Pre-Departure Checklist

The following list consists of suggestions for you to consider as you prepare to live outside the United States for two years. Not all items will be relevant to everyone and the list does not include everything you should make arrangements for.


  • Notify family that they can call the Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services at any time if there is a critical illness or death of a family member (telephone number: 1.800.424.8580, extension 1470 or 202.692.1470).
  • Give the Peace Corps’ On the Home Front handbook to family and friends.


  • Forward to the Peace Corps travel office all paperwork for the Peace Corps passport and visas.
  • Verify that luggage meets the size and weight limits for international travel.
  • Obtain a personal passport if you plan to travel after your service ends. (Your Peace Corps passport will expire three months after you finish your service, so if you plan to travel longer after your service, you will need a regular passport.)


  • Complete any needed dental and medical work.
  • If you wear glasses, bring two pairs.
  • Arrange to bring a three-month supply of all medications (including birth control pills) you are currently taking.


  • Make arrangements to maintain life insurance coverage.
  • Arrange to maintain supplemental health coverage while away. (Even though the Peace Corps is responsible for your health care during Peace Corps service overseas, it is advisable for people who have preexisting conditions to arrange for the continuation of their supplemental health coverage. Many times, if there is a lapse in supplemental health coverage it is difficult and expensive to be reinstated for insurance. This is especially true when insurance companies know you have predictable expenses and are in an upper age bracket.)
  • Arrange to continue Medicare coverage if applicable.

Personal Papers

  • Bring a copy of your certificate of marriage or divorce.


  • Register to vote in the state of your home of record. (Many state universities consider voting and payment of state taxes as evidence of residence in that state.)
  • Obtain a voter registration card and take it with you overseas.
  • Arrange to have an absentee ballot forwarded to you overseas.

Personal Effects

  • Purchase personal property insurance for the time you leave your home for service overseas until the time you complete your service and return to the United States.

Financial Management

  • Obtain student loan deferment forms from the lender or loan service.
  • Execute a Power of Attorney for the management of your property and business.
  • Arrange for deductions from your readjustment allowance to pay alimony, child support, and other debts through the Office of Volunteer Financial Operations at 1.800.424.8580, extension 1770.
  • Place all-important papers—mortgages, deeds, stocks, and bonds—in a safe deposit box or with an attorney or other caretaker.

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