English Education and Youth Development Volunteer

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Project Description

In August 2018, Peace Corps was invited to establish a program in Montenegro. At the request of the Government of Montenegro, the program will focus on English Education and Youth Engagement. This program will also be managed and supported primarily by Peace Corps Albania staff in Tirana, Albania. Since Peace Corps will operate in Montenegro as an extension of Peace Corps Albania Post (which has been in operation since 2003), the program is now called “Peace Corps Albania and Montenegro.”

Volunteers selected to serve in Montenegro will depart for service and train with other Volunteers who will serve in Albania. Volunteers will be initially supported by one program staff member based in Podgorica, Montenegro as well as staff based in Tirana, Albania. Medical and training support, as well as overall leadership of the Montenegro program will be provided from Tirana, Albania. Therefore, Volunteers will have to cross borders and travel to Tirana for trainings or medical appointments.

Due to this management and operational structure, Volunteers who serve in Montenegro will require a “pioneer” attitude. Volunteers in this cohort will have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help establish the foundation of the Peace Corps presence in Montenegro. Volunteers should anticipate considerable interest in and attention on their work performance and cultural integration by their Montenegrin colleagues, the Ministry of Education, and the broader public. The highest degree of professionalism will be expected.

Volunteers will mostly be assigned to primary (K-9) schools, although some may be placed in high-schools, and will co-teach with one or more Montenegrin English teacher(s). Volunteers are expected to cooperate and work alongside their teacher counterpart, whether it be for lesson planning or co-teaching in the classroom. In other words, Volunteers are expected to act as members of the teaching staff. This includes arriving to work on time, attending staff meetings, and contributing to a full teaching schedule five days per week.

Volunteers’ work will focus on improving English language skills of students and teachers, and introducing new teaching techniques for teachers. After school hours, Volunteers will cultivate other non-traditional learning events such as English clubs or other activities which promote the speaking of English. The Montenegrin school year runs from September through June with breaks around the end-of-year holidays. Volunteers must adhere to the local school calendar and its holiday schedule as it relates to their primary role. During the summer, Volunteers in Montenegro will implement summer activities in their communities such as summer camps or other student-centered events, engaging in youth development.

Patience, flexibility, and good humor will be essential, as all aspects of the program design, training, and operations will be new. During the first three months of training, Volunteers will receive instruction in Montenegrin or Albanian language and must commit to learning and practicing language skills, as language is an essential element of successful Volunteer service.

Beyond the classroom, Volunteers will work towards Peace Corps goals two and three by living and spending time in their Montenegrin community with their host family and community partners. These goals are of great significance to Peace Corps’ work in Montenegro, especially when considering the United States’ complicated role in the Balkans during the 1990s. Earning the trust of the Montenegrin people will be critical to your success as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will meet one or more of the following criteria:

• Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline
• Strong desire to teach, work with, develop, and coach youth

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL and TESL, or foreign language with six (6) months classroom teaching experience at the primary, middle, or secondary level in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL, or foreign language
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with classroom teaching experience at the primary, middle, or secondary or University level in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL and TESL, or foreign language
• Master of Arts in Teaching in English, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), English as a Second Language (ESL), Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), foreign language, or Applied Linguistics
• Master of Education with graduate or undergraduate concentration in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL, or a foreign language
• Experience with professional development for teachers or curriculum development
• Demonstrated experience in planning and organizing activities for children and young adults
• Demonstrated independence, self-initiative, flexibility, open-mindedness, and commitment to serve
• Strong sense of responsibility and desire to be an early Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Montenegro
• Ability to navigate challenging and ambiguous situations, including a willingness to fail and ability to share these failures to help the institutional learning

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Pre-Service Training (PST) will focus on language and cross-cultural adaptation. Albanian and Montenegrin are challenging languages. Your language training will focus on developing your competency as a communicator, not grammar skills. Language acquisition is difficult and will consume a substantial part of your time and energy during training. You will speak in Montenegrin or Albanian for the majority of your service. PST will give you the basis for continuing to develop your language skills during service.

Following PST, all Volunteers are required to retain a tutor for the initial six months of service.

Living Conditions

Volunteers serving in Montenegro in 2021, will be the second-ever Peace Corps Volunteers in this country. They will be part of an extension program in Montenegro, managed and primarily supported by Peace Corps Albania. Volunteers will have an increased level of responsibility beyond the already important role of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world. The selected individuals will not only be effective English teachers, but will also establish the reputation and credibility of Peace Corps. Being a founding member of Peace Corps in Montenegro will have the additional challenge of navigating greater levels of ambiguity than a Volunteer in an established program. This cohort will help Peace Corps learn what it means to be a Volunteer in Montenegro and build a stronger program. The individuals selected should have demonstrated high levels of initiative and resilience, strong communication skills, and ability to work well with various stakeholders, including community members, school faculty, and Peace Corps staff. Please note that the living conditions of Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the country are still being gathered, as the first group to serve in Montenegro are arriving in January 2020.

While Montenegro has a growing tourist economy along the coast, Volunteers will be placed in areas that border throughout Montenegro, in under-served communities with the greatest need. Volunteer worksites are likely to be off the main roads in small communities (as few as 500 residents or up to 5,000 residents) with access to fewer resources than coastal cities or the capital. Transportation options in and out of your community may be limited and therefore it may not be easy to travel from community to community. Volunteers will be expected to walk or take public transportation (where available) to their assigned workplace. Moreover, Volunteers may live up to 45-50 minutes from their assigned work place, and therefore, should plan appropriately to arrive at their worksite in a timely manner. All communities will meet Peace Corps safety and security requirements.

Volunteers in Montenegro will live with host families for a minimum of six months and potentially for their entire 27-month service. Living arrangements will be in in modest living quarters. While Volunteers will have their own room, they will have less privacy than what they are used to due to societal norms for communal activities. Kitchen facilities and bathrooms will be shared with host families. Communities in Montenegro are often conservative and close-knit. Housing will depend entirely on local availability and it will vary from Volunteer to Volunteer. Electricity and running water may not be consistently available and internet access may not be available at all. However, as with all communities selected for Volunteers, all housing will meet Peace Corps safety and security requirements.

Similar to many other countries in the Balkans and in many parts of Europe, cigarette-smoking (indoors and outdoors) is very common in Montenegro. Also, due to the cold weather during winter, there can be heavy amounts of smoke from coal-burning and woodstoves, to keep warm. In addition, it is common for local citizens to burn their trash outside which may also affect the air quality.

As an agency, Peace Corps is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for staff and Volunteers. In their local communities, Volunteers should anticipate attention and curiosity about their visible and non-visible diversities. Peace Corps has experience in working with diverse Volunteers in the Balkans, and staff in Albania and Montenegro will be working with you to understand how this will affect you in Montenegro.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Montenegro by reviewing our information on Albania: Get details on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

Does this sound like the position for you?
Get started on your journey.

Apply Now

Related Openings

View All

Read More

Read More

Read More

Read More

What Happens Next?

View Volunteer FAQs
The types of work Volunteers do are ultimately determined by the needs of host countries and the potential of a Volunteer to contribute to these needs and to the Peace Corps’ mission.
Learn about the application process
The most significant accomplishment will be the contribution you make to improve the lives of others. There are also tangible benefits, during and after service of joining in the Peace Corps.
More benefits from service
Our recruiters are here to help you! Whether you have a question about your application, requirements, or anything else, our recruiters have the answer. Chat live with them now!
Find a recruiter