Difference between pages "Cambodia" and "China"

From Peace Corps Wiki
(Difference between pages)
Jump to: navigation, search
 
 
Line 1: Line 1:
 
  
Cambodia has a long, rich and complex history. Cambodians are proud of their culture and their ancient past, but at the same time they are still recovering from the tragedies of their more recent history. The near-total destruction by the Khmer Rouge of the nation’s educated workforce and infrastructure during the period 1975–1979 left Cambodia with a serious need for trained and educated people. Most Cambodians are eager to improve their lives and they view acquiring English language skills as a means to help accomplish this goal.  
+
<center><div style="border-right: 1px solid white; border-bottom: 1px solid white; background: yellow none repeat scroll 0% 0%; text-align: center; margin-right: 1em; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; font-size: 100%;"><div style="border: 1px solid rgb(170, 170, 170);"><div style="border-top: 1px solid white; border-left: 1px solid white;">
 +
Please check out: [[Volunteers Supporting Volunteers]] (VSV)for up-to-date information on PC China, VSV pages were composed and are edited by volunteers currently serving in China. The VSV pages serve to complement the information below but the information is often more candid.  
  
Although the Peace Corps and the Royal Government of Cambodia signed an agreement in 1994, political instability and budgetary constraints did not allow Peace Corps to establish a post in Cambodia until 2006. An assessment completed by the Peace Corps in 2005 found that the administrative and security infrastructure in Cambodia was sound, and that the opportunities for Volunteers to work safely and effectively had improved significantly. While Cambodia’s development needs are great, and much of the country’s infrastructure is still lacking, there are enough supports in place to ensure safe and productive assignments for Peace Corps Volunteers.
+
Volunteers Supporting Volunteers (VSV) is a group of China PCVs who make themselves available to speak confidentially with volunteers who may be feeling stress with their assignment, relationships, or daily living in China. If you are a current volunteer or have been invited to volunteer in China, feel free to contact them any questions or concerns (pcchina.vsv at gmail.com).  
 +
*[[Volunteers_Supporting_Volunteers#For_Invitees]]
 +
*[[Volunteers_Supporting_Volunteers#Cultural_Differences_and_a_Diverse_Corps]]
 +
*[[Anecdotes_from_China_PCVs]]
 +
*[[FAQS_from_the_China_Volunteer_Perspective]]
 +
</div></div></div></center>
  
Peace Corps is launching its program in Cambodia with a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) project. This project is geared toward classroom teaching of English at the upper secondary level. It will also support teachers in Cambodian provinces and districts to improve their English language and English teaching skills. The first group of TEFL Volunteers will arrive in Phnom Penh in February 2007. The scope of the Volunteers’ work, however, will not be limited to classroom teaching. Volunteers will collaborate with community groups and individuals to develop community-initiated projects, promote life skills, and achieve sustainable community activities, enhancing the quality of life for Cambodians in the communities where Volunteers serve.
 
  
{{Volunteersurvey2008
+
'''China''' has a long, rich and complex history. Chinese people are proud of their culture and their ancient past and, at the same time, moving forward in a rapidly changing environment. With a population of 1.3 billion people, China is home to nearly 20% of the world's population. Through the Peace Corps, Volunteers are able to live and work in China, learn Mandarin -- the world's most spoken language -- and experience the intricacies and nuances of the culture.
|H1r=  1
+
 
|H1s=  84.8
+
Countrywide, China has a shortage of 500,000 English teachers. In 1993 the first group of eighteen Peace Corps Volunteers were sent at the request of the Chinese government. Volunteers participating in the pilot project taught English at the university level. English education continues to be a top priority for the universities in China.
|H2r=  1
+
 
|H2s=  94.3
+
Currently 114 Volunteers are teaching English in more than 62 universities, including five medical colleges and four vocational colleges. Peace Corps Volunteers are known as "U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers" to their students and colleagues. Volunteers teach English at colleges and universities within four regions of Western China: Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, and Chongqing.
|H3r=  1
+
 
|H3s=  96
+
Common classes assigned to Volunteers include: Oral English, Listening Comprehension, Reading, Writing, Western Culture, Literature, and Linguistics. Secondary projects instigated by Volunteers include English resource centers, radio shows, movie nights, sports clubs, and women's clubs. Volunteers have created a website where they are able to exchange teaching ideas, lesson plans and methods.
|H4r=  6
+
 
|H4s=  115
+
China is a place full of vitality and opportunity. U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers have a unique opportunity to be part of this vitality and transformation.
|H5r=  3
+
 
|H5s=  63
+
|H6r=  19
+
|H6s=  92
+
}}
+
  
 
==Peace Corps History==
 
==Peace Corps History==
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Cambodia]]''
+
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in China]]''
  
