Training in Thailand
From Peace Corps Wiki
|Training in Thailand|
|Pre-service training will probably be the most intense period of your Peace Corps service, as you will need to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully serve as a Volunteer in just 10 weeks. While the training period will be extremely busy, it should also be a time of excitement, discovery, and self-fulfillment. The effort and challenges of adapting to a new culture will draw on your reserves of patience and humor but will be handsomely rewarded with a sense of belonging among new friends.|
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Pre-service training provides you with solid technical, language, health, safety and security, and cross-cultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes to prepare you for living and working safely and successfully in Thailand. Pre-service training is rigorous and demanding, and sometimes not all trainees qualify for Peace Corps service.
Peace Corps/Thailand’s training program is split into two parts. Part one (10 weeks) is community-based and prepares you to live and work safely and productively at your site for the first three to six months. We have successfully used a community-based training design since January 1997. In this training model, four or five trainees live and study in villages located a few kilometers from a central “hub” site in a larger town. Most language, cross-cultural, and technical sessions and activities occur in the training village. Throughout pre-service training, you will primarily ride bicycles to the hub site and small group training, where you will study with the larger group for one or two days.
You will live with a Thai host family in your training village, which will help you learn about and adjust to Thai culture and practice your Thai language skills. You will also take part in various cultural activities and excursions, visit a current Volunteer’s site, and visit your future permanent site.
Part two of pre-service training (10 days) occurs after you have been at your site for approximately three months. This is a time for Volunteers and their Thai counterparts to explore and share their initial experiences of working together.
You will be asked to identify technical, language, cross-cultural, and other topics about which you would like further training. Thailand Volunteers feel that the timing and structure of this part of training are invaluable.
 Technical Training
Technical training will prepare you to work in Thailand by building on the skills you already have and by helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. Peace Corps staff, Thai experts, and current Volunteers will 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.
Technical training will prepare you and your Thai partners to accomplish project tasks and achieve project goals. This component will include sessions on your technical area as well as sessions on the environment, economics, politics, gender, youth, and community development in Thailand and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your project’s goals and will meet with the Thai agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated by experienced 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.
 Language Training
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction and effectiveness 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. Experienced Thai language instructors teach formal language classes six days a week in small groups of four to five people. The Thai language is also introduced in the health, cross-cultural, and technical components of training.
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 once you are at your site. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your service.
 Cross-Cultural Training
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Thai 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 Thailand. 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 entry, Thai versus American social values, gender and development, and political structures.
 Health Training
During pre-service training, the Peace Corps will give you basic medical training and information. You will expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Session topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Thailand. 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.
 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 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 examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills. During your service, there are usually 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.
- Mid-Service 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. 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.