Would you like to visit southeast Asia? Have you always wanted to see the temples of Cambodia? Are you interested in widening your worldview while giving back in this part of the world where your help is desperately needed? Consider volunteering in Cambodia and make these dreams a reality.
Cambodia is a great country to travel and volunteer in. Here you can explore the famous Angkor Wat,visit outstanding beaches and Tonlé Sap, the world's largest fresh-water lake, and much more. Mind-blowing cuisine, world-class shopping and brilliant nightlife await you in this centuries-old country.
Despite strong economic growth during the early part of the 21stcentury, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. As with most developing countries, Cambodia is rife with corruption, income inequality, and lack of infrastructure. Poor education opportunities trap the population in a cycle of poverty and mostly affects low income families and their children
In Cambodia, local organizations are trying to help poor families and children, but they are chronically understaffed and poorly funded. For this reason, they are desperately looking for volunteers more than ever, which is where you come in.
There are endless ways to volunteer your services and contribute to making a difference in disadvantaged communities in Cambodia. If children are your passion, you can teach English or help in an orphanage andthe possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Whichever project you choose, you will be able to make a huge difference in the lives of Cambodians in need. Whether you work with children as an English teacher or in an orphanage, help provide medical care to rural areas or work with HIV/AIDS prevention and care, your love, passion and dedication will make a great positive impact and leave you with lifelong memories and a feeling of genuine achievement.
Gain valuable life experience while helping those in need. Request information about volunteering in Cambodia and choose a program that speaks to you!
Available Projects in Cambodia:
IFRE offers an array of impactful projects in Cambodia, so no matter what type of volunteer experience you are searching for you are sure to find a project which suits your interests. Take a look at these exciting offerings and select a cause you can’t wait to get involved with!
While Cambodia is an incredible country to visit and explore, it is overwhelmed with an ever-growing population of orphaned children who are living without any education, comforts or love. Many of the local organizations running orphanages are poorly funded and are in urgent need of volunteers.
When you participate in IFRE’s volunteer program in Cambodian orphanages, you will get the opportunity to work closely with the orphans, offering them the care, support and attention they crave. You will teach them English, provide daily care, help with meal-times, and engage the children in fun and enriching activities like sports, dancing, art, and games. Make a huge difference in the lives of Cambodia’s orphans, and share your passion for working with children where it is most needed!
The demand for English language skills is very high in Cambodia and English fluency is often related to employment success: those who are proficient in English are more likely to receive higher salaries and better employment opportunities, especially in the profitable tourism and hospitality industries. Most public schools lack qualified English teachers that can provide students with the necessary level of English instruction to properly learn the language.
When you commit to IFRE’s volunteer program in Cambodia Teaching English, you will teach English in local public schools helping to improve the English language skills of children from rural areas. You will have the chance to contribute to the betterment of their futures and increase their opportunities for success. Usually, the volunteers work alongside local English teachers in state and community schools and may sometimes lead classes on pronunciation and conversational skills. You will have several options as to where and whom you teach.
The Cambodia medical volunteer project is ideal for future or current medical students or those pursuing a career in the field of healthcare. In this project, you will be working in local hospitals alongside local doctors, mostlyshadowing them and learning from them. Depending on your education and experience, you may also be involved in primary care and treatment of patients.
HIV/AIDS is a serious health threat in Cambodia. Every year, hundreds of adults and children become infected and die of this killer virus.
In Cambodia, IFRE partners with local hospitals and medical organizations to promote adolescent reproductive health and education as well as HIV/AIDS prevention. You will mainly be involved with counseling and education at this project andyou will have to provide direct support and care to HIV/AIDS infected patients, including sick children and seniors. This project is open to any volunteers who are willing to share their love, time and compassion with HIV patients and who are committed to supporting efforts to stop the spread of this disease.
Many areas of Cambodia are still suffering from the devastating civil war and brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge. While there’s been significant economic growth and rebuilding since then, there are still countless rural and poor communities all across Cambodia that require significant efforts in order to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and provide real economic opportunities for future generations living there.