The Royal Government of Cambodia first invited the Peace Corps to open a program in Cambodia in November 1992. An assessment team was sent the following year, which resulted in a country agreement being signed on October 3, 1994. However, the political situation was found to be too unstable for Volunteers to be sent at that time. A second assessment team visited in 1996 and, although an improvement in the political and safety situation was noted, these concerns and budget constraints resulted in a decision not to establish a presence in Cambodia. In 2004, the Ministry of Education again expressed an interest in the Peace Corps establishing a program and in 2005, officials of the Royal Government of Cambodia concurred. This time the assessment team found the administrative and security infrastructure to be sound and the opportunities for Peace Corps Volunteers to work safely and effectively had improved significantly.
+
In March 1988, the Chinese foreign minister and then-Secretary of State George Shultz agreed in principle to place Peace Corps Volunteers in China. A year later, an exchange of letters signed by the U.S. ambassador and the secretary general of the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) and the Peace Corps opened the way to establish a Peace Corps post in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.
 +
 
 +
In June 1989, the first group of trainees for Peace Corps/ China began training in the United States. However, following the Tiananmen Square incident, the training was canceled; the China program was temporarily suspended and the trainees were offered assignments in other countries.
 +
 
 +
The first group of 18 Peace Corps Volunteers to be sent to China arrived for their training in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in June 1993. Following training in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), Chinese language, and cross-cultural issues, the 18 trainees swore-in as Volunteers in August 1993. They were posted to Sichuan Province, which at that time also included what later became the separate political entity known as the municipality of Chongqing. This group was viewed by the Chinese as a two-year experiment to determine whether Peace Corps was appropriate for China. Those Volunteers completed their service and returned to the United States on schedule in the summer of 1995. The Peace Corps country agreement was not signed until June 29, 1998.  
  
  
 
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
 
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
  
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Cambodia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in China]]''
  
Peace Corps/Cambodia Volunteers will live with host families throughout their service. Since most high schools are at the district level, most education Volunteers live in provincial and district towns. Health centers are located at the commune or village level, so health education Volunteers will be in smaller towns. In the district towns, some homes have electricity and indoor plumbing, including toilets and cold water showers. Electricity is not available at every site. Drinking water must be boiled,filtered, or purchased. Other basic amenities such as soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, lotion, stationery, sodas, and instant coffee should be available in provincial or district centers.  
+
Volunteer sites in China are located from within Chengdu, where the Peace Corps office is located, to up to 1,200 kilometers (744 miles) away in Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, and Gansu provinces. Many Volunteers live alone or with a spouse on the campus of the college/university to which they are assigned, and the school provides apartment housing. All sites have hot water heaters for showering. However, in the winter, there is an occasional water shortage when water may not be available for hours at a time. Electricity and internet access are fairly constant, but power failures do occur, especially in winter. Apartments in Gansu have heating to deal with the cold winters, but apartments in other provinces typically do not. Volunteers live in local faculty housing or in apartments. These residences have a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and sometimes a study.
  
 +
Follow this link to find a wiki work in progress with travel advice for PCVs in China. [http://pctravelchina.wikispaces.com/]
 +
 +
[[Volunteers Supporting Volunteers]] is a peer to peer support group for volunteers in China.
 +
 +
For more information on volunteer work and working conditions, go to [[Professional Peer Support]].
  
