Enhance Cross-Cultural Awareness of High School Students


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: Romny Lyceum #1 named after Petro Kalnyshevsky (Government)

Romny Lyceum #1 in Ukraine focuses on foreign language learning for students, ages 6 -17. The main goals are to develop leadership, tolerance, and a sense of responsibility and respect for others. Teachers encourage creativity, critical thinking, as well as interest in learning cultures of English-speaking countries.

Students are highly interested in mastering English communication skills and participating in various extra-school activities including international projects and to enhance their cross-cultural knowledge. Therefore, the school is seeking a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to engage with students through cross-cultural and English language sessions. A group of 20 students will focus on learning American culture during weekly 1-hour sessions with the VSPP. The VSPP and their partner will prepare and facilitate sessions, along with developing interactive informative resources.

Romny Lyceum #1 has previously worked with Peace Corps Volunteers in 2012 and 2017. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-teach weekly 1-hour English sessions to a group of 20 students by using information about English-speaking countries, primarily the U.S. The group will meet at 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Kyiv time
• Co-develop session plans and curriculum
• Co-develop and adapt teaching resources with Ukrainian counterpart on American culture (sport, youth life, cuisine, healthcare, mass media, social network sites, art and culture, education, etc.)
• Co-analyze results of conducted classes and identify priority learning objectives

This engagement is expected to be approximately 16 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Ukraine time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, and Telegram for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in humanities, linguistics, social studies, education, or teaching

Experience: 1 year of teaching experience

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in education, TEFL, or related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Experience: High school teaching experience

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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