Saturday, July 24, 2010

Peace Corps in Ukraine!

Last Friday evening, I received a phone call on my local Chinese cell phone from my Peace Corps placement officer. We are 12 hours ahead of Atlanta and EST here, so I listed my availability from 8-12 (pm for me, am for EST). He called me right at 8pm on the dot and asked if it was a convenient time for us to talk. He said that he had evaluated my file, and he had a few more questions for me.

I should have prepared more for this phone call, for essential the questions turned into a phone interview. My PO (placement officer) started out by asking me questions about why I wanted to join the Peace Corps, how I've been preparing for the Peace Corps service over the past few months, and what kind of English tutoring or teaching experience have I had. Since I was nominated for teaching English as a foreign language, there was a requirement for a minimum amount of teaching experience. My PO mentioned that since I was nominated for Eastern Europe, was I prepared to handle extremely cold winters and psychological challenges such as dealing with stress, being in another culture, and perhaps facing racism or prejudice for being an outsider and a minority.

After I answered all of the PO's questions, he congratulated me and told me that he was confident in my qualifications and would be officially inviting me to become a Peace Corps Volunteer! He sent the Invitation documents by UPS to my parents in California, and they just received it yesterday (1 week later). My little sister, Celina, showed me the documents over Skype video chat which was pretty fun and probably the most efficient way to tell me about it.

I've been officially invited to serve teaching English in a secondary school in Ukraine, departing September 24th for staging then training in Ukraine for 3 months. My official service will be from December 17, 2010 to December 17, 2012. I now have 7 days to accept or decline the Invitation via email. Thank goodness I don't have to fax or mail anything in for that, I have no idea how to fax in China and I doubt the mail is reliable here.

I'm really excited about being placed in Ukraine, its one of the bigger countries in Eastern Europe and possibly the easiest to pronounce. All the countries that end with -stan, like Krgyzstan and Uzbekistan are more fun to pronounce. I spent most of yesterday morning reading up on Peace Corps in Ukraine on the PC Wiki page at


Crystal said...

Hi Jing,

You should check out the "Future Peace Corps Volunteer" group on Facebook. I believe there's even a group specifically for Ukraine nominees! My invite is in the mail and I should be receiving it this week.

Congratulations on your upcoming adventure!


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