 
==Training==
 
==Training==
  
''Main article: [[Training in Cambodia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Training in China]]''
  
Peace Corps/Cambodia’s training program is community-based and will prepare you to live and work safely and productively at your site for the first three to six months. In this training model, four or five trainees will live and study in villages located near a central hub site in a larger town. Most language, cross-cultural and technical sessions and activities will occur in the training village. Throughout pre-service training, you will occasionally go to the hub site, where you will study with the larger group for one or two days. You will live with a Cambodian host family in your training village, which will help you learn about and adjust to Khmer culture and practice your Khmer language skills. You will also take part in various cultural activities and excursions, as well as visit your future permanent site.
+
Your first weeks in-country will be an intense period of transition. It may be your first time outside of the United States. Regardless of your background and experience, you will be making a leap of faith and putting yourself in the hands of several individuals whose job is to prepare you for Peace Corps service. During pre-service training, all trainees live with host families. Many individuals find this experience to be the best part of their training. Host families provide invaluable lessons in cross-cultural and language areas that Peace Corps staff cannot begin to teach. Some Volunteers remain close to their host families throughout their service and spend some Chinese holidays and vacations with them.
  
==Health Care and Safety==
+
Pre-service training is designed to provide you with the tools necessary to operate independently and effectively as a Peace Corps Volunteer in China. You will participate in a structured learning situation that is community based. You will be required to attend all training sessions, learn and demonstrate proficiency in the language, and observe cultural mores. Your progress will be assessed by others, but you will also be asked to take responsibility for your own learning and to gradually decrease your reliance on the Peace Corps training and office staff. You will be encouraged to assess your own progress as well as your commitment to serving in Peace Corps/China for the next two years.
  
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Cambodia]]''
+
Pre-service training in China lasts for two months and typically includes about four hours a day of intensive Mandarin language classes Monday-Saturday as well as TEFL and cultural classes. Trainees live with host families close to one of three universities in Chengdu, Sichuan: Sichuan University (四川大学), Sichuan Normal University (四川师范大学), and Chengdu University (成都大学). Trainees are expected to spend most evenings and weekends with their host families. Trainees with previous experience with the Chinese language are placed in more advanced language classes together, but the vast majority of trainees have no previous experience with the language before coming to China. Similarly, trainees with previous teaching experience are often grouped together for more advanced TEFL sessions.
  
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Cambodia maintains a clinic with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary health care needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Cambodia at local hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to an American-standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.
 
  
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
+
==Health Care and Safety==
  
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Cambodia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in China]]''
  
In fulfilling its mandate to share the face of America with host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
+
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. Peace Corps/China maintains a clinic with full-time medical staff who take care of Volunteers' primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in China at local hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to a medical facility in the region or to the United States.
  
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In Cambodia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Cambodia.
 
  
Outside of Cambodia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Cambodia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.
+
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in China]]''
 +
 
 +
In China, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in China. You may be advised to avoid discussion of topics with your students.
 +
Outside of China’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of China are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. Peace Corps China has launched a Peer to Peer network -- [[Volunteers Supporting Volunteers]] -- to support volunteers currently serving in China and serve as a resource for incoming invitees. One of the goals of VSV is to support volunteers who may have difficulty, or just a different experience, because of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religious background, and disability or limited access.
  
To ease the transition and adapt to life in Cambodia, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limitations. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
+
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 +
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 +
* Possible Religious Issues
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities
  
 
==Frequently Asked Questions==
 
==Frequently Asked Questions==
  
Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Cambodia]]
+
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 +
|H1r=  8
 +
|H1s=  78.3
 +
|H2r=  13
 +
|H2s=  87.5
 +
|H3r=  5
 +
|H3s=  90
 +
|H4r=  47
 +
|H4s=  103
 +
|H5r=  52
 +
|H5s=  46.5
 +
|H6r=  11
 +
|H6s=  97
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in China]]''
  
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Cambodia?
+
* How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to China?
* What is the electric current in Cambodia?
+
* What is the electric current in China?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
+
* What should I bring as gifts for China friends and my host family?
* What should I bring as gifts for Cambodian friends and my host family?
+
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?  
+
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  
  
== '''Packing List''' ==
 
  
''Main article: [[Packing list for Cambodia]]''
+
==Packing List==
  
There are very few important items that you cannot find in the markets of Phnom Penh. The things that are really hard to find are often things that are commonly available (like clothes and shoes), but that are only available in small sizes that will fit Cambodian people.
+
''Main article: [[Packing list for China]]''
 +
 
 +
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in China and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in China.
 +
 
 +
[[Volunteers Supporting Volunteers]], a confidential peer to peer support network for volunteers in China, has also compiled answers to common questions about serving in China, what to expect, and what to bring.
  
