Difference between pages "Training in Vanuatu" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Ukraine"

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{{FAQs by country}}
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===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Ukraine? ===
| align="center" | '''<big>Country Resources</big>'''
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*[[Packing lists by country]]
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*[[Training by country]] 
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*[[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles by country]]
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*[[Health care and safety by country]]
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*[[Diversity and cross-cultural issues by country]]
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*[[FAQs by country]]
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*[[History of the Peace Corps by country]] 
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|}
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Pre-service training provides trainees with 10 weeks of intense, entry-level language, cultural, technical, development, and personal security and health skills to function effectively as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Vanuatu.  Training emphasizes building interpersonal skills and self-confidence, identifying and using local resources, and teaching relevant skills to host country counterparts. It will be the first “reality test” of life as a Volunteer, which will help you make an informed commitment when you are sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
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===Technical Training ===
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Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits.  The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.
  
Technical training will prepare you to work in Vanuatu by building on the skills you already have and by helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of your community and the country. The Peace Corps staff, Vanuatu experts, and current Volunteers conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.  
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Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.  
  
Technical training includes sessions on the general economic and political environment in Vanuatu and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Vanuatu agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.  
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===What is the electric current in Ukraine? ===
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[[Image:Voltage b.jpg|thumb|right|Ukrainian adaptor]]
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[[Image:800px-Odessa Ukraine 5170.jpg|thumb|right200px|Ukrainian outlet]]
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The current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Plugs and sockets are of the European two-pin type. If you bring 110-volt appliances, be sure to bring the appropriate transformers and adapters, which are not always easily available in Ukraine. Since hair dryers, cassette recorders, irons, clocks, etc. are available here (some of which can be switched between 220 and 110 volts), you may want to leave your American appliances at home. However, the prices of name-brand items are generally higher than in the United States because of customs and import taxes. Electricity is sometimes rationed, so it is a good idea to bring items that can also run on batteries if necessary.
  
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===How much money should I bring? ===
  
===Language Training ===
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. You will be given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which is designed to cover your expenses. However, with inflation and the dropping dollar, many Volunteers in larger communities find it difficult to live within the Peace Corps Living Allowance.  An increase to the living allowance was just approved, and currently Peace Corps is seeking additional monies with the new fiscal year.  Often Volunteers bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.
  
The national language of Vanuatu is Bislama; this is the language you will learn during pre-service training. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance, they help you integrate into your community, and they can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. Therefore, language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer. Vanuatu language instructors teach formal language classes five days a week in small groups of four to five people.
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ===
  
Your language training incorporates 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 that 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.  
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During the 24-month service, the Volunteer accrues a total of 48 days of vacation time, two days per month of service (excluding training).  The Volunteer may use vacation days retroactively (in other words, if a Volunteer wants to take a 14-day vacation, he/she does not need to wait 7 months to accumulate these vacation days). However, leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work.  Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.
  
Although Bislama is the national language, there are many other local languages throughout Vanuatu. Although you will not be taught local languages during pre-service training, you are encouraged to learn the local language of your community during your service.
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
  
===Cross-Cultural Training ===
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase such insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.
  
The culture of Vanuatu is diverse and fascinating. As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Ni-Vanuatu host family. This experience will 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 Vanuatu. 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, informal and adult education strategies, and political structures.
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===Do I need an international driver’s license? ===
  
===Health Training ===
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Volunteers in Ukraine do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking.
  
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You are expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Trainees must attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Vanuatu. Nutrition, mental health, safety and security, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.
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===What should I bring as gifts to Ukraine? ===
  
===Safety Training ===
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Gifts for Ukrainian friends and your host family is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient.  Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; decals and stickers; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.
  
During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces your risks at home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.
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===After training where will my site assignment be? ===
  
   
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Midway through pre-service training, you will have a site placement interview (SPI) with Peace Corps Ukraine staff. You will have  an opportunity to talk about your preferences and what you would like in a site.  However, keep in mind that many factors influence the site assignment process and that the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be.  Volunteers' sites range from villages with less than a thousand inhabitants to regional capitals with over a million people.  The language that you are trained in will heavily influence the region of the country you are sent to--trainees who learn Russian tend to go to Crimea and the eastern regions, while trainees who learn Ukrainian go to the western regions and generally to smaller towns.  These are generalizations, however.  Formerly, trainees were told of their sites halfway through training.  But currently, trainees do not find out their site until swearing-in retreat.
  
===Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service ===
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===How can my family contact me in an emergency? ===
  
In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides Volunteers with continual opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills. During service, there are usually three training events. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
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The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2420 or 2419.
  
* In-service training (IST): Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their technical, language, and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three to six months.
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===Can I call home from Ukraine? ===
* Midterm conference (done in conjunction with technical sector in-service): Helps Volunteers review their first year, reassess their personal and project objectives, and plan for their second year of service.
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* Close of service (COS) conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and reviews their respective projects and personal experiences.
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The number, length, and design of these trainings are adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.  
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Ukraine has good telephone connections with the United States, although service is most consistent from the capital and other large cities. Because international calls are very expensive, most Volunteers call home collect, establish a time to receive a call from home, or use international calling cards.  Cards from companies like AT&T, MCI, and Sprint can be used in Ukraine via an international operator. In some of the larger cities, it is possible to buy calling cards to use to call home from Ukraine.  Also, some Ukrainian cellular phone companies offer affordable rates to call the United States.
  
