Difference between pages "Packing list for Tonga" and "Bulgaria"

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{{Packing lists by country}}
+
{{CountryboxAlternative
 +
|Countryname = Bulgaria
 +
|CountryCode= bu
 +
|status = [[ACTIVE]]
 +
|Map = Bu-map.gif
 +
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/bgwb313.pdf
 +
|Region = [[Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 +
|CountryDirector = [[Lesley Duncan]]
 +
|Sectors = [[Community Development|Community and Organizational Development]]<br> [[Education|English Language Education]] <br> [[Youth Outreach|Youth Development]]
 +
|ProgramDates = [[1991]] - [[Present]]
 +
|CurrentlyServing = 161
 +
|TotalVolunteers = 1024
 +
|Languages = [[Bulgarian]]
 +
|Flag = Flag_of_Bulgaria.svg
 +
|stagingdate= May 10 2010
 +
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 +
}}
  
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[Tonga]] and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. Remember, you can get almost everything you need in Tonga for a price, and you can have parcels shipped to you later.
 
  
===General Clothing ===
+
In 1991, a year after the first free elections following the collapse of the Communist government, [http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=117822], the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to partner with the people and government of Bulgaria. These first Volunteers focused on teaching English. Since the late 1990s, Bulgaria has made exceptional progress in its transition to a decentralized, market-oriented economic system.
  
Note that hand washing and Tongan weather are hard on clothing, so any clothing you bring will eventually wear out.  Lightweight, fast-drying clothing (polyester or nylon) is best and will not fade or stretch as much as cotton blends.  See the note about leather items and mildew at the bottom of this page.
+
This rapid development, however, has also exacerbated a host of socioeconomic problems. Positive news about the economy is tempered by extremely high unemployment, particularly in rural areas of the country and gripping poverty among the elderly, minorities, and other groups. Environmental degradation is prevalent, as concern for economic recovery and growth outpaced efforts to protect and restore the environment.
  
Dressing in a culturally appropriate manner is important, especially on outer islands. In professional settings, male Volunteers are expected to wear what Tongan men wear—a tupenu, a solid-color wraparound garment (easily found locally), with a button-down shirt. During leisure time, Tongan men typically wear the same things men wear in the United States (e.g., knee-length shorts or slacks and T-shirts). Female Volunteers are expected to wear mid-calf or longer skirts or dresses in both professional settings and during leisure time.  
+
In March 2004, Bulgaria became a member state of the NATO alliance and on January 1, 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union. Although, many observers question whether Bulgaria will achieve all of the steps required within this timeframe. The development of civil society institutions such as NGOs, rule of law, and a shared sense of economic justice remain important challenges for Bulgaria to overcome as it pursues further integration into Europe.
  
If the dresses/skirts are not long enough, long wraparound underskirts are available. Tight clothing can also be culturally inappropriate. At home or on some occasions, women often wear loose-fitting slacks, capris pants or below-the-knee shorts. In general, women should always cover their shoulders and knees and should not wear shorts except for swimming or exercising. Additionally, you should not be able to see your armpits or midriff when raising your arms.  
+
In response to Bulgaria's expressed needs, Peace Corps Volunteers work in the areas of English language education, youth development, and community and organizational development. As Bulgaria and local capacity have evolved, Peace Corps/Bulgaria has responded by focusing on grassroots community development, particularly in underserved and remote communities.
  
Following are some specific clothing suggestions and recommendations:
+
All Peace Corps Volunteers in Bulgaria serve as community development workers. All are highly encouraged to help youth learn life skills. Most Volunteers who are not focused on English language education still actively help community members improve their English language skills.
  
