Training in Tanzania
Training is an essential part of Peace Corps service. Learning to live and work in a new culture and environment can be quite challenging. The goal of pre-service training is to give you enough skills and information to allow you to live and work effectively in Tanzania.
The five major components of training are technical skills, cross-cultural adaptation, language, personal health, and safety and security, which are presented in an integrated manner. You will live with a Tanzanian family and interact daily with Tanzanians during most of your training. You will also have opportunities to work with and learn from Tanzanians in real-life experiences. Education Volunteers will spend three weeks at an internship school near their host family’s home. Environmental Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn directly from farmers in the villages where their training takes place. Health Volunteers will be able to gain valuable experience in schools and health facilities near their training site. The training period can be both stressful and exhilarating. You will confront a new culture, work to gain fluency in a new language, learn new professional skills, and build support systems with others who are going through the same roller-coaster of adjustments. You will need patience, flexibility, energy, and good humor to get the most out of this rich experience. You will find the Peace Corps’ training staff ready and willing to accommodate your needs and help you get off to the best possible start. The Peace Corps anticipates that you will approach training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved.
Technical training will prepare you to work in Tanzania by building on the skills you already have and by helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, Tanzanian 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.
You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with representatives of the Tanzanian 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.
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. Tanzanian language instructors teach formal language classes six days a week in small groups of about four people. Kiswahili is also introduced in the health, cultural, and technical components of training.
Your language training will incorporate 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 two years of service.
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Tanzanian host family. This experience is designed to 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 Tanzania. 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 assessment and mobilization, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You will be expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Trainees are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Tanzania. 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. All Volunteers receive training on basic HIV/AIDS information as well as strategies and approaches for awareness and prevention activities they can carry out in their communities.
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.
Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service
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 your service, there are usually three training events. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
- In-service training: Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to further develop their technical, language, and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three to six months.
- Midterm conference: Assists Volunteers in reviewing their first year, reassessing their personal and project objectives, and planning for their second year of service.
- Close of service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and reviews their respective projects and personal experiences.
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.