Training in Georgia
From Peace Corps Wiki
Following a pre-departure orientation (staging) in the United States, you will participate in a 10-week, intensive pre-service training in Georgia. Peace Corps/Georgia uses a community-based training model that is designed around real life experiences and emphasizes community involvement. Trainees live with host families in one of several training villages around a central training facility outside the capital.
The goals of community-based training are:
- To provide in-depth, experiential learning in settings similar to those at Volunteer sites;
- To give trainees the best possible opportunity to gain competence in technical, cross-cultural, language, and health and safety areas in a culturally and linguistically appropriate context;
- To allow trainees to acquire experience and skills in self-directing their own learning so they can continue independent learning at site.
Pre-service training contains five main components: technical, language, cross-cultural, health, and safety.
Technical training prepares you to work in Georgia by building on the skills you already have and by helping you to develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, Georgian 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.
The technical component of training includes formal sessions designed to provide you with theory, methodologies, and activities appropriate for teaching or working at an NGO. There is also a practicum where you will be teaching in schools or working with NGOs to apply the skills you gained in sessions. NGO trainees will participate in some of the educational training since teaching is a common secondary project. You will review your technical sector’s goals and meet with the Georgian agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them.
You will be supported and evaluated by the training staff throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you will need to become 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, will help you integrate into your host community, and 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. Experienced Georgian language instructors teach formal language classes six days a week in small classes of five to six people. The Georgian language is also introduced in the health, culture, and technical components of training.
Language training incorporates a community-based approach.
There are classroom sessions, as well as assignments to work
on outside of the classroom and with your host family. Your goal is to get to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills more thoroughly once you are at your site. Prior to swearing 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 Georgian host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition into life at your site. Host families have gone through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of the pre-service training program and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Georgia. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.
Cross-cultural and community development will be covered to help improve your skills of perception, communication, and facilitation. Community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, and traditional and political structures are examples of topics that are addressed.
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. As a trainee, you are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that Volunteers may encounter while in Georgia. Sexual health and harassment, nutrition, and mental health issues are also covered.
During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces risks in your home, at work, and during your travel. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.
During your first three months of service, it is important to become familiar with your site, to meet neighbors, and begin to make friends. This essential period helps lay a firm foundation for your safety and security, community entry, and your own comfort level. This transitional time will be challenging, but in the months to come you will find it has helped you secure a place in your community. It is also a time to seek out a language tutor and concentrate on building your language skills.
We strongly recommend that friends and family delay visiting you until later in your service. By then you will have acquired more leave time and be better acquainted with travel in Georgia, language, and cultural norms.
Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service
In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system which provides trainees and Volunteers with continuous opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills.
During your service, there are at least three training events.
The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
- In-service training: 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 months.
- Mid-term conference: Helps Volunteers review their first year, reassess their personal and project objectives, and plan for their second year of service.
- Close-of-service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and reviews Volunteers’ 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.