*      1 or 2 black outfits (There are numerous times when it will be appropriate for you to wear black. For instance, in case of a death in the Royal Family or of someone in your community, you may be expected to wear black for an extended period of time. However, you can always buy more clothes here.) 
+
Bulgaria is at a stage in its rapid development where Peace Corps Volunteers can have a significant and rewarding impact, as many local organizations and youth are eager for new ideas. Peace Corps Volunteers are excellent role models for Bulgarian youth and catalysts for organizational change. As Bulgaria prepares to accede to the European Union, Peace Corps/Bulgaria continues to evolve and respond to Bulgaria's rapid social and economic change.  
* 1 or 2 sweatshirts or sweaters and sweatpants (it can get a bit chilly in winter)
+
* Lightweight spring jacket/rain jacket
+
* Lightweight suit jacket, black or dark. (Note: unmarried men can usually make do with a tie and a long-sleeved shirt)
+
* Swimsuit or swim trunks (even though women will not be able to wear a swimsuit in Tonga, it is a good idea to bring one for vacations)
+
* Socks and underwear (with sturdy elastic)
+
* Shoes, including high-quality flip-flops (e.g., Tevas, reef walkers, or water shoes), sneakers, hiking boots, and dress sandals (for men and women). Don’t bring nice leather shoes.
+
  
===For Men ===
 
  
* Two or three light T-shirts
 
* Both black and white button-down shirts
 
* Jeans and lightweight pants (khakis or loose-fitting pants with drawstrings; one pair of each should suffice)
 
* Convertible (zip-off leg) pants 
 
* Lots of lightweight, collared, short-sleeved, button-down-the-front shirts (enough for work and church, for every day but Saturday) and at least one tie and a long-sleeved shirt to go with it
 
* Shorts for your own house or exercise
 
* Bicycle or cotton shorts for modesty and comfort under tupenu (men’s skirt).
 
===For Women ===
 
* Casual dresses or mix-and-match skirts and blouses (for work and in public, including church, skirts should be mid-calf to ankle length, and blouses should not be sleeveless, see-through or have bare midriffs).
 
* Underwear, bras (cotton is best), and sports bras (wickaway fabric [e.g., Coolmax] is effective)
 
* Undershirts or camisoles for sheer blouses
 
* One or two pairs of capris or lightweight long pants for hiking and free time (jeans are acceptable, but a bit heavy and annoying to wash)
 
* Bike shorts and/or slips for modesty and comfort under skirts (remember that Tonga is very humid)
 
Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Lightweight or travel (micro-fiber) towel (thick ones won't do well with hand washing and will take a long time to dry, especially during periods of daily rainstorms)
 
* Initial supply of your favorite shampoo, deodorant, perfume, etc. (Tongans place a high importance on hygiene, and offensive odors are particularly objectionable in Tongan culture.) Note that some brands of all of these items are available here and you should only bring them if you are particularly attached to a certain brand.  .
 
* Cosmetics, if you wear them (local products generally are not of good quality)
 
* Six-month supply of tampons or pads (tampons are not always available in Tonga, and they are expensive)
 
* 2 or 3 Handkerchiefs (multi-purpose; e.g., for dishes, cleaning, sweat rags, etc.)
 
*      Remember, Peace Corps will supply medical items like vitamins, insect repellent, and sunscreen
 
* hand sanitizer (e.g., Purell), if you want it
 
* Baby powder or talcum powder, if you have oily skin
 
* Small mirror
 
  
===Kitchen ===
+
==Peace Corps History==
  
(Many of these items can be found in Tonga, but of reduced quality. You are encouraged to prioritize these items as you see fit, keeping in mind your limited luggage capacity.)
+
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Bulgaria]]''
  
* Swiss army knife, Leatherman, or other utility tool (packed in checked luggage)
+
In 1991, a year after peaceful public protest led to changes in Bulgaria’s political structure and direction, the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to teach English at secondary schools and universities. The first group of economic development Volunteers arrived the following year. Environmental Volunteers started assignments throughout the country in September 1995, and in 2003, the youth development program (YD) was initiated. In 2004, the community and economic development (CED) and environmental programs were merged to create a community and organizational development program (COD), with the goal of providing a comprehensive approach to assisting with community development at the local level.
* Sharp kitchen knife (packed in checked baggage)
+
* Nonstick frying pan (those in Tonga are not of good quality)
+
* Sturdy manual can opener
+
* A French press or stove-top espresso maker (if you like coffee). Instant coffee is available here; but decaf coffee is not.
+
* Measuring spoons and cups
+
* Rubber spatula
+
* Spices/hot sauce (e.g., Tabasco)  
+
* Gum
+
* Vegetable holder (three-basket, hanging)
+
  
