Cambodia is a wonderful Southeast Asian destination for travelers who’d like to experience a friendly and warm culture that blends old and new. From ancient temples to bustling modern markets, and from dazzling beaches and islands to the gorgeous Cardamom Mountains, there is so much to see and do here.
While you can find endless ways to explore Cambodia, you may consider combining your travels with volunteering in this beautiful nation, which has suffered to rebuild after the genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Between 1.5 and 3 million Cambodian people were killed during this time, and the country struggles today with poverty, malnourishment, poor education, and high unemployment, as well as the slow development of infrastructure and business.
As a volunteer traveler, there are many ways that you can make a positive impact, find new friends, and explore the diverse beauty of Cambodia.
Volunteer: High unemployment rates and a lack of resources have led to impoverished communities nationwide. You can assist with constructing and renovating homes, leading business development workshops, and much more.
Teach: When children and adults are unable to access quality education, they become stuck in a cycle of poverty. You can volunteer in an NGO-run school to help teachers with their day-to-day work, develop lesson plans and assist with schoolwork, or even lead classrooms on your own.
Intern: Skills-based internships and medical placements allow you to provide care that many impoverished Cambodians might not otherwise access. Inadequate healthcare leads to higher infant mortality rates, as well as incidences of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases.
Volunteer and Intern Opportunities in Cambodia
Teach English in Takeo Province
The Cambodia Teaching Volunteers project from Plan My Gap Year (PMGY) is an affordable program where you will have the opportunity to teach disadvantaged children in the Takeo Province. By volunteering in a community school, you will help these children earn an education, gain vital skills to become employed and avoid living in poverty. Depending on how much time you have to spend volunteering abroad, you can stay for as little as two weeks or for as long as six months starting at only $360 plus a registration fee. Teaching focuses on intermediate and advanced English.
Teaching in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Pursat Province, and Kampong Speu Province
College students and those planning their gap year can travel to Cambodia and support children in NGO-run schools. International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) offers a range of teaching opportunities through its Volunteer in Cambodia program in several locations throughout Cambodia. Depending on the program’s needs and your background, you may teach in any of the main cities or provinces. Volunteer from two to 24 weeks starting at $360 for the first two weeks. You’ll work with children of all levels, including the choice to work with those who are disabled. Subjects you might take on include:
- Information technology (IT)
- Website design
Medical Volunteering in Phnom Penh
The IVHQ Volunteer in Cambodia medical program offers hands-on experience for current and graduating medical school students. Depending on your background, you may work in a pediatric hospital (limited to fourth-year medical students and physicians) or in the general hospital (limited to physicians) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Volunteers must commit to at least three weeks and can extend their stay up to 12 weeks. The cost starts at $475 for three weeks plus registration fee and hospital surcharges, and you can choose to work in pediatrics or in general medicine. Computer Support in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Pursat Province, and Kampong Speu Province
IVHQ gives volunteers the chance to put their computer skills to good use through the Volunteer in Cambodia computer support program. For a cost starting at only $360 for two weeks abroad, volunteers with relevant experience will be able to work on the following projects for up to six months:
- Website development
- Social media support
- Windows System Administration
- LAN and printer administration
Medical Internship in Phnom Penh
Love Volunteers provides medical internships through a Medical Volunteers program in Phnom Penh. This internship requires some medical background to gain hands-on experience working in hospitals alongside physicians. It costs $609 for two weeks and can go for as long as 12 weeks. As an intern, you may focus on children’s health or pediatrics.
On Love Volunteers’ Cambodia Community Development program, you can assist with a variety of projects that focus on making society fairer and just for the impoverished. Volunteers pay $609 for four weeks and can opt to stay up to three months. Choose to work on any number of projects that focus on the following issues:
- Human rights
Construction Work in Siem Reap
Love Volunteers’ Construction Volunteering Building Homes program is perfect for those who want to work outdoors. This program helps to provide shelter for impoverished community members in Cambodia – you are invited to stay one to two weeks, starting at only $359. No prior construction experience is required – just a willingness to lend a helping hand with painting, demolishing, building, sawing, or cleaning.
Teach English in Phnom Penh
GVI’s Volunteer Teaching in Cambodia program is a great way to give back to communities and learn about their education system. You will have the chance to teach both children and adults in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Your orientation will provide you with everything you need to know, including a basic foundation of the Khmer language. This program starts at $1,795 for two weeks and can go as long as 12 weeks. Volunteers will work closely with Cambodians during one-on-one lessons, workshops and in classes on numeracy and literacy.