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US Peace Corps

Status: ACTIVE
Staging: 23 April 2014

American Overseas Staff (FY2010): FP 04 (Fearey, Seth, G., $ 67,486), FP 03 (Thompson, Gregory, J, $ 93,740), FP 01 (Kuric, Claudia, $ 130,656), FP 04 (Brownfeld, Burke, S, $ 67,486)

Latest Early Termination Rates (FOIA 11-058):

(2008 57 %),  (2007 52 %),  (2006 53 %), 2005 56 %

Peace Corps Journals - Kyrgyzstan Feedicon.gif

Peace Corps Welcome Book

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country Director:

Claudia Kuric


Sustainable Economic Development

Program Dates:

1993 - Present

Current Volunteers:


Total Volunteers:


Languages Spoken:

Kyrgyz, Russian


Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg

The Peace Corps began its program in Kyrgyz Republic in 1993. The program was suspended following the events of September 11, 2001 and re-opened in 2002.


Peace Corps History

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan

Since the first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in the Kyrgyz Republic in 1993, more than 450 Americans have served in the country. Volunteers have taught English, led sustainable community development projects and built the capacity of organizations throughout the country. As of 2007 a health promotion program has begun. This program has had limited success as host country staff and volunteers are still trying to work out site development problems. The Peace Corps’ programs respond to requests from the government of the Kyrgyz Republic to assist with increasing the level of English competency among its students and teachers and to help communities and civil society organizations develop sustainable community development projects.

Fifty-three dedicated Volunteers were serving in small communities throughout the Kyrgyz Republic when they were evacuated as a precautionary measure following the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Prior to returning Volunteers to the Kyrgyz Republic, the Peace Corps conducted a thorough safety and security review. Part of this work included reviewing the impact of the coalition military base at Manas Airport outside of the capital, Bishkek. The Kyrgyz people and government were very supportive of the Peace Corps, and three Volunteers returned in March 2002 to reopen the program. Today, there are more than 100 Volunteers serving in communities throughout the republic.

Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles

Main article: Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Kyrgyzstan

Peace Corps/Kyrgyz Republic assigns Volunteers to the sites with the greatest need and to schools and organizations that demonstrate potential for making the best use of Volunteers’ skills. Peace Corps/Kyrgyz Republic has a mandatory three-month homestay policy and asks the sponsoring agency to provide the Volunteer with adequate, safe housing, which is paid for by the Peace Corps. The housing varies from site to site and is typically with a family or within a family’s compound.

The housing will have simple basic furniture such as a bed, a table and chairs, a wardrobe or bureau for clothing, and access to a stove. Basic appliances such as refridgerators and temp controlled ovens are almost non existent among rural families. If pcvs require such items they may have to purchase them out of their own pockets. The Peace Corps will provide you with a water filter or distiller. In addition, because winters in the Kyrgyz Republic are cold and many heating systems are inadequate, the Peace Corps will also provide you with an electric heater. Still, you will probably need long underwear and will definitely need a warm sleeping bag, as electricity is not always reliable.

You need to be very flexible in your housing expectations, as there is no guarantee that there will be an indoor toilet or that running water or electricity will be available continuously at your assigned site.


Main article: Training in Kyrgyzstan

Training is an essential part of Peace Corps service. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to live and work effectively in the Kyrgyz Republic. You will receive training and orientation in language, cross-cultural communication, area studies, health and personal safety and security, and technical skills relevant to your specific assignment. The skills you learn will serve as a foundation upon which you will build your experience as a Volunteer in the Kyrgyz Republic. You will study either Kyrgyz or Russian, based on the language used most at your future site.

For your first two days in-country, you will stay at a training facility in Bishkek, after which you will move to the permanent training site located approximately half an hour outside of the capital. Once there, you will live with a host family in a rural village or small town with a few other trainees. While you and your fellow trainees will meet as a group, you will also have a chance to experience Kyrgyz customs on your own with your host family and on technical field trips. These experiences will help bring to life the topics covered in training and will give you the chance to practice your new language skills and directly observe and participate in Kyrgyz culture.

Your Health Care and Safety

Main article: Health Care and Safety in Kyrgyzstan

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in the Kyrgyz Republic maintains a clinic with two full-time medical officers who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available locally. 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

Main article: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Kyrgyzstan

In the Kyrgyz Republic, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, 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 the Kyrgyz Republic.

Outside of Bishkek, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is viewed as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. Members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.

Frequently Asked questions

Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan

Packing List

Main article: Packing List for Kyrgyzstan

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in the Kyrgyz Republic and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each Volunteer’s 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 a 100-pound weight limit on baggage. The most important things to bring are yourself, a sense of humor, and a sense of adventure!

Dress is very important in the Kyrgyz Republic. The popular image of a Peace Corps Volunteer in sandals and a T-shirt with a university logo is not appropriate in this country (nor is military-style clothing or accessories). Fair or not, people are judged by the way they dress in the Kyrgyz Republic, more so than in the United States. Your colleagues will dress as professionals and for you to do otherwise will be considered disrespectful. If you come to work inappropriately dressed, your colleagues, students, and others in the community will probably not say anything to you directly but may talk unfavorably about you to others. Following the lead of your co-workers will help you gain acceptance and respect in your community. This does not mean that you need to spend a lot of money on new clothing. Rather, be selective in what you bring, and consider buying some of your professional clothing in Bishkek. The quality and style may not be equal to that found in American brands, but they are the same clothes your local colleagues will be wearing.

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See also

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