Okahoma State University Oklahoma State University

Application Tips

Essay writing seems to be what delays most would-be applicants from completing their applications. Below are guides to writing essays that will not only strengthen your application, but also facilitate its completion in a timely manner.

  1. Cross-Cultural Adaptation

    The ability to adapt cross-culturally is vital to a Peace Corps Volunteer’s success, and the essay that you write will help us to evaluate your adaptability. The key to this essay is demonstrating how you adapted in one cross-cultural situation. Some applicants make the mistake of writing about all of the places to which they have gone and visited to show that they have been in other cultures. This, though, does not necessarily demonstrate adaptability. Following is a set of questions that will act as an outline for your essay:

    1. What was the situation – where were you, when, and how was it cross-cultural? (This does not have to be in another country. There are multiple cultures here in the USA.)
    2. What cross-cultural difference/s did you encounter to which you adapted? Was there a problem or difficulty that you faced, be it external or internal, due to the cross-cultural difference/s?
    3. How did you adapt or modify your behavior or attitude in regard to the cross-cultural difference/s?
    4. What was the result of your adaptation?
    5. What did you learn about yourself from the situation and how do you think it is relevant to Peace Corps service?
  2. Motivation Statement

    Your motivation to join Peace Corps is incredibly important. First, Peace Corps is a 27 month commitment: if the going gets tough, what is going to keep you going? Second, Peace Corps is not a vacation; it is not for those who only wish to “hang out” and travel on the government dime. Although Peace Corps provides opportunities to travel and see amazing sites and cultural activities and encourages you to make friends and have a rich social life, it also expects you to work in your host community. Everyone has their individual motives for wanting to live and work in another culture; the questions below will help you to articulate yours.

    1. Why do you want to join Peace Corps?
    2. What past experiences have given you this motivation?
    3. What do you expect to gain from Peace Corps service?
    4. How do you see this fitting into your life or career plans/goals?

Remember to proofread your essays carefully before submitting them, correcting grammatical or spelling errors.