Dear Concetta

I’m 22 years old, I graduated from university  with a degree in pr &  mass communication. I speak English & Spanish.  I’m an American citizen but I was born, raised and live currently in Venezuela.  What kind of chance do I stand with joining the Peace Corps because I can’t find anyone close enough to talk to about this experience

Thanx 4 ur help

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for your question.  The short answer is that it is difficult to apply from abroad but not impossible.  Back when I was a recruiter, the New York Regional office was charged with handling overseas applications but I am not sure if that is still the case.  Heck, when I was a recruiter you couldn’t even apply online- so it’s been a while.  The largest challenges typically come when it is time to get your physical.  Doing an interview took a bit of planning, but wasn’t impossible because we could do phone interviews.  My first bit of advice for you would be to snoop around on the Peace Corps website: to see if you can find a link for US citizens applying from overseas.

My second bit of advice for you might sound a bit harsh, but I am a firm believer in “tough love” correspondence.  If you go back to your original question that you submitted and compare this to what I published you’ll find that I had to edit your submission quite a bit. You have this enormous gift to give to the Peace Corps (or anywhere else for that matter) and that is your ability to-already prior to training- conduct your life in 2 different languages.  This is a HUGE asset.  If you do decide to pursue the Peace Corps and I hope you will- you need to make sure that your application is correct with spelling, grammar and syntax.  Proofread, use spell check and- my personal favorite- get another native English speaker to read it over for you.

The irony of this advice is that I am currently typing this message from Italy and I have been reminded-acutely and painfully-in recent days how horrible Americans can be when it comes to embracing another language.  So while I completely concede that we in the US are some of the laziest communicators in the world (expecting everyone else to speak English and traipsing around countries where the folks are too polite and oblige us) ; the fact remains that having an application chock full of errors (for whatever reason) can hinder your chances of getting in.

Buena Suerte and keep me posted.