Training in Bangladesh

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Prior to being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive nine-week training program. This training takes an experiential approach to learning, in which each Volunteer lives with a host family in order to experience the language and culture firsthand. In addition, trainees take group trips on public transportation to visit other towns and learn about the country outside the confines of classroom training.

An invitation to attend pre-service training is not a guarantee that you will be sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Throughout the program, you will be evaluated on your language skills, motivation, cross-cultural sensitivity, emotional maturity, and technical competence as they pertain to your ability to serve successfully as a Volunteer in Bangladesh. However, this does not mean that you will be in a situation of constant observation and criticism. Those who are sincere in their commitment to Peace Corps service will receive all the support they need to satisfactorily complete training and assume their duties as Volunteers.

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[edit] Technical Training

Technical training will prepare you to work in Bangladesh by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills appropriate to the needs of the country and your work assignment. Training emphasizes learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.

Technical training will include sessions on the economic and political environment in Bangladesh and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Bangladesh 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.

[edit] Language Training

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.

Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to achieve enough facility with Bangla that you can communicate with Bangladeshis on everyday matters such as taking public transportation, asking for directions, and buying food and use any specialized vocabulary pertinent to your assignment. We anticipate that you will reach functional fluency in your first six months on the job, but during training you will work on strategies to continue language studies on your own.

[edit] Cross-Cultural Training

Living with a Bangladeshi host family during pre-service training is designed to ease your transition to life at your site.

Sharing meals, spending free time, and celebrating holidays with your Bangladeshi host family during training are excellent opportunities to practice speaking Bangla and to learn about the cultural differences between Americans and Bangladeshis. 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 mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.

[edit] Health Training

During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information by the Peace Corps medical officer, who will also be available to deal with any medical emergencies that arise. You will be expected to practice preventive health care 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 Bangladesh. Nutrition, mental health, safety and security, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other STDs are also covered.

[edit] Safety Training

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 learn about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.

[edit] Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service

In addition to pre-service training, Peace Corps/Bangladesh conducts regular in-service training events in which Volunteers can reexamine their commitment to Peace Corps service and upgrade their language, technical, and project development skills while sharing information, experiences, and strategies with other Volunteers. 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 predeparture orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.

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