Raise Students` Awareness of Cross-Cultural Peculiarities


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: Kropyvnytskyi Construction Professional College (Government)

Kropyvnytskyi Construction Professional College in Ukraine serves 640 students who are future builders, architects, and managers. 50 faculty members are devoted to providing students with high-quality education that develops open-minded thinkers and future Ukrainian leaders with strong academic, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. Their alumni see themselves as specialists not only in Ukraine, but in other countries as well and English skills are an essential reason for this. Exposure to native English speakers can provide an opportunity to improve language learning, and also bring other unique skills and knowledge.

Kropyvnytskyi Construction Professional College in Ukraine is seeking a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to support students to improve their language and critical thinking skills, while applying and understanding new virtual technologies. The college plans to organize a series of practice events for 20 students. All students are interested in improving their language and media skills through collaborating with a VSPP. One group of 20 students will meet with the VSPP every other week for 90-minute sessions.

The VSPP and their teaching partner will prepare and facilitate sessions and develop presentations. Themes for conversations may include customs and traditions, relations between children and parents, national cuisine, education, values, and national identity. The VSPP will educate students about cultural heritage by using non-political content to increase their English proficiency and digital literacy. By connecting with a VSPP, students will also improve their communicative skills and receive more opportunities to develop creativity and compare differences in cultures of the USA and Ukraine.

Kropyvnytskyi Construction Professional College has previously worked with three Peace Corps Volunteers. 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 English as Foreign Language (EFL) language skills to one group of 20 students, for 90 minutes, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Kyiv time, every other week
• Co-plan 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 classes and identify additional 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 and Google Meet 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 linguistics, history, education, journalism, or related field

Experience: 1 year of teaching experience in any field

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 linguistics, history, education, journalism, or related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Experience: 3 years of teaching experience in any field

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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