By joining our community development project, you can utilize your specialized skills, love and passion to ensure a better future for Cambodians living in poor or rural areas.
The government of Cambodia is often unable to provide assistance and infrastructure to poor and rural areas still suffering from the country’s dark past. To help solve this problem, local NGO’s have been established to provide a variety of services and developmental aid to these communities.
These NGO’s are in constant need of dedicated volunteers as they are always lacking in manpower and resources to reach all the communities in Cambodia that require assistance. By dedicating your time and sharing your love and passion for disadvantaged people and communities, you can make a huge difference and enable the NGO you work with to reach an even greater number of people.
In addition to the projects listed above, IFRE offers group programs for high school and college students, family volunteering, alternative spring breaks, and many other unique programs. Contact us for further information.
IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.
Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others. We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured; we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.
Volunteer Program Fee (US$)
|Medical project|| NGO/
Program Fees Cover:
- Accommodation (host family)
- Food (local food 3 times a day)
- Airport Pick up/Transfer
- Program Orientation
- In-country support
- Personalized project
- Pre-departure information
- Certificate of completion
- Fundraising ideas and letters
- Discount for returning volunteers
Program Fees Exclude:
- Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
- Daily transportation
- Airport return transfer
As an IFRE volunteer you will be free to focus on your volunteer project and exploring the exciting destination of Cambodia, because we will take care of all the details required to make your trip abroad a success. We ensure you have safe, secure, and comfortable housing, three local healthy meals a day, and supportive supervision by our experienced in-country staff throughout your entire volunteer experience in Cambodia.
In Cambodia, we have an excellent, modern and comfortable volunteer house for our volunteers.In the volunteer house, volunteer mostly share room with the same gender, and it is located in a very safe area near the center of Phnom Penh (near the Olympic Stadium) with easy access to local transportation and a variety of nearby places to explore.
The volunteer house is 4 stories, and has multiple rooms, a kitchen, relaxation areas, a dining hall, and other facilities. The house is also equippedwith Wi-Fi, electric fans, western toilets, nice/clean rooms, aroof terrace with hammocks, and a TV ensuring that you will live comfortably.
Our local coordinator and staff also have offices in the same building. Therefore, you will get any kind of help you will need at any time.
Occasionally when volunteers choose a rural project, they will live with host families that are very friendly and hospitable, and always arrange a comfortable living situation for you. A homestay also gives you the unique opportunity to become immersed in Cambodian culture,and all of our past volunteers greatly enjoyedtheir stay with our host families.
In Cambodia, the majority of our volunteer stay in our volunteer house, but some in rural areas stay with a host family. No matter whether you stay in our volunteer house or with a host family, we arrange three delicious meals a day(breakfast, lunch and dinner) forour volunteers in Cambodiaprepared by our staff in the volunteer house or by your host mother.
In the volunteer house, we have professional cooks and they will prepare both western and local foods for you. To serve our volunteers with a different kind food each day, we have developed a weekly food menu. The menu includes soup, salad, fried rice, noodles, chicken and other popular local foods.
If you havespecial dietary requirements (vegetarian or vegan), please let our country coordinator know and they will make the necessary food arrangements for you.
Cambodia is an exciting travel destination and you likely can’t wait to get out and start exploring it. Are you wondering if you’ll have free time from your volunteer project to make the most of your exotic locale? You’ll be happy to know our volunteers in Cambodia have evenings and weekends free, so you’ll have plenty of time to experience everything Cambodia has to offer.
While IFRE does not arrange activities during this time off, our local staff, members and coordinators can provide priceless assistance in making appropriate arrangements for travel in this lovely ancient country. Free time is an opportunity for self-discovery, learning and exploration.
Phnom Penh was once known as the "Pearl of Asia." . It is said to be one of the most beautiful French-built cities as the French colonized Cambodia (then part of Indochina). It is a charming, rapidly developing city positioned where three large rivers intersect: The Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac.
Be sure not to missthe Royal Palace, Wat Phnom, the National Museum and ToulSleng Genocide Museum. There are a few surviving French colonial buildings, such as the Royal Palace and PhsarThmei, as well as other French style buildings along the grand boulevards.