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me? ===
  
[[Category:Vanuatu]]
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Ukraine has cellular phone service, and Peace Corps staff members are equipped with cellphones for emergencies.  Nearly all Volunteers in Ukraine have cell phones.  Differences in technology make most U.S. cellphones incompatible with Ukrainian systems, but Tri-band phones should work in Ukraine.  You will need to have your cell phone company unlock your phone in the US, and while in Ukraine, you should purchase a local sim card.  Cellphones are available for purchase virtually everywhere, even in villages.  Having a cellphone is both useful for safety reasons (especially when in remote areas) and also to keep in touch with fellow Volunteers, site colleagues, and Peace Corps staff while away from your site.
[[Category:Training|Vanuatu]]
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===Will there be Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
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Most Volunteers in Ukraine have access to e-mail, though access is not as consistent or fast as in the United States.  Depending on where you live and work, you will be able to access e-mail at a local Internet cafe, at your place of work, from home (if you have a computer), or at the nearest regional center. Volunteers generally find the Internet to be the fastest and most affordable way to communicate with friends and family in the United States.
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It is recommended by PCVs serving in Ukraine that you do bring a laptop (PC, not Mac) as many materials provided to you by PC Ukraine are on CD rather than paper. Volunteers are responsible for insuring and maintaining their laptop computers. The Peace Corps will not replace stolen computers and strongly encourages those who bring them to get personal property insurance.
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[[Category:Ukraine]]

Latest revision as of 11:54, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Ukraine?[edit]

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits. The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.

What is the electric current in Ukraine?[edit]

File:Voltage b.jpg
Ukrainian adaptor

The current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Plugs and sockets are of the European two-pin type. If you bring 110-volt appliances, be sure to bring the appropriate transformers and adapters, which are not always easily available in Ukraine. Since hair dryers, cassette recorders, irons, clocks, etc. are available here (some of which can be switched between 220 and 110 volts), you may want to leave your American appliances at home. However, the prices of name-brand items are generally higher than in the United States because of customs and import taxes. Electricity is sometimes rationed, so it is a good idea to bring items that can also run on batteries if necessary.

How much money should I bring?[edit]

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. You will be given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which is designed to cover your expenses. However, with inflation and the dropping dollar, many Volunteers in larger communities find it difficult to live within the Peace Corps Living Allowance. An increase to the living allowance was just approved, and currently Peace Corps is seeking additional monies with the new fiscal year. Often Volunteers bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?[edit]

During the 24-month service, the Volunteer accrues a total of 48 days of vacation time, two days per month of service (excluding training). The Volunteer may use vacation days retroactively (in other words, if a Volunteer wants to take a 14-day vacation, he/she does not need to wait 7 months to accumulate these vacation days). However, leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?[edit]

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase such insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.

Do I need an international driver’s license?[edit]

Volunteers in Ukraine do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking.

What should I bring as gifts to Ukraine?[edit]

Gifts for Ukrainian friends and your host family is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; decals and stickers; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.

After training where will my site assignment be?[edit]

Midway through pre-service training, you will have a site placement interview (SPI) with Peace Corps Ukraine staff. You will have an opportunity to talk about your preferences and what you would like in a site. However, keep in mind that many factors influence the site assignment process and that the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Volunteers' sites range from villages with less than a thousand inhabitants to regional capitals with over a million people. The language that you are trained in will heavily influence the region of the country you are sent to--trainees who learn Russian tend to go to Crimea and the eastern regions, while trainees who learn Ukrainian go to the western regions and generally to smaller towns. These are generalizations, however. Formerly, trainees were told of their sites halfway through training. But currently, trainees do not find out their site until swearing-in retreat.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?[edit]

The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2420 or 2419.

Can I call home from Ukraine?[edit]

Ukraine has good telephone connections with the United States, although service is most consistent from the capital and other large cities. Because international calls are very expensive, most Volunteers call home collect, establish a time to receive a call from home, or use international calling cards. Cards from companies like AT&T, MCI, and Sprint can be used in Ukraine via an international operator. In some of the larger cities, it is possible to buy calling cards to use to call home from Ukraine. Also, some Ukrainian cellular phone companies offer affordable rates to call the United States.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?[edit]

Ukraine has cellular phone service, and Peace Corps staff members are equipped with cellphones for emergencies. Nearly all Volunteers in Ukraine have cell phones. Differences in technology make most U.S. cellphones incompatible with Ukrainian systems, but Tri-band phones should work in Ukraine. You will need to have your cell phone company unlock your phone in the US, and while in Ukraine, you should purchase a local sim card. Cellphones are available for purchase virtually everywhere, even in villages. Having a cellphone is both useful for safety reasons (especially when in remote areas) and also to keep in touch with fellow Volunteers, site colleagues, and Peace Corps staff while away from your site.

Will there be Internet access? Should I bring my computer?[edit]

Most Volunteers in Ukraine have access to e-mail, though access is not as consistent or fast as in the United States. Depending on where you live and work, you will be able to access e-mail at a local Internet cafe, at your place of work, from home (if you have a computer), or at the nearest regional center. Volunteers generally find the Internet to be the fastest and most affordable way to communicate with friends and family in the United States.

It is recommended by PCVs serving in Ukraine that you do bring a laptop (PC, not Mac) as many materials provided to you by PC Ukraine are on CD rather than paper. Volunteers are responsible for insuring and maintaining their laptop computers. The Peace Corps will not replace stolen computers and strongly encourages those who bring them to get personal property insurance.