===Miscellaneous/Recommended/Optional===
+
As of November 2006, almost 800 Volunteers have served in Bulgaria. Currently, 165 Volunteers are in-country; approximately half of them teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in primary and secondary schools, the other half are in the COD and YD programs.
  
* Luggage: lockable rolling duffel bags work best (make sure locks are the ones approved by airlines—otherwise they will be cut off). You should also be able to manage all of your luggage without the assistance of others. You will also want a smaller bag to use for your pre-service training homestay.
 
* Small backpack
 
* Sheets (double flats are most useful because they fit either a double or a single bed)
 
* Sturdy, inexpensive water-resistant watch
 
* Sturdy water bottles (at least two; e.g., Nalgene or camel back)
 
* Camera: 35&nbsp;mm (with an initial supply of film) or digital is recommended. Also consider an underwater camera. Film processing and printing is expensive and only available on Tongatapu and Vava'u. Consider extra memory cards and multiple rolls of film.
 
* Flashlight or headlamp (LED preferred) and/or reading lamp/book light
 
* Mask and snorkel or swimming goggles
 
* Small sewing kit
 
* Umbrella and/or poncho
 
* Rechargeable batteries and charger (batteries are available, but are generally of poor quality and there is no way to properly dispose of them)
 
* Walkman or CD player and CDs (many Volunteers choose a portable CD player with small attachable speakers) or mp3 player (e.g., iPod) or small boom box
 
* Bicycle (some Volunteers highly recommend bringing one because of the poor quality of local brands; others say bringing one is not worth the added weight). If you decide to bring a bicycle, then a bicycle tool kit and inner tubes are recommended. The Peace Corps will provide a helmet. 
 
* Laptop computer—if you already own one, it may be worth bringing, as many Volunteers find it very helpful to have one. Conditions are hard on computers, but insurance is available. Most locations have electricity though a small number of assignments are in locations that have electricity only at certain times or not at all.
 
* Electrical converter for 210 volts (the same as Australia).
 
* Jump Drive for easy computer information storage and transportation
 
* Sunglasses
 
* Sun hat or visor
 
* Ear plugs
 
* Travel iron (with a converter and adapter)
 
* Extra pair of glasses
 
* Tape recorder
 
* School supplies (e.g., highlighters, index cards, stapler and staples, glue sticks, rubber bands, paper, laminating sheets, etc.)
 
Waterproof zippered plastic bags to help protect valuables and to keep clothes and important papers dry.  Don’t bring anything made from leather, including shoes, belts, and wallets. They will mildew.
 
  
[[Category:Tonga]]
+
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
Housing is generally provided by a Volunteer’s sponsoring organization. Most Volunteers live in a modest studio or one-bedroom apartment with plumbing, heating, and electricity. The range of available housing may vary greatly between Volunteers and sites. If you live in a town or city, you will likely live in an apartment in a communist-style housing “block,” that, from the exterior, resembles the high-rises in public housing projects in U.S. cities.
 +
 
 +
Volunteers assigned to smaller communities should be prepared for the possibility that they may live in a private room in the home of a Bulgarian family. This can offer huge advantages in terms of being accepted into a local family and being “taken care of.” Note that Bulgarian standards of privacy differ from those in the U.S. It is also common that landlords may leave some of their personal items in an apartment that they are renting out.
 +
 
