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Author Topic: Ukraine, A Macedonian Invite, &"Going Anywhere" in the New Application Process  (Read 4150 times)

Offline Jenny

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 22
  • PC Status: Applicant
Hello Everyone,
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.

Offline Marion

  • Administrator
  • Forum Champion
  • Posts: 70
  • Botswana (2011-2013)
  • PC Status: RPCV
Just watching the news every night I can't imagine them sending Volunteers back to Ukraine any time soon.  The same conditions that caused them to evacuate seem to still be there. 

Congrats on your Macedonia invite.  Let us know how it goes.
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline Jenny

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 22
  • PC Status: Applicant
I agree Marion. I almost put Jordan as another option, but just today I read on aol news that they are removing Peace Corps from Jordan so I'm glad I was able to accept an invite to Macedonia.

Yes, while I was waiting to hear more about Ukraine I was watching the news from that region quite closely and wasn't sure what to think. I also had little in the way of updates from anyone in PC which is understandable as I don't think they have much information for ppl right now either. I think it is just a waiting game and it could be a long waiting game also.

Thanks for the congratulations, I'm sure I'll be around here a lot in the coming months as I get ready.

Offline Jeff

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 177
    • Doing it Twice
  • PC Status: RPCV
Jenny,

In case you didn't see it on reddit, there's a group for new MAK20's up on Facebook.

Here's the link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/329736540549102/

Congrats on the invite!
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline balkandina

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 34
  • PC Status: Applicant
I am so happy for you, Jenny. I do wish that a decision on Ukraine would be made- I am feeling so nervous about whether there will be time to apply for any other countries if it is not reopened. I did read on a FB page that the Peace Corps office in Kviv is acting as though volunteers will be coming  :) And you will LOVE Macedonia. I lived right next door and used to have to drive there every month or so to get my visa renewed before I got my Bulgarian inner work passport. Gorgeous country and friendly people.

Offline Jenny

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 22
  • PC Status: Applicant
@ Jeff: Thanks for the congratulations and the link to the FB page!
@ Dina: It was so nice talking with you through PM the past few days. I'm beginning to think all PC applicants, PCVs, or RPCVs are wonderful ppl a I've had nothing but pleasant interactions with all of them. Good luck on the Ukraine situation and please keep us all updated, as I'm sure many are curious and wondering what is going on. If you end up in Ukraine maybe we can meet in Bulgaria at some point when we have some time off and you can show me around a bit!

Offline Jeff

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  • Posts: 177
    • Doing it Twice
  • PC Status: RPCV
Jenny,

I should add, I'm a Macedonia invitee also.... :)

Look forward to seeing you in the group!
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline balkandina

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 34
  • PC Status: Applicant
Well, they did suspend the July group for Ukraine, so I have to reapply for a country that is still open. A bit disappointed, but I am going to go ahead and try again.

LittleJo

  • Guest
 :)Congrats on your successful invite! It sounds as if you had a great experience. I was a Ukraine volunteer and I loved it but you know, they can always open it up again in the future and if they do, Peace Corps Response always has openings there  so perhaps in your future...? Stay the course and do great things!