Difference between pages "Armenia" and "Bulgaria"

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{{CountryboxAlternative
 
{{CountryboxAlternative
|status= [[ACTIVE]]
+
|Countryname = Bulgaria
|Countryname= Armenia
+
|CountryCode= bu
|CountryCode= am
+
|status = [[ACTIVE]]
|Flag= Flag_of_Armenia.svg
+
|Map = Bu-map.gif
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/amwb305.pdf
+
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/bgwb313.pdf
|Region= [[Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
+
|Region = [[Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
|CountryDirector= [[David Lillie]]
+
|CountryDirector = [[Lesley Duncan]]
|Sectors= [[Education]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Gayane Zargaryan]])<br>[[Business]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Stepan S'hoyan]])<br>
+
|Sectors = [[Community Development|Community and Organizational Development]]<br> [[Education|English Language Education]] <br> [[Youth Outreach|Youth Development]]
|ProgramDates= [[1992]] - [[Present]]
+
|ProgramDates = [[1991]] - [[Present]]
|CurrentlyServing= 96
+
|CurrentlyServing = 161
|TotalVolunteers= 583+
+
|TotalVolunteers = 1024
|Languages= [[Armenian]] (official), [[Russian]] (learned in school, not offical), [[Georgian]] (not common), [[Yazidi]] (not common), and [[Azeri]] (not common)
+
|Languages = [[Bulgarian]]
|Map= Am-map.gif
+
|Flag = Flag_of_Bulgaria.svg
|stagingdate= Jun 1 2011
+
|stagingdate= May 10 2010
 
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 
}}
 
}}
  
Peace Corps Volunteers assist the government of Armenia in an effort to address multiple development challenges. Currently, the Peace Corps places its emphasis on sustainable capacity-building projects in the areas of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Community and Business Development (CBD). The environmental education (EE) and community health education (CHE) programs have been closed as of September 2010. The objective is not to teach Armenians “American” values, but to help them help themselves within their own cultural framework.
 
  
 +
In 1991, a year after the first free elections following the collapse of the Communist government, [http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=117822], the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to partner with the people and government of Bulgaria. These first Volunteers focused on teaching English. Since the late 1990s, Bulgaria has made exceptional progress in its transition to a decentralized, market-oriented economic system.
  
== Peace Corps History==
+
This rapid development, however, has also exacerbated a host of socioeconomic problems. Positive news about the economy is tempered by extremely high unemployment, particularly in rural areas of the country and gripping poverty among the elderly, minorities, and other groups. Environmental degradation is prevalent, as concern for economic recovery and growth outpaced efforts to protect and restore the environment.
  
''Main article: [[History of Peace Corps in Armenia]]''
+
In March 2004, Bulgaria became a member state of the NATO alliance and on January 1, 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union. Although, many observers question whether Bulgaria will achieve all of the steps required within this timeframe. The development of civil society institutions such as NGOs, rule of law, and a shared sense of economic justice remain important challenges for Bulgaria to overcome as it pursues further integration into Europe.
  
The Peace Corps program in Armenia began in 1992.  During the first years, conditions were very difficult, with no electricity or heat. The country was reeling from the aftermath of the devastating 1988 earthquake, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and a war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave. Since then, more than 500 Volunteers have served in Armenia.
+
In response to Bulgaria's expressed needs, Peace Corps Volunteers work in the areas of English language education, youth development, and community and organizational development. As Bulgaria and local capacity have evolved, Peace Corps/Bulgaria has responded by focusing on grassroots community development, particularly in underserved and remote communities.
  
 +
All Peace Corps Volunteers in Bulgaria serve as community development workers. All are highly encouraged to help youth learn life skills. Most Volunteers who are not focused on English language education still actively help community members improve their English language skills.
 +
 +
Bulgaria is at a stage in its rapid development where Peace Corps Volunteers can have a significant and rewarding impact, as many local organizations and youth are eager for new ideas. Peace Corps Volunteers are excellent role models for Bulgarian youth and catalysts for organizational change. As Bulgaria prepares to accede to the European Union, Peace Corps/Bulgaria continues to evolve and respond to Bulgaria's rapid social and economic change. 
 +
 +
 +
 +
==Peace Corps History==
 +
 +
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 +
In 1991, a year after peaceful public protest led to changes in Bulgaria’s political structure and direction, the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to teach English at secondary schools and universities. The first group of economic development Volunteers arrived the following year. Environmental Volunteers started assignments throughout the country in September 1995, and in 2003, the youth development program (YD) was initiated. In 2004, the community and economic development (CED) and environmental programs were merged to create a community and organizational development program (COD), with the goal of providing a comprehensive approach to assisting with community development at the local level.
 +
 +
As of November 2006, almost 800 Volunteers have served in Bulgaria. Currently, 165 Volunteers are in-country; approximately half of them teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in primary and secondary schools, the other half are in the COD and YD programs.
  
