Training FAQs

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This pages attempts to provide you with quick, short answers to the most common questions about staging. Please feel free to add anything else you feel can briefly help one's understanding and is pertinent to staging.

What is training?
After staging, your will receive training in the country of your Peace Corps service. At this point, you will be known as a Peace Corps Trainee (PCT).

You will begin with your whole group, but are then generally split up in small groups to different towns or villages near the Peace Corps office. During training, you will live with a host family. Your days will consist of several hours of language training. Other training will depend on the day, but often include, technical, cultural, safety, or health. There will be certain days that the group as a whole comes together to the Peace Corps office for certain training topics. There will be a few times you are taken "site" seeing--in part to understand your country.

You'll have 2-3 language tests to evaluate your level to help you accordingly. At one point, trainees will often visit a current volunteer at his or her site for several days to a week in order to gain perspective on just what site life could consist of. Near the end of training, trainees will be interviewed about site preferences they may have, and be assigned their future site. Usually, trainees will depart for several days or up to a week to make a "future site visit" in which they will meet their counterparts, community, and secure housing if not yet found. After future site visits, there is just a couple weeks left of training.

How long is training?
Training typically lasts for 2-3 months.

How do I get to training?
After accepting your invitation, you will be sent a "staging kit" which provides information about your departure. You should call SATO Travel, the Peace Corps travel company, immediately to make travel arrangements. The Peace Corps provides your flight, but you yourself must make the actual arrangements through SATO. After staging, your group will depart together to fly to your Peace Corps country.

Where is training?
The location of your stage depends on which country you go to. Quite often, training is not in the capitol city or in other large cities. Instead, its typically held in a small or medium size town, relatively near a larger city.

Where do we stay during training?
In some countries, you may spend a few days to a week at a hotel or "dorm" type accommodations at the Peace Corps office. After that, you will meet your host family you'll live with during training, and move in with them. Other countries, you go directly to your host family's home that you'll live with during training.

What if I don't get along with my host family?
The Peace Corps interviews each family, as well as looks at their living situation, in order to find the best possible host families for the trainee.

Minor differences should be over-looked, after all, you are new in this country, culture, and family. Things you may find annoying could be the family simply trying to make you feel welcome, or take care of you like they would a family member. There are times that things may become uncomfortable (ie. religion or vegetarianism could be those). If it is something small, you should address the situation as clearly, yet politely as possible so as to avoid future misunderstandings. After being used to living on your own, you will most probably feel like a child again--you may not like it, but in this situation, it'll be normal.

However, if it is anything more than small, ask the Peace Corps staff before doing anything. If it is really a bad situation or you and the family do not get along, let the Peace Corps staff know--they will be the ones who know how to help you.

What happens after training?
When training is completed, the training group will swear in officially as Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV). Your group will go your different ways and depart to your permanent site assignments you previously found out about. Sometimes Peace Corps staff may accompany you, sometimes you may be on your own or with another volunteer. You may or may not have a volunteer at your site, and its possible that if there is another volunteer, it could be a foreigner! The next step is to get to know your community and understand your work, then dive on in!