About Cambodia

The Global Volunteer Network currently has opportunities to teach conversational English through our partner organization in Cambodia. This will allow you to help students improve their English skills while at the same time immersing yourself in urban Cambodian life.

Volunteers will be working as language teachers in a school project which provides affordable conversational English language courses for students. The aim of this project is to raise money for a local NGO working to improve livelihoods in rural communities in Cambodia. Students pay a small fee to attend the classes. In the past, the money raised by the language centre has been used to improve water and sanitation, for small livestock and agriculture production and for community environmental awareness in rural Cambodia.

Volunteers teach conversational English classes which have around 10 students in each class. All students and teachers have books, from which to learn and teach. There is scope for volunteers to include their own exercises/games into each class. Most volunteers work up to 5 hours per day. Lesson plans and materials will be provided by the school to make preparation and teaching easier.

To learn more, please visit the Global Volunteer Network Cambodia program page.

Recent Cambodia Journals:

Traveling and culture

 Posted by Joseph Allen at 10:54 am  Cambodia  Comments Off on Traveling and culture
Jun 232008

If you’re traveling to Cambodia, and want to travel light for the plane ride, you can pick up anything you need here in Phnom Penh. It might take you a few days to find where everything is, so bring some bear essentials to get you by. Good mosquito repellant, sunscreen, an English dictionary, and duct tape are exceptions. Also what to bring will depend somewhat on what time of year you will be here, and whether or not you plan on traveling to other areas. Personally, I brought too many socks, haven’t worn any since I arrived. The best months weather-wise from what I understand are from November to February during the dry season. Temperatures during this time are also lower. Compared to when I first arrived at the end of May, the rains have been coming more often now. Seems that everyday there is at least a brief sprinkle. Showers seem most likely to occur in the evenings, but can occur at anytime of day and last around 30 minutes to an hour. Keeping an eye on the sky can give you some idea of what weather might be in store for you. Cooler temperatures have come with the rain. With cooler temperatures has come cooler water (e.g. for showering). The perpetual sweating has abated, but one still feels sticky most of the day due to the humidity. Getting around Phnom Penh The volunteer house is located in the southern part of Phnom Penh, and relatively far away from the more happening areas of the city. The cost to travel by moto or tuk-tuk to the riverside area is around one dollar (US) to three dollars. If you’re with a group you can split the costs up. For those more thrifty, bikes are available for volunteer use and there [click here to read more]

First week of teaching

 Posted by Joseph Allen at 10:52 am  Cambodia  Comments Off on First week of teaching
Jun 142008

Well all the uncertainty has come to an end. My first day of classes and the week, I would say went fairly well considering I’ve never taught before. We have course books to use for teaching, however these books are geared more toward acclimating foreigners to US living and are not very applicable to local Khmer culture. Despite the curriculum the students are eager to learn and are open to learning anything and everything you teach them. Other resources are available, and though rudimentary serve their purposes. Major skills that the students need to work on are vocabulary development, improving coherent speech, and pronunciation. While teaching some students are somewhat reticent, while others are almost too eager. For myself, not having much teaching experience has not been a problem, and any native English speaker should feel confident teaching the prepared lessons. For those interested in preparing for such an experience, unless you can design a curriculum specific to the needs of the students here, my advice would be to identify and practice different teaching strategies. The lessons are based on topics dealing with everyday life, everything from food to problems in your house. There is much flexibility allowed in teaching strategies and even choice of topics, however, I have not deviated from the lessons much. I can tell you that the students indicated their main reasons for studying English were to aid in finding a job, to communicate with foreigners, and to educate themselves further. Very few if any have traveled outside of the country, and only slightly more seem to have traveled within Cambodia itself. At the end of the week, we had a volunteer house meeting to discuss any issues in accommodations or teaching.

Trip to Kratie Province

 Posted by Joseph Allen at 10:23 am  Cambodia  Comments Off on Trip to Kratie Province
Jun 082008

We took a trip out to the Kratie Province from Wednesday to Friday of last week. The main purpose of the trip was to allow us to better appreciate the work and efforts of CWF’s partner organization Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT). Although we are volunteering here at CWF, students still pay for their lessons. The tuition proceeds go to fund CRDT and their projects. We started our trip with a 6 hour bus ride, with occasional rest stops. The food dishes along the way were very good. Aside from the roadside restaurant we stopped at, there were numerous venders selling a delectable selection of crispy crickets, dried spiced spiders, Cajun mini frogs, cooked fowl, fruits, and other dishes. Once we arrived in Kratie we rested for an hour, and then attended a presentation at the local CRDT office. Here we learned of the various CRDT projects including: water and sanitation, biodigesters, fish farming, small livestock production, agricultural production, community awareness, and an effort to help preserve the remaining population of Irrawaddy dolphins still found in the Mekong River. The best chance to see the dolphins occurs during the dry season when they congregated in deep water pools of the river. We spent the first night at a local guest house and the next morning started for a remote village located on the largest island in the Mekong River (about 7 km by 2 km in dimension). Traveling initially by car (approx. 1 hr), then by boat (approx. 30 min) we made it to the village. We saw several of the projects firsthand and socialized with some of the locals doing our best to breach the language barrier. It was all about cameras and taking pictures. (For anyone thinking about CWF, I would recommend taking something that would help share [click here to read more]

Almost one week in Cambodia

 Posted by Joseph Allen at 10:20 am  Cambodia  Comments Off on Almost one week in Cambodia
Jun 012008

I’m really enjoying it here in Cambodia. They’ve been pretty good about giving us the chance to acclimate to our new environment. We had a quick tour of the city by tuk-tuk, these motorcycle-drawn carriages, and we’ve been taking Khmer classes for an hour a day. Just can’t seem to get the hang of it … it’ll click one of these days. The program with CWF is well structured and the staff is very supportive. Orientation has gone well, and they have provided information on how to stay safe & healthy out here. Nothing alarming, with the mosquitoes being my biggest concern. The food out here is decent, but the fruits are really interesting and yummy. I’ve probably had 4 fruits that I’ve never seen or tasted before, and look forward to enjoying others. Living in Phnom Penh of course is urban. But a different kind of urban than the States. There are tons of these little shops out here, and I can’t fathom how they all stay in business. You can find pretty much everything here you need, so you should be able to pack light (now I know for next time). The main challenge will be getting around the city to find what you are looking for. Sambo the Operations Manager, and Sopheap the Volunteer Coordinator can help with that. There are 11 volunteers, most living in the volunteer house. Rooms are shared, but since there were openings I ended up with a single. The negative aspect is that it is one of the hotter rooms, and is poorly defended against mosquito attacks. I’ve tried to strengthen the defenses by using additional netting help up with tape, but that hasn’t worked to well (it keeps falling down). There is running water, but no hot water. Honestly, you don’t [click here to read more]


 Posted by Joseph Allen at 10:12 am  Cambodia  Comments Off on Cambodia
May 242008

T minus 3 days 15 hours and 20 minuts (approximately). Really looking forward to getting out to Cambodia. Still working on some checklist stuff, but I’m getting there. Someone will be meeting me at the airport holding a sign with my name on it either Sopheap or Huy. Erin from GVN has been very helpful answering questions. And I’ve been in touch with the other two GVN volunteers from Australia. There should be others, but they are involved through different organizations. We’ll have to see how many people are there. As Conversations With Foreigners has lesson plans to work with, I’m sure this will make this experience truly rewarding both for myself and the students. Next update … See you in Cambodia!

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