  
 
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
 
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
  
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Armenia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
Housing is generally provided by a Volunteer’s sponsoring organization. Most Volunteers live in a modest studio or one-bedroom apartment with plumbing, heating, and electricity. The range of available housing may vary greatly between Volunteers and sites. If you live in a town or city, you will likely live in an apartment in a communist-style housing “block,” that, from the exterior, resembles the high-rises in public housing projects in U.S. cities.
 +
 
 +
Volunteers assigned to smaller communities should be prepared for the possibility that they may live in a private room in the home of a Bulgarian family. This can offer huge advantages in terms of being accepted into a local family and being “taken care of.” Note that Bulgarian standards of privacy differ from those in the U.S. It is also common that landlords may leave some of their personal items in an apartment that they are renting out.
 +
 
 +
Your heat source could be either one or more portable heaters, central heat, or wood-burning stoves in some rural areas. Heat and electricity are very expensive, and Bulgarians usually only heat the room they are currently in. They usually only turn on their hot water boiler when they are planning to take a shower. Expect for it to be cold inside during the winter, and for it to be very hot during the summer. Indoor climate control concepts differ from what you are likely used to in the U.S.
  
During pre-service training, all trainees are required to live with host families. After completing pre-service training and swearing-in, all Volunteers live with host families for a minimum of four months at their permanent site. Living with a host family provides several benefits including accelerated language acquisition; a deeper and more profound cross-cultural understanding; and an improved, in-depth community integration. Being a respected and equal member of a family not only provides strong personal and professional rewards, it can ensure your safety and security as well. Host family accommodations will vary depending on the community. Some may be apartments or separate detached houses; some may have European-style bathrooms while others might use "outhouses" or "squat" toilets. Regardless of the situation, trainees and Volunteers live as the members of their community do. After the four-month period, Volunteers may remain with host families or change to another living situation in their communities depending on availability and personal preferences.
 
  
 
==Training==
 
==Training==
  
''Main article: [[Training in Armenia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Training in Bulgaria]]''
  
Training is an essential part of Peace Corps service. The goal of the nine-week program is to give you the skills and information you need to live and work effectively in Armenia. In doing that, we build upon the experiences and expertise you bring to the Peace Corps. The program also gives you the opportunity to practice new skills as they apply to your work in Armenia. We anticipate that you will approach training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved. Trainees officially become Volunteers only after successful completion of training.
+
Prior to being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive 11-week training program. The training is conducted in Bulgaria and is based on adult learning principles. The training focuses on Bulgarian language study, cross-cultural adjustment and adaptation, health and personal safety, and development of technical skills.
  
You will receive training and orientation in components of language, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your specific assignment. The skills you learn will serve as the foundation upon which you build your experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
+
Training will take place in a small community, where you will live with a host family and study the Bulgarian language with four or five other trainees. This community-based training involves a lot of experiential learning in which community members are called upon to cooperate in the training process. Periodically, you will join other trainees from your group at a hub site, where you will receive training in administrative, technical, medical, and safety matters.  
  
Upon arrival in Armenia, you will go to the Peace Corps training center a few hours outside of Yerevan. After a brief orientation period, you will move into a host village within an hour of the training center. In the host village, you and other trainees (about 8 to a village) will live with a Armenian host family for the majority of your training period, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in some of the new skills you are expected to acquire.
 
