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 integration into the community, trainees live with a host family during training. Training covers technical, linguistic, cross-cultural, health, and safety and security topics.
- Technical training involves formal sessions and practical assignments working in the community.
- Language training incorporates formal lessons (five days a week in small groups) and a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will have assignments in the community and with your host family. The goal is to establish basic social communication skills, with a plan to practice and further develop your language skills. You will be tested on language proficiency during service.
- Cross-cultural and community development training will help you understand your cultural values, those held in-country, and your role as a development facilitator. Training will cover 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 mentality.
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 strategies for coping with unwanted attention, how to identify safety risks in-country, and about Peace Corps’ emergency response and support systems.
Additional training during Volunteer service include in-service training after one to three months at your site, mid-service training, and close-of-service conference.
Pre-Service TrainingDuring pre-service training (PST) there will be several opportunities for trainees to assess their own learning needs and take responsibility for addressing them. Peace Corps/Nepal’s PST is 11 weeks long and covers language and culture, safety and security, health, and technical topics. The skills acquired through these training activities will serve as the foundation of the Peace Corps Volunteer experience in Nepal. Immediately upon arrival in Kathmandu, trainees will undergo prioritized orientation sessions. After these sessions, trainee groups will travel to their training sites where they will live with host families for the duration of PST. The PST training staff known as language and cultural facilitators (LCFs) and technical and cultural facilitators (TCFs) will live in the training sites as well. The LCFs are responsible for helping trainees with language and cross-cultural skills and provide support in completing self-directed cross-cultural and community assignments. The TCFs share their technical expertise and support trainees in completing technical assignments and identifying technical resources in the area. Throughout PST, trainees study the Nepali language—in both basic spoken language and technical language. Cross-cultural training will focus on successfully building a rewarding life in Nepal. Formal training will be held six days per week. This weekly schedule follows the Nepali government’s work schedule, which is six days a week with Saturdays off.
Technical TrainingThe main objective of the technical training component is to familiarize you with the issues that you will be attempting to address and provide you with skills to address them. While this may be challenging, it will help you better prepare for any difficult or ambiguous situations that you may later encounter at your workplace.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance, help you integrate into your community, and can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. Therefore, language training is at the heart of the training program. You must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer. Nepali 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.
Nepali language training is also integrated in the health, culture, and technical components of PST.
The host family experience provides a unique context for cross-cultural learning, and is designed to ease your transition to life at your site. Families 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 Nepal. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families. As with language, cross-cultural training is also integrated with the other topics of health, safety, and technical 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 Nepal. Nutrition, mental health, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.
Safety and Security Training
During the safety and security training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces your risks at home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention, how to identify safety risks in-country and about Peace Corps’ emergency response and support systems. During training, you will be expected to demonstrate your skills in dealing with a variety of safety-related issues.