Difference between pages "FAQs about Peace Corps in Morocco" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Mongolia"

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==How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Morocco? ==
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==How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Mongolia? ==
  
Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this allowance.  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 authorized baggage 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 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 70 pounds for any one bag.  
+
Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this allowance.  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 authorized baggage 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 102 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 70 pounds for any one bag.  Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/ permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.  
  
Peace Corps Volunteers are not permitted to take pets, weapons, explosives, mace, radio transmitters, automobiles, motorcycles, or motor scooters to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, or aerosol containers.  
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Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters, 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 Morocco? ==
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==What is the electric current? ==
  
If you have electricity and it works, the current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Since there are surges and cuts in power that put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, bring good-quality items. The Peace Corps does not provide transformersWe recommend CD or tape players that use “D” batteries because “C” batteries are a little harder to find. “AA” as well as watch and calculator batteries are easy to find, but their quality is sometimes questionable.  
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It is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Outlets take European-style round pin plugs and, as a general rule, are not groundedYou should consider bringing a voltage converter as well as a battery charger/adapter and several rechargeable batteries for flashlights and other battery-operated equipment. Candles are a necessity and are available locally.  
  
 
==How much money should I bring? ==
 
==How much money should I bring? ==
  
Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and ATM cards are preferable to cash and traveler’s checks. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.  
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which will cover most living expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. 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? ==
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==Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ==
  
Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). 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.  
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Volunteers are responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property 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.  
  
==Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ==
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==Do I need an international driver’s license? ==
  
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 personal property 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 are cautioned not to 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.  
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Volunteers in Mongolia do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of motorized vehicles by Volunteers in Mongolia is strictly prohibited.  
  
==Do I need an international driver’s license? ==
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==What should I bring as gifts for Mongolian friends and my host family? ==
  
Volunteers in Morocco do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating any motorized vehicles while in Morocco. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking. If you rent a car while on vacation outside Morocco or any other Peace Corps country, however, you will need the appropriate driver’s license.  
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This 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, souvenirs from your area, hard candies that will not melt or spoil, or photos to give away. Mongolians will enjoy seeing pictures of your home and family.  
  
==What should I bring as gifts for Moroccan friends and my host family? ==
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==When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ==
  
As you will be staying with two different homestay families, gifts for the children are greatly appreciated but should not be large or elaborate. Some gift suggestions include pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes, souvenirs from your state, hard candies that will not melt or spoil, games, or photos to give away.  
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Each Volunteer accrues two annual leave (vacation days) per month of service, excluding training. Annual leave may not be taken during training or during the first three months or last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. In addition to vacation days, Volunteers also accrue in-country leave days, which allow them time away from site to visit friends and to get to know Mongolia. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and after 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 cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance. Weather conditions throughout the year make travel to and within Mongolia difficult.  
  
==Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ==
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==Where will my site assignment be when I finish training, and how isolated will I be? ==
  
Peace Corps trainees are not assigned to individual sites until the last few weeks of Pre-Service Training. This gives Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with ministry counterparts. Many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Most Volunteers live in small towns or in rural villages and are usually less than an hour from another Volunteer. Some sites require more than a 15-hour drive from the capital. Come with the attitude that you are here to serve Morocco and not a particular geographic region.  
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Peace Corps trainees are assigned to individual sites toward the end of pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with their counterpart agencies. If feasible, you may have the opportunity to provide input on your site preferences, including geographical location, distance from other Volunteers, or living conditions. However, many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you might ideally like to be. Site assignments are based on the following factors, in order of priority: (1) the community’s request and needs, (2) the Volunteer’s skills and experience, and (3) the Volunteer’s interests and preferences.  
  
==How can my family contact me in an emergency? ==
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Most Volunteers will live in aimag centers (provincial centers of 10,000 to 20,000 people) or soums (provincial villages of 1,000 to 10,000), and will generally be one to three hours from the nearest fellow Volunteer. Some sites are as far as a 10- to 30-hour drive away from the capital.
  
The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, you should 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; select option 2, then extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574.  For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from the Morocco desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2421 or 2422.
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==How do Volunteers deal with the pressure to drink on social occasions? ==
  
==Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ==
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Some Volunteers choose not to drink and occasionally may have to put up with disappoval from Mongolians as a result.  Some choose to drink only beer or wine, and others take just a sip or put a little on the tips of their fingers and do a ceremonial offering (you will learn more about this in training). Mongolians are usually respectful of these efforts and do not expect you to drink more. It is ultimately up to you to decide how to handle alcohol responsibly.
  
There are businesses that offer Internet access in most towns in Morocco. Because of weaker telephone and electrical infrastructure in outlying areas, however, Volunteers posted to rural sites may be limited to sending and receiving e-mail on their occasional visits to larger towns or regional hubs. Before leaving the United States, many prospective Volunteers sign up for free e-mail accounts, such as those offered by Yahoo or Hotmail, which they can access worldwide.
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==Are the heating systems as poor as some have said? ==
  
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Yes, some are. Many Volunteers report being able to see their breath when teaching at schools. Housing may not have good heating, either. Some solutions are to wear layers, to become cozy with your Peace Corps-issued space heater, and to become a competent fire builder.  Also how well you insulate your home or apartment makes a considerable difference.  Many nationals are usually happy to assist you in insulating your home or apartment to get ready for the harsh winter.
  