  
 
==Health Care and Safety==
 
==Health Care and Safety==
  
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Armenia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Bulgaria maintains a health unit with three full-time medical officers (Bulgarian physicians), a medical assistant, and a medical secretary. The medical staff takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs as a team.
 +
 
 +
Additional medical services, such as laboratory testing, imaging diagnostics, and evaluation by specialists are also available in Bulgaria at local facilities. Usually the complete medical evaluation and treatment is done in country by the medical officers. If you become seriously ill or injured, you will be transported either to the closest regional medical facility or to the capital for emergency care and treatment. If your condition requires further evaluation or treatment that is unavailable in Bulgaria, then the Office of Medical Services (OMS), Peace Corps, Washington, D.C., approves medevac to a country with better medical standards in the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia (EMA) region (regional medevac) or to the United States (most frequently to your home of record). If your condition requires more than 45 days for complete resolution or has a long-term effect on your health, OMS will determine whether you are able to complete your Peace Corps service.
  
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Armenia 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 in Armenia at local hospitals and clinics. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported to a medical facility in the region or to the United States.
 
  
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
  
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Armenia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Bulgaria]]''
  
In Armenia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, 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 Armenia.
+
In Bulgaria, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, 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 Bulgaria.
  
Outside of Armenia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and Caucasian. The people of Armenia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
+
Outside of Bulgaria’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Bulgaria are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.  
  
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 +
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 +
* Possible Issues for Married Volunteers
 +
  
 
==Frequently Asked Questions==
 
==Frequently Asked Questions==
  
 
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 
{{Volunteersurvey2008
|H1r= 17
+
|H1r= 61
|H1s= 76.3
+
|H1s= 66
|H2r= 25
+
|H2r= 49
|H2s= 85.3
+
|H2s= 80.3
|H3r= 14
+
|H3r= 55
|H3s= 87.8
+
|H3s= 80.3
|H4r= 46
+
|H4r= 51
|H4s= 103.0
+
|H4s= 102.5
|H5r= 30
+
|H5r= 58
|H5s= 54.0
+
|H5s= 44.9
|H6r= 44
+
|H6r= 62
|H6s= 79.1
+
|H6s= 67
 
}}
 
}}
  
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Armenia]]''
+
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Bulgaria]]''
  
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Armenia?
+
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Bulgaria?
* What is the electric current in Armenia?
+
* What is the electric current in Bulgaria?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
* What should I bring as gifts for Armenian friends and my host family?
+
* What should I bring as gifts for Bulgarian friends and my host family?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 
* 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?
 
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
* Can I call home from Armenia?
+
* Can I call home from Bulgaria?
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
+
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 +
 
 +
 
  
 
==Packing List==
 
==Packing List==
  
''Main article: [[Packing list for Armenia]]''
+
''Main article: [[Packing list for Bulgaria]]''
  
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Armenia and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that 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 an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. Do not bring valuables or cherished items that could be lost, stolen, or ruined by the harsh climate. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Armenia.
+
The following recommendations are based on the experiences of Volunteers who have served in Bulgaria. Use them as an informal guide, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything that is mentioned, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. Many past and current Volunteers wish they had not brought so many clothes and toiletries and had instead focused on specialty items. You should not hesitate to bring items of sentimental value that will help you feel content at your site, but 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 checked luggage; you will be responsible for any fees for overweight baggage. Except where otherwise indicated, all the following items are available in Bulgaria; they are listed here as items to bring because the quality of the items may be inferior, their price may be significantly higher, or they may not be regularly available in Bulgaria.
  
* General
+
* General Clothing
* Packing for training
 
* Clothing
 
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Kitchen
 
* Kitchen
* Additional Items to Consider Bringing
+
* Miscellaneous
* Items You Do Not Need to Bring
 
 
 
 
 
== Volunteer Projects ==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Volunteer projects of Peace Corps in Armenia]]''
 
 
 
Peace Corps Volunteers in Armenia have initiated many projects in Peace Corps and some have started websites to promote these projects in Armenia and abroad. Some RPCVs have started American nonprofits to provide continued support to the projects they initiated during their Peace Corps service.
 