 +
Your heat source could be either one or more portable heaters, central heat, or wood-burning stoves in some rural areas. Heat and electricity are very expensive, and Bulgarians usually only heat the room they are currently in. They usually only turn on their hot water boiler when they are planning to take a shower. Expect for it to be cold inside during the winter, and for it to be very hot during the summer. Indoor climate control concepts differ from what you are likely used to in the U.S.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==Training==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Training in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
Prior to being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive 11-week training program. The training is conducted in Bulgaria and is based on adult learning principles. The training focuses on Bulgarian language study, cross-cultural adjustment and adaptation, health and personal safety, and development of technical skills.
 +
 
 +
Training will take place in a small community, where you will live with a host family and study the Bulgarian language with four or five other trainees. This community-based training involves a lot of experiential learning in which community members are called upon to cooperate in the training process. Periodically, you will join other trainees from your group at a hub site, where you will receive training in administrative, technical, medical, and safety matters.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==Health Care and Safety==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Bulgaria maintains a health unit with three full-time medical officers (Bulgarian physicians), a medical assistant, and a medical secretary. The medical staff takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs as a team.
 +
 
 +
Additional medical services, such as laboratory testing, imaging diagnostics, and evaluation by specialists are also available in Bulgaria at local facilities. Usually the complete medical evaluation and treatment is done in country by the medical officers. If you become seriously ill or injured, you will be transported either to the closest regional medical facility or to the capital for emergency care and treatment. If your condition requires further evaluation or treatment that is unavailable in Bulgaria, then the Office of Medical Services (OMS), Peace Corps, Washington, D.C., approves medevac to a country with better medical standards in the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia (EMA) region (regional medevac) or to the United States (most frequently to your home of record). If your condition requires more than 45 days for complete resolution or has a long-term effect on your health, OMS will determine whether you are able to complete your Peace Corps service.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
In Bulgaria, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Bulgaria.
 +
 
 +
Outside of Bulgaria’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Bulgaria are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.
 +
 
 +
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 +
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 +
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 +
* Possible Issues for Married Volunteers
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==Frequently Asked Questions==
 +
 
 +
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 +
|H1r=  61
 +
|H1s=  66
 +
|H2r=  49
 +
|H2s=  80.3
 +
|H3r=  55
 +
|H3s=  80.3
 +
|H4r=  51
 +
|H4s=  102.5
 +
|H5r=  58
 +
|H5s=  44.9
 +
|H6r=  62
 +
|H6s=  67
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Bulgaria?
 +
* What is the electric current in Bulgaria?
 +
* 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 Bulgarian friends and 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 from Bulgaria?
 +
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==Packing List==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Packing list for Bulgaria]]''
 +
 
 +
The following recommendations are based on the experiences of Volunteers who have served in Bulgaria. Use them as an informal guide, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything that is mentioned, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. Many past and current Volunteers wish they had not brought so many clothes and toiletries and had instead focused on specialty items. You should not hesitate to bring items of sentimental value that will help you feel content at your site, but you can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100-pound weight limit on checked luggage; you will be responsible for any fees for overweight baggage. Except where otherwise indicated, all the following items are available in Bulgaria; they are listed here as items to bring because the quality of the items may be inferior, their price may be significantly higher, or they may not be regularly available in Bulgaria.
 +
 
 +
* General Clothing
 +
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 +
* Kitchen
 +
* Miscellaneous
 +
 
 +
==Peace Corps News==
 +
 
 +
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 +
 
 +
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22bulgaria%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
 +
 
 +
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/bu/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
 +
 
 +
==Country Fund==
 +
 
 +
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=313-CFD Bulgaria Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Bulgaria. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
* [[Volunteers who served in Bulgaria]]
 +
* [[Bulgaria sites|Sites where volunteers have served in Bulgaria]]
 +
* [[Friends of Bulgaria]]
 +
* [[List of resources for Bulgaria]]
 +
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 +
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 +
 
 +
==External links==
 +
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/bu.html Peace Corps Journals - Bulgaria]
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Bulgaria]] [[Category:Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 +
[[Category:Country]]

