Training in Romania
The Peace Corps provides 10 weeks of training that begins immediately upon your arrival in Romania. The schedule is Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings. Pre-service training contains five major components: technical training, language training, cross-cultural training, health training, and safety and security training. Training is a time for you to reexamine your commitment to becoming a Volunteer in Romania and a time for Peace Corps staff to get to know you and be assured that your skills and attitude are a good match for the program in Romania. Throughout the training period, self-assessment as well as assessment by Peace Corps staff will measure your progress toward meeting training objectives.
Technical training prepares you to work in Romania by using development techniques, including community participation, to gain acceptance of the skills you have learned through work and school experiences. You will also develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the type of work you will be doing. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.
Technical training focuses on the knowledge and skills you will need to be effective in your program sector. It includes sessions on the general economic and political situation in Romania and strategies for working within such a framework.
You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Romanian agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated by experienced Romanian trainers and Peace Corps staff 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 host community, and they can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. 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 Romanian language instructors provide language instruction five days a week in small classes of four to six people.
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 on your own. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your two years of service. There will also be follow-up language study during in-service training.
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Romanian 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 Romania. 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 acculturation, conflict resolution, gender and development, values analysis, and understanding local institutions.
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 must attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Romania. 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.
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 reaffirm their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills.
During your service, there are typically 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 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. There are also opportunities for Volunteers to network with one another across program sectors. Training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.