PST is the Pre-Service Training that Peace Corps Trainees undergo before being sworn-in as official volunteers. It typically lasts 10-12 weeks and takes place in the country of service.
To the right are some of the most important events during training. If you are preparing to leave for Peace Corps service you can find packing tips here. Below you can find a detailed schedule of PST for Kosovo volunteers. It explains how the Peace Corps structures training for Education trainees during their first three months.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section!
Most of our days are spent in class from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM, with language sessions about 3 days a week for 3 hours. (We spend far less time learning Albanian than I anticipated.) The 36 of us are divided between Kamenice and three nearby villages: Topanice, Hodonoc, and Koretin. We have language classes in our respective villages, but we all meet in Kamenice for HUB days to complete group sessions. These sessions are on Safety & Security, teaching in Kosovo, and Peace Corps policies and procedures.
Even though I live in Kamenice, I am on the opposite side of town, so it takes me about 40 minutes to walk to school. On HUB days it takes me an hour to walk to our training site.
For more details on my first month of PST, check out my post about June.
July was a crazy month. As you can tell from the calendar, we had a lot of big events crammed into those 31 days. The biggest event of the month was definitely the announcement of our permanent sites. This happens for most PCVs at the start of Week 8, but the Kosovo staff moved our site announcements to Week 5. Afterwards we travel to our sites for a three to four day visit on our own.
PST also includes a teaching practicum for education trainees. Ours was two weeks long and involved teaching English to local children in teams of four.
To read more about the events of July, check out this post: PST in July.
PST includes a few projects and presentations that we complete throughout the summer. In June we did a community mapping presentation, where we created maps of the villages in the Kamenice area. In August each language group visited a different region of Kosovo and made a presentation about the differences in culture and language.
One of the most dreaded days of PST is the Language Proficiency Interview, which takes place during the second-to-last week of training. This is a 20-minute interview in Albanian (or Serbian) that is recorded and graded to determine your language level. For more info on the LPI, check out my detailed post from August.
Pre-Service Training concludes for everyone on the day of Swearing-In, which is a big ceremony with government officials and TV crews and fancy clothes. After taking our oaths we officially become Peace Corps Volunteers. Immediately after the ceremony we travel to our permanent sites and begin the two years on our own. It’s an intense day. Read more about it and see pictures here.
Remember to ask any questions about PST in the comments section.