Revision as of 07:56, 21 May 2014


US Peace Corps
Country name is::Bulgaria


Status: ACTIVE
Staging: {{#ask:Country staging date::+country name is::Bulgaria[[Staging date::>2014-07-14]]

mainlabel=- ?staging date= ?staging city= format=list sort=Staging date

}}


American Overseas Staff (FY2010): {{#ask:2010_pcstaff_salary::+country name is::Bulgaria

mainlabel=- ?Grade_staff= ?Lastname_staff= ?Firstname_staff= ?Middlename_staff= ?Initial_staff= ?Salary_staff=$ format=list sort=Grade_staff

}}


Latest Early Termination Rates (FOIA 11-058): {{#ask:Country_early_termination_rate::+country name is::Bulgaria

mainlabel=- ?2005_early_termination=2005 ?2006_early_termination=2006 ?2007_early_termination=2007 ?2008_early_termination=2008 format=list

}}


Peace Corps Journals - Bulgaria File:Feedicon.gif

250px
Peace Corps Welcome Book
Region:

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country Director:

Lesley Duncan

Sectors:

Community and Organizational Development
English Language Education
Youth Development

Program Dates:

1991 - Present

Current Volunteers:

161

Total Volunteers:

1024

Languages Spoken:

Bulgarian

Flag:

150px

__SHOWFACTBOX__


In 1991, a year after the first free elections following the collapse of the Communist government, [1], the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to partner with the people and government of Bulgaria. These first Volunteers focused on teaching English. Since the late 1990s, Bulgaria has made exceptional progress in its transition to a decentralized, market-oriented economic system.

This rapid development, however, has also exacerbated a host of socioeconomic problems. Positive news about the economy is tempered by extremely high unemployment, particularly in rural areas of the country and gripping poverty among the elderly, minorities, and other groups. Environmental degradation is prevalent, as concern for economic recovery and growth outpaced efforts to protect and restore the environment.

In March 2004, Bulgaria became a member state of the NATO alliance and on January 1, 2007 Bulgaria joined the European Union. Although, many observers question whether Bulgaria will achieve all of the steps required within this timeframe. The development of civil society institutions such as NGOs, rule of law, and a shared sense of economic justice remain important challenges for Bulgaria to overcome as it pursues further integration into Europe.

In response to Bulgaria's expressed needs, Peace Corps Volunteers work in the areas of English language education, youth development, and community and organizational development. As Bulgaria and local capacity have evolved, Peace Corps/Bulgaria has responded by focusing on grassroots community development, particularly in underserved and remote communities.

All Peace Corps Volunteers in Bulgaria serve as community development workers. All are highly encouraged to help youth learn life skills. Most Volunteers who are not focused on English language education still actively help community members improve their English language skills.

Bulgaria is at a stage in its rapid development where Peace Corps Volunteers can have a significant and rewarding impact, as many local organizations and youth are eager for new ideas. Peace Corps Volunteers are excellent role models for Bulgarian youth and catalysts for organizational change. As Bulgaria prepares to accede to the European Union, Peace Corps/Bulgaria continues to evolve and respond to Bulgaria's rapid social and economic change.


Peace Corps History

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Bulgaria

In 1991, a year after peaceful public protest led to changes in Bulgaria’s political structure and direction, the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Bulgaria to teach English at secondary schools and universities. The first group of economic development Volunteers arrived the following year. Environmental Volunteers started assignments throughout the country in September 1995, and in 2003, the youth development program (YD) was initiated. In 2004, the community and economic development (CED) and environmental programs were merged to create a community and organizational development program (COD), with the goal of providing a comprehensive approach to assisting with community development at the local level.

As of November 2006, almost 800 Volunteers have served in Bulgaria. Currently, 165 Volunteers are in-country; approximately half of them teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in primary and secondary schools, the other half are in the COD and YD programs.


Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle

Main article: Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Bulgaria

Housing is generally provided by a Volunteer’s sponsoring organization. Most Volunteers live in a modest studio or one-bedroom apartment with plumbing, heating, and electricity. The range of available housing may vary greatly between Volunteers and sites. If you live in a town or city, you will likely live in an apartment in a communist-style housing “block,” that, from the exterior, resembles the high-rises in public housing projects in U.S. cities.

