorps NCCC alum also so it made for what I thought was a great interview.
At the end of the interview I was told that the program in Ukraine was waiting on the go ahead from the State Department and that invites would not go out until Mid Feb. This was Mid-Jan, and I thought to myself…’no problem.’ And while I waited I got myself all excited about Ukraine reading blogs and whatever I could find.
End of Feb rolled around and I still hadn’t heard anything and I was wondering if maybe I had been rejected. So I emailed my placement officer inquiring as to whether rejection notices went out with invites and if neither had gone out yet when I could expect more info.
He called me later and told me that they are still waiting on the green light from the State Department for Ukraine and it could be as early as March 15th, but it could take much longer to know for sure also. He then asked me if I was interested in other countries. Since I had put Go Anywhere as an option this allowed some flexibility on both my part and their part, I said I was interested because I was starting to worry about not having enough time to get medical and legal stuff done by July if I did not know until March or later.
A few days later I got a call from him asking if I wanted to go to Timor Leste. I was so excited to have an opportunity and I almost said yes right away but it turns out the opening was for a Community Economic Development program which is something I have little experience in, and not something I thought I could do for two years if my goal is to stay in the education/youth services field when I returned to America at the end of my program. I expressed my concerns and he said he understood, and said he would keep his eyes open for other possibilities.
The next day I got a call from him asking if I would like to serve in a TEFL position in Armenia. I said yes and he said he would have the placement officer get a hold of me later in the afternoon. So I spent the morning reading up on Armenia and getting excited about that.
Then I got a call from the lady in charge of placement for Armenia and Macedonia and she said that after looking at my resume she thought I’d be better suited for a TEFL program in Macedonia and asked if I wanted the position. I told her that was fine. She asked if I had any questions about the country which I had to laugh because the previous 48 hours in my head I had gone from Ukraine to Timor Leste to Armenia to Macedonia so I hadn’t even had time to think of questions. She laughed with me, thanked me for being flexible and a half hour later I had an invite in my inbox which I happily accepted.
I did not have to reapply or interview again, I was able to just be shuffled on over. No one seemed to be upset by me asking more questions about Ukraine or expressing an interest to get started on my medical and legal paperwork and now I am going to Macedonia in September 2015!
So for those still waiting to hear about Ukraine; it sounds like it is still a possibility but it could potentially be delayed or it could start on time. Good luck to all of you who are still waiting in that boat. However if you are worried about medical and legal clearance or have other concerns about a potential delay letting your placement officer know your concerns can be helpful.
Hope this helps anyone still wondering about Ukraine as I myself was really starting to worry about it and was unable to find much information anywhere.
TL;DR: Interviewed Jan for Ukraine, accepted an invite to Macedonia recently, if you put Go Anywhere as an option on your application it seems like you might not have to withdraw/reapply/re-interview if things do not work out. Last I heard Ukraine program is still kinda up in the air, but more info should be available soon.
Again all this is just my experience.