English Education Volunteer

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Peace Corps domestically and internationally.

The information provided for each assignment is subject to change, including the tentative departure date.

Project Description

Moldova is a small and charming country, tucked away between Romania and Ukraine in the furthest reaches of Eastern Europe. On the map it looks like a bunch of ripe grapes, which is no coincidence: Moldova has the highest percentage of land dedicated to vineyards in the world. Moldova will surprise and intrigue you at every turn, leaving you with unforgettable memories and unique stories.

Volunteers in the English Education Project support Moldovan teachers, students and community members to strengthen their personal and professional capacities by improving English language teaching and learning, developing capacity for critical thinking, and supporting school and community-driven initiatives. This is a full-time, in-class, formal team-teaching position, requiring daily classroom instruction. Instruction is implemented with a partner teacher and complies with the English teaching curriculum requirements of the Moldovan Ministry of Education, Culture and Research. Individuals serving as English Education Volunteers team-teach with local teachers and implement a range of approaches to English language instruction, including using a communicative approach and content-based courses in English in primary, middle and high schools, to students of ages 9 to 18 (i.e., grades 2 to 12). They develop lesson plans together with their Moldovan English-teaching colleagues, enhance each other’s creativity, using individual strengths to complement each other, and learn how to share accountability for the quality of their team-taught lessons. The Volunteer’s formal teaching schedule is from Monday to Friday.

In addition to classroom teaching, Volunteers participate in professional growth activities, organize and involve English teachers in Teacher Communities of Practice (potentially including workshops, online webinars, formal and informal sharing of learning experiences), share resources, develop teaching materials with local teachers and become involved in school and community-based projects. Volunteers organize and run English clubs, create and organize English language libraries, and undertake and implement a variety of other extra-curricular activities such as debate clubs, health and environmental awareness activities, as well as provide assistance to schools in the use of computers to supplement instruction. In summer, when school is not in session, Volunteers continue with their extra-curricular and community activities, providing youth and community members with opportunities to gain new skills through activities like local summer camps and courses for adults.

Peace Corps Moldova Volunteers promote gender equity and girls’ education and empowerment through their activities. Volunteers in this program receive in-depth training on incorporating methods of gender analysis into education, community assessment, and development efforts. Volunteers are encouraged to find culturally appropriate ways to incorporate gender equity into their work and projects.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English.

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will also demonstrate one or more of the following:
• A strong desire to teach English and readiness to learn foreign language acquisition methodology
• Experience working with youth
• Classroom TEFL or foreign language teaching experience or literacy tutoring
• TESOL/TEFL certificate

Strong preference is given to candidates with at least 30 hours of English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with primary, middle, or high school students or adults.

Required Language Skills

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

This position requires no language background as a prerequisite to service. Experience with romance languages is, however, beneficial for learning Romanian, the primary language that Volunteers are required to learn during Pre Service Training. While Volunteers co-plan and co-teach English education classes in English, they work closely with professional partners and other community members with limited or no English skills. Trainees must demonstrate, at a minimum, an oral proficiency of Intermediate Low in Romanian at the end of the 11-week Pre-Service Training period. They are also expected to further develop their language proficiency throughout their service.

A limited number of Volunteers may be placed in communities where Russian is the primary language. Those in this situation receive training in Russian language in addition to, rather than instead of, Romanian language instruction. Trainees selected for these sites must demonstrate Intermediate Low proficiency in Romanian language and Novice High oral proficiency in Russian Language at the end of the 11-week training period and continue to develop this ability throughout their service. Priority for placement in Russian-speaking communities is given to applicants with some background in Russian language. Those not selected to serve in this environment are expected to develop Romanian language proficiency, as described above.

Living Conditions

Housing:
Host family accommodations provide a safe private room, food, access to laundry, land-line telephone, access to transportation and sometimes internet (for an additional fee). Host family stays are required during the 11-week Pre-Service Training period and at least six months in site after training. A majority of Volunteers live with a host family for the full duration of their service but they may also seek private accommodations after the required six-month period, if alternate lodging arrangements are available. Regardless of housing options, Volunteers usually form close relationships with their host families.

Travel and Communication:
Some Volunteers are placed in sites where transportation is limited, or may not run regularly. They may also be a significant distance from other Volunteers and/or the Peace Corps office in Chisinau.

Volunteers are required to come to Moldova with a laptop. It will be used during PST as well as to prepare for daily work during service. High-speed Internet connectivity is now available in an increasing number of communities, in some cases where there is no gas or running water. Even though the internet is generally available in all communities, access may be limited due to irregular power supply.

Professional Appearance:
Moldovan cultural expectations around professionalism include business casual attire and emphasize a neat appearance. Long hair, untrimmed beards and mustaches as well as earrings for men are not common in Moldovan culture. Visible tattoos and facial piercings are also not accepted, regardless of gender. Additionally, Volunteers with certain hair styles (dreadlocks, hair dyed bright colors, and shaved heads for women) may receive unwanted attention and curious questions regarding their appearance.

Climate:
The climate in Moldova has four distinct seasons. Winter lasts from November to March, is usually quite cold, and is characterized by heavy snowfall. High temperatures during the summer (sometimes above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) can also be challenging, given the lack of air conditioning in most buildings.

Diversity:
Peace Corps is challenging regardless of where you serve, and in some way or another Volunteers will be a minority. Volunteers who are of an American racial, ethnic, or national minority or whose religious or spiritual beliefs differ from the Moldovan majority may find they experience a high degree of curiosity or unwanted attention. Please be aware that American concepts of politeness and appropriate behavior are not universal. Ethnically, nationally, or racially diverse Americans may be asked where they are “actually from” or if they are “really” American. Host families and counterparts are generally very accepting of all Volunteers despite limited exposure to American diversity. Additionally, many Volunteers have been able to turn these encounters into learning experiences, in which they can share American values and deepen local community members’ understanding of Americans. Pre-Service Training will address intercultural communication as well as diversity and inclusion to support successful integration for all Volunteers. We encourage you to access the Moldova section of the Peace Corps website for more information regarding diversity and inclusion.

Social Security Administration:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it shall not continue Social Security payments to recipients who live in certain countries where Peace Corps serves (including Moldova) except under very specific procedures that require them to appear personally before a US Consular Officer every six months and fill out special SSA paperwork. Peace Corps Moldova has found practical ways to help individual Volunteers who are SSA recipients to fulfill the SSA’s in-person visits and form requirements. However, due to the fact that SSA requirements can change, Peace Corps cannot absolutely guarantee that the current process will continue indefinitely.

Serving in Moldova

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Moldova: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Peace Corps Moldova cannot accommodate couples who work in the same sector or an English Education Volunteer and Health Education Volunteer pairing.

If one member of a couple applies for the position of English Education Volunteer, the other member can only be considered for the Community Development Facilitator position.

Members of couples are separated for the duration of the 11-week Pre-Service Training period, living in separate host family households and attending training in neighboring villages. While they must work in different sectors, couples serve in the same community after their training period. Once the couple moves to their assigned site, they are required to live with a host family for at least six months but must be prepared to stay with a host family for the duration of their service, given the significantly limited availability of appropriate alternative housing for couples. Volunteers serving as a couple should be flexible and are expected to conform to local living standards.

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.


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