Phnom Penh, one of the best cities to travel and volunteer in Cambodia, has a wide range of restaurants (from severalcuisines), markets, internet cafés and a wealth of other interesting places away from the tourist track. The town is a perfect base from which to take day or weekend trips to the provinces and the coast.
All major tourist attractions provide an amazing glimpse into this region's mystical past. There are also natural wonders to explore. Kratie is home to freshwater dolphins, and many white sand beaches that hug the Gulf of Thailand. Throughout Cambodia, there are numerous natural landscapes and environments in which to relax and take in the tranquil atmosphere. Our local coordinators and staff are available to give you free advice and travel tips and to help you book your travel.
Safety and In-country Support
Your safety is IFRE’s number one priority at all times, and you can have peace of mind knowing we will do everything possible to ensure you have a safe and secure experience volunteering in Cambodia. We offer pre-trip support, reliable and comprehensive travel insurance, airport pick-up, and availability to 24/7 guidance and support by an experienced in-country staff that is right there on the ground to help you every step of the way.
As soon as you arrive in Cambodia, you will have the support of an experienced team of in-country field staff. The team is comprised of mature, educated, socially respected individuals who are dedicated humanitarians highly experienced in working with international volunteers.
Your main point of contact will be the in-country coordinator. They will select your Cambodia volunteering project placement, make all the arrangements for your airport transfer, accommodations, and food, give you an orientation which covers culture, safety, and your service work, introduce you to your host family and project staff, and make periodic visits and calls to check up on your progress. You can reach out to the coordinator at any time with any questions, issues, or to ask for advice and they will be happy to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs
You probably have a lot of questions about volunteering, and we’ve compiled an extensive list of our most frequently asked questions to help you better understand the process and aspects of our volunteering experiences.
At which airport do I need to arrive for my volunteer work in Cambodia?
You need to arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport.
Do you organize airport pick-up?
Yes, IFRE does organize airport pick-up for you.
What happens if I miss my flight or arrive late?
The first thing you should do is contact the in-country coordinator and let them know you have missed your flight and will arrive late. Thenyou have to provide the coordinator with your new flight details so that he/she can rearrange the airport pick-up for you prior to your arrival. You will be provided with the coordinator’s contact information prior to your travel.
Who will come to pick me up? How do I recognize the person at the airport?
Our local representative will come to pick you up at the airport. He/she will be carrying a board with your name on it, so you should be able to recognize the person easily.
If my Cambodia volunteer project begins on Monday, when should I arrive? If I want to arrive earlier than the day that my assignment begins, where do I stay and who will organize the accommodations? Does it cost me extra?
You should arrive on Sunday and rest for a day before actually beginning your volunteer program the following Monday. If you decide to arrive earlier than the day of the start of your project, you should inform your in-country coordinator in advance and they will help you to organize all the things like accommodations and activities. You will have to pay an additional $30 per night.
Who will bring me to the airport for my departure?
IFRE does not offer any airport transportation services to its volunteers after the completion of their project. You will need to make their own arrangements and can hire a local taxi to take them to the airport for their departure. Make sure you budget for this additional expense.
What do I need prior to departure from my home country?
You will need to get up to date on your vaccinations, secure travel insurance, apply for your visa, and research your destination in advance of your travel.
Prior to your departure, you need to make sure that you have packed all the important items for your volunteer trip. That includes your passport, medicines, clothing, tickets, credit card, and other important documents which you might need while volunteering in Cambodia such as your medical ID card (if you are taking part in IFRE’s healthcare volunteer program in Cambodia).
Where are the projects located?
All of IFRE’s volunteer programs in Cambodia are located in the Phnom Penh, Pursat and Kampot provinces. The location of your placement will be determined when you decide which volunteer program to join. Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia and is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities to visit and explore in the country. You will find everything from ancient royal palaces, Buddhist temples, museums, parks, libraries, fascinating monuments and markets filled with exotic items.
Is there a minimum and a maximum stay?