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==Where will I eat during pre-service training? ==
  
    Gaining access to the Internet access with laptop once was a remote possibility.  However, in 2008, 36% of Peace Corps Morocco volunteers 'Always'(26%) or 'Usually'(10%) have access in their home(2008 Biennial Volunteer Survey Report). Some volunteers posted near large cities or highways are now using a pre-paid month-to-month mobile 3g internet which is accessed with USB modem through supported cell phone networks. With the exception very remote Health and Environment sites, wired ISDL internet is widely available from Maroc Telecom(available in one or two-year contracts).
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During training you will live with a host family, who will provide your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays and weekends. This can be difficult for some Volunteers because they do not have full control over what they eat. Some trainees have even offered to cook for their host family as a strategy to eat a mutton-free meal. Once you get to your site, you will have more control over your diet.  
  
    A Small Business Development or a Youth Development volunteer may find the application of laptop use more advantageous in their work than an Environment or Health volunteer. 
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==My friends and family keep telling me to pack toilet paper—is this necessary? ==
  
    Computers and laptops are becoming common in urban areas and are popular with university students. Owners could increase their risk of becoming a victim of crime by owning a laptop.
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No. While most of the toilet paper in Mongolia is not quilted or soft, you do not need to pack any—all the toilet paper you need can be bought locally. You can even find baby wipes.
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==How can my family contact me in an emergency? ==
  
    If you bring a laptop, be sure to bring a high-quality surge protector, as electrical lapses and surges are common. Additionally, you will not find the same level of technical assistance and service in Morocco as you would at home and replacement parts can take months to arrive.
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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, you should 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 2416 or 2413.  
   
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[[Category:Morocco]]
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[[Category:Mongolia]]

Latest revision as of 07:57, 21 May 2014

FAQs about Peace Corps
  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
  • What is the electric current?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
  • What should I bring as gifts for my host family?
  • 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?
  • Can I call home?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
...and more...

For information see Welcomebooks



How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Mongolia?[edit]

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this allowance. 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 authorized baggage 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 102 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 70 pounds for any one bag. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/ permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters, 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?[edit]

It is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Outlets take European-style round pin plugs and, as a general rule, are not grounded. You should consider bringing a voltage converter as well as a battery charger/adapter and several rechargeable batteries for flashlights and other battery-operated equipment. Candles are a necessity and are available locally.

How much money should I bring?[edit]

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which will cover most living expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?[edit]

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Volunteers are responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase personal property 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 Mongolia do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of motorized vehicles by Volunteers in Mongolia is strictly prohibited.

What should I bring as gifts for Mongolian friends and my host family?[edit]

This 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, souvenirs from your area, hard candies that will not melt or spoil, or photos to give away. Mongolians will enjoy seeing pictures of your home and family.

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

Each Volunteer accrues two annual leave (vacation days) per month of service, excluding training. Annual leave may not be taken during training or during the first three months or last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. In addition to vacation days, Volunteers also accrue in-country leave days, which allow them time away from site to visit friends and to get to know Mongolia. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and after 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 cannot provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance. Weather conditions throughout the year make travel to and within Mongolia difficult.

Where will my site assignment be when I finish training, and how isolated will I be?[edit]

Peace Corps trainees are assigned to individual sites toward the end of pre-service training. This gives the Peace Corps staff the opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills prior to assigning sites, in addition to finalizing site selections with their counterpart agencies. If feasible, you may have the opportunity to provide input on your site preferences, including geographical location, distance from other Volunteers, or living conditions. However, many factors influence the site selection process and the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you might ideally like to be. Site assignments are based on the following factors, in order of priority: (1) the community’s request and needs, (2) the Volunteer’s skills and experience, and (3) the Volunteer’s interests and preferences.

Most Volunteers will live in aimag centers (provincial centers of 10,000 to 20,000 people) or soums (provincial villages of 1,000 to 10,000), and will generally be one to three hours from the nearest fellow Volunteer. Some sites are as far as a 10- to 30-hour drive away from the capital.

How do Volunteers deal with the pressure to drink on social occasions?[edit]

Some Volunteers choose not to drink and occasionally may have to put up with disappoval from Mongolians as a result. Some choose to drink only beer or wine, and others take just a sip or put a little on the tips of their fingers and do a ceremonial offering (you will learn more about this in training). Mongolians are usually respectful of these efforts and do not expect you to drink more. It is ultimately up to you to decide how to handle alcohol responsibly.

Are the heating systems as poor as some have said?[edit]

Yes, some are. Many Volunteers report being able to see their breath when teaching at schools. Housing may not have good heating, either. Some solutions are to wear layers, to become cozy with your Peace Corps-issued space heater, and to become a competent fire builder. Also how well you insulate your home or apartment makes a considerable difference. Many nationals are usually happy to assist you in insulating your home or apartment to get ready for the harsh winter.

Where will I eat during pre-service training?[edit]

During training you will live with a host family, who will provide your breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays and weekends. This can be difficult for some Volunteers because they do not have full control over what they eat. Some trainees have even offered to cook for their host family as a strategy to eat a mutton-free meal. Once you get to your site, you will have more control over your diet.

My friends and family keep telling me to pack toilet paper—is this necessary?[edit]

No. While most of the toilet paper in Mongolia is not quilted or soft, you do not need to pack any—all the toilet paper you need can be bought locally. You can even find baby wipes.

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, you should 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 2416 or 2413.