  
 
==Peace Corps News==
 
==Peace Corps News==
Line 121: Line 135:
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
  
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22armenia%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
+
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22bulgaria%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
  
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off number=10>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/am/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
+
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/bu/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
  
 
==Country Fund==
 
==Country Fund==
  
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=305-CFD Armenia Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Armenia. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
+
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=313-CFD Bulgaria Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Bulgaria. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
* [[Armenian]]
+
* [[Volunteers who served in Bulgaria]]
* [[Volunteers who served in Armenia]]
+
* [[Bulgaria sites|Sites where volunteers have served in Bulgaria]]
* [[Staff members who served in Armenia]]
+
* [[Friends of Bulgaria]]
* [[Armenia books]]
+
* [[List of resources for Bulgaria]]
* [[Armenia web resources]]
 
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
* [[Treaties for Peace Corps by US State Department]]
 
  
 +
==External links==
 +
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/bu.html Peace Corps Journals - Bulgaria]
  
[[Category:Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
+
[[Category:Bulgaria]] [[Category:Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
[[Category:Armenia]]
 
[[Property::Located in::Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 

Revision as of 19:19, 15 August 2013


US Peace Corps
Country name is::Bulgaria


Status: ACTIVE
Staging: {{#ask:Country staging date::+country name is::Bulgaria[[Staging date::>2016-09-30]]

mainlabel=- ?staging date= ?staging city= format=list sort=Staging date

}}


American Overseas Staff (FY2010): {{#ask:2010_pcstaff_salary::+country name is::Bulgaria

mainlabel=- ?Grade_staff= ?Lastname_staff= ?Firstname_staff= ?Middlename_staff= ?Initial_staff= ?Salary_staff=$ format=list sort=Grade_staff

}}


Latest Early Termination Rates (FOIA 11-058): {{#ask:Country_early_termination_rate::+country name is::Bulgaria

mainlabel=- ?2005_early_termination=2005 ?2006_early_termination=2006 ?2007_early_termination=2007 ?2008_early_termination=2008 format=list

}}


Peace Corps Journals - Bulgaria File:Feedicon.gif

250px
Peace Corps Welcome Book
Region:

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country Director:

Lesley Duncan

Sectors:

Community and Organizational Development
English Language Education
Youth Development

Program Dates:

1991 - Present

Current Volunteers:

161

Total Volunteers:

1024

Languages Spoken:

Bulgarian

Flag:

150px

__SHOWFACTBOX__


In 1991, a year after the first free elections following the collapse of the Communist government, [1], the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to partner with the people and government of Bulgaria. These first Volunteers focused on teaching English. Since the late 1990s, Bulgaria has made exceptional progress in its transition to a decentralized, market-oriented economic system.

This rapid development, however, has also exacerbated a host of socioeconomic problems. Positive news about the economy is tempered by extremely high unemployment, particularly in rural areas of the country and gripping poverty among the elderly, minorities, and other groups. Environmental degradation is prevalent, as concern for economic recovery and growth outpaced efforts to protect and restore the environment.

In March 2004, Bulgaria became a member state of the NATO alliance and on January 1, 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union. Although, many observers question whether Bulgaria will achieve all of the steps required within this timeframe. The development of civil society institutions such as NGOs, rule of law, and a shared sense of economic justice remain important challenges for Bulgaria to overcome as it pursues further integration into Europe.

In response to Bulgaria's expressed needs, Peace Corps Volunteers work in the areas of English language education, youth development, and community and organizational development. As Bulgaria and local capacity have evolved, Peace Corps/Bulgaria has responded by focusing on grassroots community development, particularly in underserved and remote communities.

All Peace Corps Volunteers in Bulgaria serve as community development workers. All are highly encouraged to help youth learn life skills. Most Volunteers who are not focused on English language education still actively help community members improve their English language skills.

Bulgaria is at a stage in its rapid development where Peace Corps Volunteers can have a significant and rewarding impact, as many local organizations and youth are eager for new ideas. Peace Corps Volunteers are excellent role models for Bulgarian youth and catalysts for organizational change. As Bulgaria prepares to accede to the European Union, Peace Corps/Bulgaria continues to evolve and respond to Bulgaria's rapid social and economic change.


Peace Corps History

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Bulgaria

In 1991, a year after peaceful public protest led to changes in Bulgaria’s political structure and direction, the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to teach English at secondary schools and universities. The first group of economic development Volunteers arrived the following year. Environmental Volunteers started assignments throughout the country in September 1995, and in 2003, the youth development program (YD) was initiated. In 2004, the community and economic development (CED) and environmental programs were merged to create a community and organizational development program (COD), with the goal of providing a comprehensive approach to assisting with community development at the local level.

As of November 2006, almost 800 Volunteers have served in Bulgaria. Currently, 165 Volunteers are in-country; approximately half of them teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in primary and secondary schools, the other half are in the COD and YD programs.


Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle

Main article: Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Bulgaria

Housing is generally provided by a Volunteer’s sponsoring organization. Most Volunteers live in a modest studio or one-bedroom apartment with plumbing, heating, and electricity. The range of available housing may vary greatly between Volunteers and sites. If you live in a town or city, you will likely live in an apartment in a communist-style housing “block,” that, from the exterior, resembles the high-rises in public housing projects in U.S. cities.

Volunteers assigned to smaller communities should be prepared for the possibility that they may live in a private room in the home of a Bulgarian family. This can offer huge advantages in terms of being accepted into a local family and being “taken care of.” Note that Bulgarian standards of privacy differ from those in the U.S. It is also common that landlords may leave some of their personal items in an apartment that they are renting out.

Your heat source could be either one or more portable heaters, central heat, or wood-burning stoves in some rural areas. Heat and electricity are very expensive, and Bulgarians usually only heat the room they are currently in. They usually only turn on their hot water boiler when they are planning to take a shower. Expect for it to be cold inside during the winter, and for it to be very hot during the summer. Indoor climate control concepts differ from what you are likely used to in the U.S.


Training

Main article: Training in Bulgaria

Prior to being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive 11-week training program. The training is conducted in Bulgaria and is based on adult learning principles. The training focuses on Bulgarian language study, cross-cultural adjustment and adaptation, health and personal safety, and development of technical skills.

Training will take place in a small community, where you will live with a host family and study the Bulgarian language with four or five other trainees. This community-based training involves a lot of experiential learning in which community members are called upon to cooperate in the training process. Periodically, you will join other trainees from your group at a hub site, where you will receive training in administrative, technical, medical, and safety matters.


Health Care and Safety

Main article: Health care and safety in Bulgaria

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Bulgaria maintains a health unit with three full-time medical officers (Bulgarian physicians), a medical assistant, and a medical secretary. The medical staff takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs as a team.

Additional medical services, such as laboratory testing, imaging diagnostics, and evaluation by specialists are also available in Bulgaria at local facilities. Usually the complete medical evaluation and treatment is done in country by the medical officers. If you become seriously ill or injured, you will be transported either to the closest regional medical facility or to the capital for emergency care and treatment. If your condition requires further evaluation or treatment that is unavailable in Bulgaria, then the Office of Medical Services (OMS), Peace Corps, Washington, D.C., approves medevac to a country with better medical standards in the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia (EMA) region (regional medevac) or to the United States (most frequently to your home of record). If your condition requires more than 45 days for complete resolution or has a long-term effect on your health, OMS will determine whether you are able to complete your Peace Corps service.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues

Main article: Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, 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 Bulgaria.

Outside of Bulgaria’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Bulgaria are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.

  • Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
  • Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  • Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
  • Possible Issues for Married Volunteers


Frequently Asked Questions

Bulgaria
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::61|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::66|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::49|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::80.3|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::55|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::80.3|}}
Do you intend to complete your Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H4r::51|}}
Score:
2008 H4s::102.5|}}
How well do your Peace Corps experiences match the expectations you had before you became a Volunteer?|}} Rank:
2008 H5r::58|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::44.9|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::62|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::67|}}
2008BVS::Bulgaria


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Bulgaria

  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Bulgaria?
  • What is the electric current in Bulgaria?
  • 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 Bulgarian friends and 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 from Bulgaria?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?


Packing List

Main article: Packing list for Bulgaria

The following recommendations are based on the experiences of Volunteers who have served in Bulgaria. Use them as an informal guide, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything that is mentioned, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. Many past and current Volunteers wish they had not brought so many clothes and toiletries and had instead focused on specialty items. You should not hesitate to bring items of sentimental value that will help you feel content at your site, but 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 checked luggage; you will be responsible for any fees for overweight baggage. Except where otherwise indicated, all the following items are available in Bulgaria; they are listed here as items to bring because the quality of the items may be inferior, their price may be significantly higher, or they may not be regularly available in Bulgaria.

  • General Clothing
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
  • Kitchen
  • Miscellaneous

Peace Corps News

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
<rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22bulgaria%22&output=rss%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cdate=M d</rss>


PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Friday September 30, 2016 )<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/bu/blog/50.xml%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cmax=10</rss>

Country Fund

Contributions to the Bulgaria Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Bulgaria. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.

See also

External links