Our programs last from 2-12 weeks in duration. However, many volunteer projects in Cambodia requires a minimum of 4 weeks stay.
Can I extend my stay if I choose to do so?
Yes, if you choose to extend your stay beyond your original departure date, contact your in-country coordinator to discuss this option. You may need to extend your visa, as well, depending on the circumstances.
Will I have enough time to travel after work and on the weekend during my volunteering project in Cambodia?
Yes, our volunteers do get enough time to travel while in the evenings and on weekends.We encourage our volunteers to go out and discover the intriguing wonders of this exotic country when they are not at their project placement. Cambodia is rich in culture and history, and it has many amazing places to explore for foreign volunteers.
Who will guide or support me in the project?
Our volunteers are looked after and guided by our in-country coordinator and the local staff membersat their project placements.
How old should I be to take part in these projects?
You must be 18 years of age or older. Minors under this age must provide a proof of parental consent from their legal guardians, and in some cases, we may be able to make an exception. Minors can also volunteer alongside their parents or guardians.
Who manages IFRE’s volunteer programs?
Our in-country coordinator manages all of our volunteer experiences. From the start of your volunteer project to the very end, they will be there to support you so that you can manage your work and daily tasks.
Will I receive training before the start of myvolunteer project in Cambodia?
Yes, you will receive 3-4 hours of training before the start of your volunteer work, and this will be administered after your arrival in Cambodia.Your in-country coordinator and the local field staff will give you the class, and you will learn about your service work, your schedule, customs and culture in Cambodia, and necessary safety measures you will need to keep in mind.
Is there dress a code for the project?
No, there is no strictdress codeto follow. However, volunteers are advised to wear modest and decent clothing during their entire stay in Cambodia. Due to the conservative nature of the country, revealing outfits are often unacceptable.
Why should I pay to volunteer in Cambodia?
We do not get external funding to run the volunteer program. Asrunning volunteer program involves many expenses a fee is needed to cover the cost of running the programs and also to cover your cost of airport pick up, food, accommodation, project donation, field supervision,support and more.
Why are IFRE’s fees so much more affordable than other volunteer organizations?
IFRE manages to offer affordable and life-changing volunteer experiences abroad at affordable prices because it serves as a non-profit volunteer organization which has an international staff comprised of dedicated humanitarians with a passion for making this world a better place. The fees are just enough to sustain our programs, and money is not a motivating force for us. IFRE remains devoted to maintaining both the quality of our programs as well as the safety of all volunteers involved, even at the lowest of prices.
Can I get a tax deduction for my volunteer abroad project in Cambodia?
Yes, you can get a tax deductionfor any of our volunteer programs, as we are an American non-profit 501©3 volunteer organization which collaborates with many orphanages, schools, hospitals and NGOs all across the globe.
Can I get help to raise funds?
Yes, we do help volunteers to raise funds for your volunteer abroad experience by sending supporting documents. You can raise funds through various campaigns. You can also ask for donations to different organizations and volunteering related campaigns.
Is it safe to travel to Cambodia?
You don’t have to worry about your safety or well-being during your volunteering trip in Cambodia. The safety of our volunteers is a top priority for us. We make sure that all of your activities are safe, and our staff members are available for support throughout your volunteer program in Cambodia. With that being said, you should take ordinary precautionary measures, as is true anywhere. Most countries keep up to date advisory websites for international travel, and you should check these out before heading abroad.
What will happen if I get sickin Cambodia?
If you get sick during your volunteer program in Cambodia, you should inform our field staff immediately before anything serious happens. Once you inform the staff about your deteriorating health condition, you will be taken to the nearby hospital or a medical clinic for a thorough check-up. We will do our best to take care of you while you are sick and help you recover as soon as possible. IFRE requires you to purchase reliable health insurance prior to travel, so this should cover any issues that arise. Be sure to bring along your passport and a copy of your insurance policy to present to the physician.
Why must I get travel insurance before departing from my home country?
