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The Peace Corps uses a competency-based approach to training. Throughout the continuum of learning that extends from Pre-Service Training to the Close of Service, PC Rwanda is here to support you. Learn more about the Peace Corps' approach to training

Pre-Service Training

Peace Corps Rwanda 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. For twelve weeks, you will live with a family, take care of your own needs, attend classes, engage in practicums, and work either independently or in small groups to accomplish tasks that will enable you to successfully serve. Rwandan and Peace Corps Volunteer 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 will 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 is busy for everyone. Often you will work over eight hours a day, five or six days a week. Be prepared for a rigorous, full schedule. The principal objectives of training are to provide a learning environment that enables you to develop your language (Kinyarwanda), technical and cultural skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to work and live in Rwanda.

You will live with a Rwandan host family who will provide you with lodging and food. They will be actively engaged in teaching you both Kinyarwanda and cultural norms and expectations. Your training will be a mixture of classroom instruction and training in the community, where you will learn by doing and then reflect on your experiences during formal sessions. You will spend time in the field, completing hands-on, practical tasks and participating in group discussions, lectures, and community visits. Most of the training staff will be Rwandan nationals.

Technical Training

Technical training will prepare you to work in Rwanda by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. Technical training involves structured sessions and practical assignments working in the community. For the Education Sector, this involves a two-week intensive model school practicum. For the Health Sector, this involves two weeks of hands-on practicum in local health centers and communities distributed over the twelve weeks of pre-service training.

Language Training

Language 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. Rwandan language instructors teach formal language classes five days a week in small groups of four to five people. 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 work on strategies to continue language studies during your service.

Intercultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion Training

As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Rwanda host family. This experience 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 pre-service training and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Rwanda. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families. Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. You will be exposed to topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, non-formal and adult education strategies, and political structures.

Intercultural competency training helps you explore your cultural values, values of Rwandan host communities, and your role as a Volunteer (both as an outsider and an insider within your host community). Training guides PCVs in considering concepts of time, power and hierarchy, gender roles, communication styles, relationships and self, and resiliency. Trainees also participate in cultural events and learn about Rwandan history and ways of life.

Diversity and Inclusion training recognizes that Peace Corps Volunteers represent all aspects of American society and enables trainees to learn about each other, to support each other through involvement in affinity and ally groups, and to reflect on how aspects of their identity profile may create opportunities, privileges, obstacles, and hardships within service.

Health Training

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 Rwanda. 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.

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.

Continuation of Learning

After pre-service training, Trainees swear-in as Peace Corps Volunteers, but the learning continuum extends throughout service. Additional learning includes language tutor services for all 2 years of service, in-service training approximately 3 months into service, mid-service training at the 1-year mark, and a close-of-service conference three months before the end of service.