Sep 22

Peace Corps for Couples Part 3: Placement and Assessment

by in How To's & Lessons Learned, Peace Corps

Check out all of our posts on the Peace Corps application process

Image Taken from Peace Corps Facebook Fanpage

Image Taken from Peace Corps Facebook Fanpage

After a prolonged period of radio silence, that followed the rush of sending in all of our forms we finally moved on. The forms were simple fingerprint and signature forms, but traveling through South America at the time makes it a bit more difficult. My mother sent in 1 finger print card and we printed off a scanned copy of the last form to sign and mail it to the Washington DC office. We later received notification that they needed both copies, this was a mix up on my end for not communicating everything with my mother. Also, they informed us that we could not send a signed copy of the original form and must instead sign the original – which was in Ohio and we were in Brazil.

Magically “we” signed the forms and had them sent in to the PC Washington office along with our fingerprints only to not here anything back from them until our email from the Peace Corps Placement and Assessment Specialist. We had 7 days to respond to the following questions:

  1. Throughout the application process, has your original motivation for service changed or remained the same?
  2. How does your family/friends feel about service?  How do you feel you will cope with the separation from family/friends?
  3. Have you spoken to returned Volunteers who have served as a couple?  What did you learn?
  4. What do you think will be the most difficult challenge of Peace Corps service as a couple?
  5. How do you each feel you would react to prescribed gender roles and traditional couple roles?  Working and living in a male-dominated culture, e.g., men are given more respect than women in the workplace, more freedom of movement throughout the community, the ability to go to tea or coffee houses, etc.  This gender inequity can create frustration or even resentment between partners.
  6. Undoubtedly, at different stages of the Peace Corps experience, one of you is going to be more successful than the other—in learning the language, in getting your secondary projects started, or in assimilating in your community, for example.  How have you dealt with differing level of success in the past? How have you supported each other when one is doing well and the other is struggling?
  7. List the top 3 challenges that you expect to encounter as a PCV and discuss how you plan to deal with each.  (Typical challenges include traditional gender roles, working in an unstructured setting, doing without amenities (limited internet, lack of running water, intermittent electricity)


Along with these questions, the email included our nomination for North Africa and Asia beginning January 2014. The email also listed an inquiry as to any change of address or email address as well as any legal incidents that may have occurred since our original application was submitted.

Check out all of our posts on the Peace Corps application process

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