Volunteers assigned to smaller communities should be prepared for the possibility that they may live in a private room in the home of a Bulgarian family. This can offer huge advantages in terms of being accepted into a local family and being “taken care of.” Note that Bulgarian standards of privacy differ from those in the U.S. It is also common that landlords may leave some of their personal items in an apartment that they are renting out.

Your heat source could be either one or more portable heaters, central heat, or wood-burning stoves in some rural areas. Heat and electricity are very expensive, and Bulgarians usually only heat the room they are currently in. They usually only turn on their hot water boiler when they are planning to take a shower. Expect for it to be cold inside during the winter, and for it to be very hot during the summer. Indoor climate control concepts differ from what you are likely used to in the U.S.


Training

Main article: Training in Bulgaria

Prior to being sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will participate in an intensive 11-week training program. The training is conducted in Bulgaria and is based on adult learning principles. The training focuses on Bulgarian language study, cross-cultural adjustment and adaptation, health and personal safety, and development of technical skills.

Training will take place in a small community, where you will live with a host family and study the Bulgarian language with four or five other trainees. This community-based training involves a lot of experiential learning in which community members are called upon to cooperate in the training process. Periodically, you will join other trainees from your group at a hub site, where you will receive training in administrative, technical, medical, and safety matters.


Health Care and Safety

Main article: Health care and safety in Bulgaria

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Bulgaria maintains a health unit with three full-time medical officers (Bulgarian physicians), a medical assistant, and a medical secretary. The medical staff takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs as a team.

Additional medical services, such as laboratory testing, imaging diagnostics, and evaluation by specialists are also available in Bulgaria at local facilities. Usually the complete medical evaluation and treatment is done in country by the medical officers. If you become seriously ill or injured, you will be transported either to the closest regional medical facility or to the capital for emergency care and treatment. If your condition requires further evaluation or treatment that is unavailable in Bulgaria, then the Office of Medical Services (OMS), Peace Corps, Washington, D.C., approves medevac to a country with better medical standards in the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia (EMA) region (regional medevac) or to the United States (most frequently to your home of record). If your condition requires more than 45 days for complete resolution or has a long-term effect on your health, OMS will determine whether you are able to complete your Peace Corps service.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues

Main article: Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Bulgaria.

Outside of Bulgaria’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Bulgaria are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.

  • Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
  • Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  • Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
  • Possible Issues for Married Volunteers


Frequently Asked Questions

Bulgaria
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::61|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::66|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::49|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::80.3|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::55|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::80.3|}}
Do you intend to complete your Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H4r::51|}}
Score:
2008 H4s::102.5|}}
How well do your Peace Corps experiences match the expectations you had before you became a Volunteer?|}} Rank:
2008 H5r::58|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::44.9|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::62|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::67|}}
2008BVS::Bulgaria


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Bulgaria

  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Bulgaria?
  • What is the electric current in Bulgaria?
  • 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 Bulgarian friends and 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 from Bulgaria?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?


Packing List

Main article: Packing list for Bulgaria

The following recommendations are based on the experiences of Volunteers who have served in Bulgaria. Use them as an informal guide, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything that is mentioned, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. Many past and current Volunteers wish they had not brought so many clothes and toiletries and had instead focused on specialty items. You should not hesitate to bring items of sentimental value that will help you feel content at your site, but you can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100-pound weight limit on checked luggage; you will be responsible for any fees for overweight baggage. Except where otherwise indicated, all the following items are available in Bulgaria; they are listed here as items to bring because the quality of the items may be inferior, their price may be significantly higher, or they may not be regularly available in Bulgaria.

  • General Clothing
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
  • Kitchen
  • Miscellaneous

Peace Corps News

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
<rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22bulgaria%22&output=rss%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cdate=M d</rss>


PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Monday July 14, 2014 )<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/bu/blog/50.xml%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cmax=10</rss>

Country Fund

Contributions to the Bulgaria Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Bulgaria. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.

See also

External links