The Peace Corps uses a competency-based training approach throughout the continuum of learning, supporting you from arrival in-country to your departure. Learn more about the Peace Corps' approach to training.
- Pre-service training in-country is conducted by Peace Corps staff, most of whom are locally hired trainers. To foster appropriate and effective integration into the community, trainees typically live with a host family during training. Training covers technical, linguistic, intercultural competence, diversity and inclusion, health, and safety and security topics.
- Technical training involves structured sessions and practical assignments working in the community.
- Language training typically involves classroom lessons five days a week in small groups. In addition to classroom lessons, you will also do speaking practice assignments with your host family or in the community. For Volunteers who do not have previous experience with the local language, the goal for pre-service training is to learn basic survival communication skills while intentionally building your intercultural competence. During pre-service training, you will be given guidance and training on independent language learning skills and strategies and your language proficiency will be tested at the end of pre-service training to assess your readiness to serve. After pre-service training, you will continue to study language independently throughout service so that you can develop sufficient language proficiency to serve effectively. Language proficiency will be tested at other points during service.
- Intercultural and community development training will help you explore your cultural values, those of your host community, and your role as a Volunteer. Training will guide you in considering concepts of time, power and hierarchy, gender roles, communication styles, relationships and self, and resiliency. You will also participate in cultural events and learn about local history and way of life.
You will be trained in health prevention, basic first aid, and treatment of medical illnesses found in-country. During the safety and security training sessions, you will learn how to reduce risks at home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn various strategies for coping with unwanted attention, how to identify safety risks in-country, and about Peace Corps’ emergency response and support systems.
Additional trainings during Volunteer service include in-service training after one to three months at your site, mid-service training, and close-of-service conference. You will be with your Volunteer cohort for these trainings and attention will be paid to helping you also explore and honor the diversity of US Americans within your group throughout service.
Pre-Service TrainingThe Peace Corps employs a community-based model during pre-service training. It is based on adult learning methods that emphasize individual responsibility for developing the competencies to function independently as a Volunteer. You will live with a family, take care of your own needs, and work either independently or in small groups to accomplish tasks that build your skill levels. Georgian facilitators will help you learn the necessary language and intercultural communication skills to accomplish your living and work tasks. You cannot be sworn-in to Peace Corps service until you have clearly demonstrated the attributes and skills necessary to meet the needs of your assignment. You can monitor and demonstrate your own progress through self-evaluation, consistent feedback from staff and facilitators, and participation in daily activities. Your success in this learning period requires full participation and, for some, a measure of sacrifice in terms of time and personal comfort. Investment of effort during this time will be well worth the rewards of satisfaction and well-being you will experience as a Volunteer.
Training For Peace Corps Response Volunteers
PCRVs go through 10 days of intensive pre-service training
immediately upon arrival and before departing to site. The training is
conducted by Peace Corps Staff at Peace Corps office, and during this period
the PCRVs stay at a hotel near the training venue.
Peace Corps Response Training covers the following main components: programmatic, technical, health, safety, language and culture.
The goal of the 10-day training is to help PCRVs prepare for an effective start of their assignment. Since PCRVs come with respective technical skills, the technical portion of the training mostly covers sessions that are relevant to the Role of a Volunteer in Development, and the realities of the Georgian education system and organizations. PCRVs also participate in sessions on Peace Corps policies and procedures, and administrative and financial aspects of Peace Corps Response Volunteer Service. PCRV training also includes the same safety and health content as that of two-year Volunteers. Due to the short duration of PCRV training, the hours and content are condensed to fit the available time.
Approximately 30 hours of the training is devoted to language and culture. It is very important that PCRVs continue their language learning throughout their service, as the 10-day intensive training is sufficient to provide only very basic language skills. The Response Program primarily works with organizations where at least one member has some English skills; however, for more effective service and better community integration continued language learning is very important.
Technical TrainingTechnical training will prepare you to work in Georgia by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, Georgian experts, and current Volunteers will conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer. Technical training will include sessions on the general economic and political environment in Georgia and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your project’s goals and objectives and will meet with the Georgian agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities, report your progress, and serve as a productive member of your community. As a part of the technical training, you will attend formal sessions and engage in practical assignments, including the community projects and organizing training programs for the IOD track, and team teaching with your PST school counterparts during practice school and organizing summer camps for the English Education track. You will also have an opportunity to visit current Volunteers in their sites to learn more about real-life experiences, promising practices, and solutions to challenges that they face.
Language TrainingLanguage proficiency is at the heart of successful Peace Corps service and effective language skills are essential to your personal and professional satisfaction. Language proficiency is critical not only to your job performance, but also helps you integrate into your community, can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings, and supports your personal safety. As a result, language training is central to the training program and closely tied to intercultural competence, diversity and inclusion training.
Georgian language instructors usually teach formal language classes five days a week in small groups. Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so you can practice and develop language skills further once you are at your site. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will develop strategies to continue studying language during your service. Volunteers are encouraged to continue developing their communication skills in Georgian and other languages common in their communities.
Peace Corps Georgia encourages ongoing language learning and employs a regular course of language proficiency interviews (LPIs) to design and facilitate appropriate strategies for improving Volunteer language skills. LPIs take place several points during training and service. There are mid-LPIs conducted in the fifth to sixth week of the training and final LPIs at the end of PST. Volunteers who do not reach the minimum LPI requirement by the end of PST are required to identify a tutor and develop a language improvement plan in consultation with staff and to continue tutoring until they reach the minimum LPI requirement for service. There are two mandatory LPIs during PCV service: at mid-service training after one year and at close of service.
Intercultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion Training
Cross-cultural training will provide opportunities for you to reflect on your own cultural values and how they influence your behavior in Georgia. You will also discuss the questions you have about the behaviors and practices you observe in Georgia, exploring the underlying reasons for these behaviors and practices. Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. Training will cover topics such as the concept of time, power and hierarchy, gender roles, communication styles, and the concept of self and relationships. Because adjusting to a new culture can be very challenging, you will participate in resiliency training which provides a framework and tools to help with adjustment issues. The host family experience provides a unique and essential context for cross-cultural learning, and is designed to ease your transition to life at your site. Families are carefully selected and go through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of PST and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Georgia. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families. You will participate in sessions about different topics that will be useful for your cultural adjustment and community integration. You will also understand more about Georgia’s history and Georgian mentality. Through discussions with Peace Corps staff, your host family, and new Georgian friends, you will gain insight into the things Georgians feel nostalgic about and try to retain versus the things they would like to change. Also you will be given opportunity to participate in some wonderful cultural events such as visits to historical and cultural places and Georgian cooking and dance lessons.
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You will be expected to practice preventive health care and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Trainees are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Georgia. Nutrition, mental health, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also covered. It will be important to be open and remain culturally sensitive as you undergo health training and suspend judgement as to not project your cultural beliefs and values.