As per our policies, it is obligatory for all of our volunteers to purchase travel insurance before the beginning of their travel abroad in order to cover you in the event of illness or injury during your trip. If you need help, IFRE can provide you with a reliable and comprehensive policy.
What vaccinationsdo I need?
Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis A, chickenpox, cholera, hepatitis B, typhoid, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), meningitis, tetanus, shingles, pneumonia and influenza, rabies and Yellow fever (YF) are some of the most recommended vaccines by the CDC and WHO for foreign travelers and volunteers in Cambodia. No matter where you are traveling to or how healthy you are, you can never underestimate the fact that you may catch an infectious disease which can result in severe illness or even death. Therefore, it is vital to ask your doctor about this before you leave on your trip.
What are the principal health risks in Cambodia?
The principal health risks in Cambodia are mostly the same as other developing Asian countries. You need to be wary of the rampant pollution both in the air and water. You may be exposed to various infectious diseases, so you must get vaccinated before travel. You should avoid eating in places where you are not 100% sure about the quality of the food items. Also, you must never drink tap water.
Do I need a visa to volunteer and travel in Cambodia?
Yes, you do need a visa to travel in Cambodia. Getting a visa for Cambodia is relatively easy, and extending it is just as simple. Therefore, you should not have any issue while applying for a Cambodian tourist visa before or after arriving in Phnom Penh – the capital city of Cambodia.
How do I apply for the visa?
You can apply for a tourist visa by visiting the Cambodian Embassy in your home country. Depending on your nationality, you can also get a tourist visa upon arrival at the Siem Reap or Phnom Penh International Airport for $20 USD. You will need to bring your original passport with you in order to obtain the visa upon arrival at the airport. However, you will need to do some research online in advance of your journey, as each home country will have its own requirements and you want to be sure you know what yours are.
Can I extend my visa while I am in Cambodia? Can you help me with this?
Yes, if you want to extend your visa and stay a little bit longer for your Cambodia volunteer program,you can extend your tourist visa for one more month at a travel agency without leaving the country. Keep in mind that you can only extend it once and it will cost you around $45. You can’t use your extended visa for re-entry. If you need advice regarding this matter, contact your in-country coordinator.
How do I contact IFRE’s local coordinator while I am in Cambodia?
You can contact IFRE’s local coordinator through your mobile phone or you can go online and email them your inquiry. We will provide you with the personal contact details of our local coordinators before the start of your volunteer project, so if there’s an emergency or you feel like you need help, you can get in touch with them immediately.
How can I communicate with my family from Cambodia?
There won’t be much trouble communicating with your family from Cambodia. You will have access to telephone and internet servicesso you can call your family or chat with them on Facebook or Skype.
Can I use my phone during my volunteer program in Cambodia?
Yes, you can use your personal mobile phone. Be sure to check with your current provider to determine if your phone will function abroad, and be aware that international roaming charges may apply, which can be quite costly.
Can I buy a SIM card in Cambodia?
Yes, you can buy a SIM card easily and cheaply. Again, check with your current provider to ensure the SIM will function in your phone.
How can I get/purchase internet services?
First, you will need to buy a local SIM Card which will only cost around $1 or $2. You will need to have your original passport to buy the SIM Card. Once you have done that, you can check the manual that comes with the SIM Card or purchase a data internet pack. After that,you will be able to access the internet from your mobile phone at any given time.
Is there internet service available everywhere?
Yes, there is internet service available in all the locations where you will be doing your volunteer work in Cambodia.
What do I need to bring with me?
You need to bring medicines, toiletries, travel first aid kit, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, diarrhea tablets, indigestion medicine, quick-drying towel, t-shirts, tops, trousers, shorts, loose-fitting long sleeve tops, trousers and long skirts, a universal plug adaptor, your passport, and flight tickets. IFRE provides bedding material, but if you feel a sleeping bag is needed you may bring it along. Make sure you have sorted out the details of your visa prior to travel, as well as your health insurance policy.
We hope all of your questions regarding volunteering abroad have been answered, and that you feel more prepared to take on this exciting humanitarian adventure. To learn more about volunteering in Cambodia, contact IFRE today!