 
==Peace Corps News==
 
==Peace Corps News==
Line 85: Line 119:
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
  
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22cambodia%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
+
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22china%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
  
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/cb/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
+
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/ch/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
  
 
==Country Fund==
 
==Country Fund==
  
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=303-CFD Cambodia Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Cambodia. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
+
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=366-CFD China Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in China. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
 
+
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[Volunteers who served in Cambodia]]
+
* [[Volunteers who served in China]]
 +
* [[List of resources for China]]
 +
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 +
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 +
* [[2008 Sichuan Earthquake]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/cb.html Peace Corps Journals - Cambodia]
+
* [http://www.peacecorpschina.org/ Peace Corps China - Online Resource Site]
 +
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/ch.html Peace Corps Journals - China]
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Sichuan_earthquake Sichuan Earthquake at Wikipedia]
 +
* [http://www.travelchinaguide.com/ Travel China Guide]
 +
* [http://www.chinatour360.com/ China Tour 360]
  
[[Category:Cambodia]] [[Category:Asia]]
+
[[Category:China]] [[Category:Asia]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 
[[Category:Country]]

Latest revision as of 11:45, 22 May 2014

Please check out: Volunteers Supporting Volunteers (VSV)for up-to-date information on PC China, VSV pages were composed and are edited by volunteers currently serving in China. The VSV pages serve to complement the information below but the information is often more candid.

Volunteers Supporting Volunteers (VSV) is a group of China PCVs who make themselves available to speak confidentially with volunteers who may be feeling stress with their assignment, relationships, or daily living in China. If you are a current volunteer or have been invited to volunteer in China, feel free to contact them any questions or concerns (pcchina.vsv at gmail.com).


China has a long, rich and complex history. Chinese people are proud of their culture and their ancient past and, at the same time, moving forward in a rapidly changing environment. With a population of 1.3 billion people, China is home to nearly 20% of the world's population. Through the Peace Corps, Volunteers are able to live and work in China, learn Mandarin -- the world's most spoken language -- and experience the intricacies and nuances of the culture.

Countrywide, China has a shortage of 500,000 English teachers. In 1993 the first group of eighteen Peace Corps Volunteers were sent at the request of the Chinese government. Volunteers participating in the pilot project taught English at the university level. English education continues to be a top priority for the universities in China.

Currently 114 Volunteers are teaching English in more than 62 universities, including five medical colleges and four vocational colleges. Peace Corps Volunteers are known as "U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers" to their students and colleagues. Volunteers teach English at colleges and universities within four regions of Western China: Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, and Chongqing.

Common classes assigned to Volunteers include: Oral English, Listening Comprehension, Reading, Writing, Western Culture, Literature, and Linguistics. Secondary projects instigated by Volunteers include English resource centers, radio shows, movie nights, sports clubs, and women's clubs. Volunteers have created a website where they are able to exchange teaching ideas, lesson plans and methods.

China is a place full of vitality and opportunity. U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers have a unique opportunity to be part of this vitality and transformation.


Peace Corps History[edit]

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in China

In March 1988, the Chinese foreign minister and then-Secretary of State George Shultz agreed in principle to place Peace Corps Volunteers in China. A year later, an exchange of letters signed by the U.S. ambassador and the secretary general of the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) and the Peace Corps opened the way to establish a Peace Corps post in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.

In June 1989, the first group of trainees for Peace Corps/ China began training in the United States. However, following the Tiananmen Square incident, the training was canceled; the China program was temporarily suspended and the trainees were offered assignments in other countries.

The first group of 18 Peace Corps Volunteers to be sent to China arrived for their training in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in June 1993. Following training in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), Chinese language, and cross-cultural issues, the 18 trainees swore-in as Volunteers in August 1993. They were posted to Sichuan Province, which at that time also included what later became the separate political entity known as the municipality of Chongqing. This group was viewed by the Chinese as a two-year experiment to determine whether Peace Corps was appropriate for China. Those Volunteers completed their service and returned to the United States on schedule in the summer of 1995. The Peace Corps country agreement was not signed until June 29, 1998.


Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle[edit]

Main article: Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in China

Volunteer sites in China are located from within Chengdu, where the Peace Corps office is located, to up to 1,200 kilometers (744 miles) away in Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, and Gansu provinces. Many Volunteers live alone or with a spouse on the campus of the college/university to which they are assigned, and the school provides apartment housing. All sites have hot water heaters for showering. However, in the winter, there is an occasional water shortage when water may not be available for hours at a time. Electricity and internet access are fairly constant, but power failures do occur, especially in winter. Apartments in Gansu have heating to deal with the cold winters, but apartments in other provinces typically do not. Volunteers live in local faculty housing or in apartments. These residences have a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and sometimes a study.

Follow this link to find a wiki work in progress with travel advice for PCVs in China. [1]

Volunteers Supporting Volunteers is a peer to peer support group for volunteers in China.

For more information on volunteer work and working conditions, go to Professional Peer Support.

Training[edit]

Main article: Training in China

Your first weeks in-country will be an intense period of transition. It may be your first time outside of the United States. Regardless of your background and experience, you will be making a leap of faith and putting yourself in the hands of several individuals whose job is to prepare you for Peace Corps service. During pre-service training, all trainees live with host families. Many individuals find this experience to be the best part of their training. Host families provide invaluable lessons in cross-cultural and language areas that Peace Corps staff cannot begin to teach. Some Volunteers remain close to their host families throughout their service and spend some Chinese holidays and vacations with them.

Pre-service training is designed to provide you with the tools necessary to operate independently and effectively as a Peace Corps Volunteer in China. You will participate in a structured learning situation that is community based. You will be required to attend all training sessions, learn and demonstrate proficiency in the language, and observe cultural mores. Your progress will be assessed by others, but you will also be asked to take responsibility for your own learning and to gradually decrease your reliance on the Peace Corps training and office staff. You will be encouraged to assess your own progress as well as your commitment to serving in Peace Corps/China for the next two years.

Pre-service training in China lasts for two months and typically includes about four hours a day of intensive Mandarin language classes Monday-Saturday as well as TEFL and cultural classes. Trainees live with host families close to one of three universities in Chengdu, Sichuan: Sichuan University (四川大学), Sichuan Normal University (四川师范大学), and Chengdu University (成都大学). Trainees are expected to spend most evenings and weekends with their host families. Trainees with previous experience with the Chinese language are placed in more advanced language classes together, but the vast majority of trainees have no previous experience with the language before coming to China. Similarly, trainees with previous teaching experience are often grouped together for more advanced TEFL sessions.


Health Care and Safety[edit]

Main article: Health care and safety in China

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. Peace Corps/China maintains a clinic with full-time medical staff who take care of Volunteers' primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in China at local hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to a medical facility in the region or to the United States.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues[edit]

Main article: Diversity and cross-cultural issues in China

In China, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in China. You may be advised to avoid discussion of topics with your students. Outside of China’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of China are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. Peace Corps China has launched a Peer to Peer network -- Volunteers Supporting Volunteers -- to support volunteers currently serving in China and serve as a resource for incoming invitees. One of the goals of VSV is to support volunteers who may have difficulty, or just a different experience, because of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religious background, and disability or limited access.

  • Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
  • Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  • Possible Religious Issues
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities

Frequently Asked Questions[edit]

China
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::8|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::78.3|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::13|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::87.5|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::5|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::90|}}
Do you intend to complete your Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H4r::47|}}
Score:
2008 H4s::103|}}
How well do your Peace Corps experiences match the expectations you had before you became a Volunteer?|}} Rank:
2008 H5r::52|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::46.5|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::11|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::97|}}
2008BVS::China


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in China

  • How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to China?
  • What is the electric current in China?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • What should I bring as gifts for China friends and my host family?
  • Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?


Packing List[edit]

Main article: Packing list for China

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in China and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in China.

Volunteers Supporting Volunteers, a confidential peer to peer support network for volunteers in China, has also compiled answers to common questions about serving in China, what to expect, and what to bring.

Peace Corps News[edit]

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
<rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22china%22&output=rss%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cdate=M d</rss>


PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Monday July 14, 2014 )<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/ch/blog/50.xml%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cmax=10</rss>

Country Fund[edit]

Contributions to the China Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in China. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]