Georgia

Georgia flag

Training

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

  • The cornerstone training experience for Volunteers is their pre-service training.
  • Volunteers serving in our two-year projects receive a 12-week pre-service training (PST) in a community outside the capital where you live with host families.
  • Volunteers serving in our shorter-term Response project receive an initial 3-week PST in the capital city of Tbilisi.
  • PST is conducted by Peace Corps staff, most of whom are locally hired trainers.
  • In addition to PST, the Peace Corps also provides hybrid and online learning sessions before you come to country, during your pre-service training, and periodically during your service.
  • Additional trainings for Volunteers participating in our two-year projects include in-service training after one to three months at your site, mid-service training, and a close-of-service conference. These trainings will be held with your training cohort and will include opportunities to explore and honor the diversity of US Americans within your group.

You will be trained in health prevention, basic first aid, and treatment of medical illnesses found in-country. During 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.

Pre-Service Training for Two-Year Volunteers

The Peace Corps employs a community-based model during pre-service training (PST) for Volunteers serving in our two-year projects. Training 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 host 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 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 demonstrated the attributes and skills necessary to meet the needs of your assignment and maintain your personal health and safety during your service. You can monitor and demonstrate your own progress through self-evaluation, feedback from staff, and participation in daily activities. Your success during this learning period requires full participation and 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. 

Technical Training

Technical 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. Peace Corps staff, Georgian experts, and current Volunteers will facilitate your training. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer 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 in these environments. You will review your project’s goals and objectives and meet with Georgian agencies and organizations that invited 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 technical training, you will attend formal sessions and engage in practical assignments. For Individual and Organizational Development (IOD) Volunteers, these include organizing community projects and training programs in pre-service training communities. For English and Youth Education (EYE) Volunteers, these include team teaching with Georgian counterpart teachers during practice school and organizing summer camps youth. 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 Training

Communication is at the heart of successful Peace Corps service and the ability to communicate in the local language is crucial to your personal and professional satisfaction. Language proficiency is important for your job performance, but also helps you integrate into your community, can ease your adaptation to new surroundings, and enhances 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 to small groups of trainees. 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 at several points during training and service. There are LPIs conducted in the fifth to sixth week of PST and final LPIs at the end of PST. Volunteers unable to reach the minimum LPI requirement for service by the end of PST are required to identify a tutor and develop a language improvement plan in consultation with staff and continue tutoring until they reach the LPI requirement. There are two mandatory LPIs during PCV service: one during mid-service training after one year and a final LPI conducted near the close of service.

Intercultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion Training

Inter-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 questions you have about behaviors and practices you observe in Georgia, exploring the underlying reasons for these behaviors and practices. Inter-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 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 inter-cultural learning and is designed to ease your transition to life at your permanent 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 culture. 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.

Health Training

During PST, 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 is important to be open to these lessons, remain culturally sensitive as you undergo health training, and suspend judgement as to not project your cultural beliefs and values.

Safety and Security Training

During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to reduce your risks at home, at work, and during your travels by building your awareness and indirectly practicing culturally competent communications skills. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.

Pre-Service Training for Peace Corps Response Volunteers 

Response Volunteers are provided a three-week intensive pre-service training (PST) immediately upon arrival in Georgia. The training is conducted by Peace Corps Staff at the Peace Corps office. During this training the Response Volunteers 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 training is to help Response Volunteers prepare for an effective start of their assignment. Since Response Volunteers are recruited for the technical skills required by their assignments, the technical portion of training covers sessions that are relevant to the Role of a Volunteer in Development, and realities of working in Georgian organizations and education institutions. Response Volunteers also participate in sessions on Peace Corps policies and procedures, and administrative and financial aspects of their Volunteer Service. Response Volunteer training also includes the safety and health content provided to two-year Volunteers. Due to the short duration of Response Volunteer training, the training content is packaged to fit the available time. 

Approximately 30 hours of the training is devoted to language and culture. It is very important that Response Volunteers continue their language learning throughout their service, as the three-week intensive training is sufficient to provide only very basic language skills. The Response project in Georgia 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.