FAQs about Peace Corps in Jordan

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FAQs about Peace Corps
  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
  • What is the electric current?
  • 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 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?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
...and more...

For information see Welcomebooks

How much baggage am I allowed to bring to Jordan?

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds this weight allowance. Peace Corps has its own size and weight limitations, and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limitations. The authorized baggage allowance is two checked pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and the carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 50 pounds for any one bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not permitted to take pets, weapons, explosives, mace, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are fine), automobiles, motorcycles, or motor scooters to their overseas assignments. Do not pack in your baggage any flammable material or liquid such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, aerosol containers, etc. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www. tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibiteditems. shtm.

What is the electric current in Jordan?

When it works, it is 50 cycles, 220 volts. There are surges and cuts that put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, so bring good-quality items. The Peace Corps does not provide transformers. Batteries are generally easy to find, but some Volunteers bring rechargeable ones for electronics.

How much money should I bring?

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance that are ample to cover expenses.

Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. Another option is withdrawing money from ATM machines in the capital or large towns. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that suits your own personal travel plans nd needs. You are responsible for its safekeeping; Peace Corps cannot hold or replace personal funds.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?

Although neither leave nor guests are permitted during pre-service training, each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service after swearing-in. Leave may not be taken during the first three months of service or the last three months of service except in conjunction with authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you following your first three months at site as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. When extending invitations, remember that in Jordanian culture single men and women do not mix and this may apply even to family members of the opposite sex. Visits of more than one month require permission from the country director. The Peace Corps cannot provide your visitors with travel or medical assistance.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. However, such insurance can be purchased before you leave. Ultimately, Volunteers are responsible for guarding their personal belongings. If you wish, you may prefer to contact your own insurance company; but insurance application forms are available and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Additional information about insurance should be obtained by calling the company directly. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and rarely are satisfactory maintenance and repair services available.

Do I need an international driver’s license?

Volunteers in Jordan do not need to get an international driver’s license because operation of vehicles is prohibited. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses to mini-buses to trucks to a lot of walking. If you vacation outside of Jordan and rent a car, you may find an international driver’s license useful, but requirements vary country to country.

What should I bring as gifts for Jordanian friends and my host family?

This is not a requirement; however, you may wish to bring small gifts for the family you will be living with during training. Suggestions include box or tin of candy, baseball hats or T-shirts with a sports logo, makeup and perfume samples, candles, stickers, coloring books and crayons, scented soaps, and inexpensive fragrances. For items illustrating the United States, be sure to screen them for culturally appropriate material that would not offend more conservative cultures.

Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?

Site assignments are not announced until about midway through pre-service training. This gives Peace Corps staff an opportunity to assess each trainee’s technical and language skills while finalizing site identification with host agencies. You may have the opportunity to provide input on your preferences. However, keep in mind that many factors influence the process and there are no guarantees. Most Volunteers will live in small towns or in rural villages, usually within an hour or so from another Volunteer.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?

The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, you should instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 1.800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. Washington will then contact Peace Corps/Jordan. For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from Jordan’s desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 1.800.424.8580, extension 2423.

Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?

There are Internet cafés and businesses offering Internet access in most major towns in Jordan. Because of weaker telephone and electrical infrastructure in outlying areas, Volunteers in rural sites might be limited to writing and receiving e-mail on their occasional visits to larger towns or regional hubs. Before departing, many prospective Volunteers sign up for free e-mail accounts, such as Yahoo or Hotmail, which they can access worldwide. Because of the high value of laptops, owners significantly increase their risk of becoming targets of crime. Moreover, you will not find the same level of technical assistance and service here as you would at home, and replacement parts could take months to arrive. Subscribing to an Internet service provider via your laptop is unlikely and costly. If you bring a laptop, be sure to buy a high-quality surge protector. Electrical lapses and surges are common. The Peace Corps office in Amman maintains several computers (with Internet access) and a printer in the Volunteer lounge that Volunteers can use.