Pre-field training can be invaluable to your journey to thriving in your host country, just as post-field debriefing and processing can be invaluable to your reculturation. The following are reputable, highly recommended programs for both preparing for, and recovering from, your time on the field.
Compass is considered the gold standard of pre-field training, and it’s required (or strongly suggested) by many agencies. It’s expensive, but it’s also a 4-week residential program in the mountains of Colorado. This program includes both “language acquisition training” (how to learn a language) as well as emotional/spiritual preparation and tools for your new life. You also form tight bonds with your fellow trainees, headed out all over the world, which can prove to be a really beautiful community as you journey on. A big time commitment, especially during what is, for many, a season of fundraising. $3966 per adult, $949-$2591 per child dependent of age
Center for Intercultural Training, Union Mills NC
Fast becoming an attractive option for pre-field training, it is possible to be both shorter AND cheaper than MTI. I say possible, because if you do both their Equip and Second Language Acquisition programs, it’s actually longer and can be more expensive. (MTI wraps these into one 4-week program) Many agencies are now allowing this as an alternative to MTI before departure, and it’s had really positive reviews from our community for those who have attended. Depending on which courses you take and what housing you choose, this can actually be a more expensive option (if choosing to do both programs).
Debrief and Renewal program. 5 days in Colorado. Staffed by seasoned former overseas workers trained in counseling and processing. Family friendly, with programs for children and adults. Useful for reculturation, or during furlough, particularly if you need to process heavy things before returning to the field. Different streams for MTI returnees and first time MTI participants. $998 per adult, $240-$609 depending on the age of the child. Includes housing.
5 day debrief session. In North Carolina. Very similar to MTI, with kids programs and various process and debrief resources. $365-685 dependent of age, plus housing.
A small network of support groups for women back in the US after overseas service. Most meet monthly, drop in style. Looking to open others elsewhere in the US, too!