Placement at a glance

Volunteer in Cambodia options English teaching, playwork, art and craft, repairs, visit families and local charities and orphanage and more!
Age 18 yrs on arrival
Support Pre-departure helpdesk, in-country coordinating team and 24hr emergency support
Accommodation Volunteers in Cambodia all live together at this friendly project in shared volunteer accommodation with your support team alongside at all times!
Food Western style meals are provided for all volunteers for approx £4 a day. They even take special requests from English roasts to US style hotdogs!
Working hours Volunteers in Cambodia usually part time, 5 days a week excluding preparation time. See the Trip Info page for a full daily schedule.
Volunteers usually stay 2 -12 weeks, shorter/longer stays are possible.
Project operates All year except the following weeks: April (9th - 17th) for Cambodian New Year, one week in October (variable) and one week for Christmas/New Year. Most volunteers stay long enough for these breaks to not cause any issue. It is possible to stay on site at the project during holidays but cooked meals and some facilities might not be available, most volunteers enjoy a break away.
When and how to apply This affordable and flexible project fills up fast! Complete a 'Reserve Now' form today and we'll be in touch with you straightaway to confirm latest availability and what to do next.
Costs to volunteer in Cambodia £150 once only for stays up to 3 months (includes accommodation) & £125 (Registration to join OV which provides a year of volunteering without registering again)
Airport pick-up service Airport pick-up: £30 - £40 on arrival
Want to find out more? Visit the Trip Info area (Tab above) for more on the project including the daily routine and how volunteers spend their free time.

Accommodation info

  • Shop next to project Shop next to project
  • Bars in town Bars in town
  • Chemist in town Chemist in town
  • Bus 5 minutes Bus 5 minutes
  • Taxis in town Taxis in town
  • Cash machine in town Cash machine in town
  • Bank in town Bank in town
  • Pay phone in town Pay phone in town
  • Internet in town Internet in town
  • Laundry- £2 per kilo Laundry- £2 per kilo

Basics, what to take?

  • Mosquito net
  • Light weight sleeping bag & pillow

More info

Accommodation:  Volunteer in Cambodia living on site altogether in one of two large single sex shared rooms.

Facilities are basic but perfectly adequate as most of daily life is conducted outdoors in the lawned yard or in the communal patio eating and teaching areas and the weather is warm to hot all year roundWestern style meals are provided for all Cambodia volunteers for approx. £4-£5 a day.

Support for Cambodia volunteers: An on-site team of project director, volunteer co-ordinators and other local staff are always nearby. Longer stay volunteers also lend a helping hand with new arrivals.

Meet the project team


Volunteer in Cambodia with unique on-site support from your programme’s school director. He organises everything from airport pick ups and transfers to daily management, timetables and supporting our volunteers with anything you need during your stay.

It is a busy schedule but he will also always find time to show volunteers around the local area and point volunteers in the right direction for days and weekends away.

And because our volunteers stay at the school itself, help is never more than a a few metres away so if you need anything just ask or wave!

The benefits of your local in-country team

What is a volunteer coordinator?

Every project has a volunteer coordinator or support team. They are responsible for helping you settle in and looking after your welfare and needs during your stay and they are all English speaking. This is where volunteering can be different to a conventional hotel holiday, a hotel manager is rarely going to get involved with your day to day experience or take you to the dentist if you need one!

What experience do volunteer coordinators have?

All our coordinators are local people with knowledge and experience gained over many years of supporting volunteers. They have a deep knowledge of their local community, providing an invaluable source of information. Your Cambodia project director has many years experience working with international NGOs previously before starting this project where he grew up. We never hire ex-volunteers to manage projects, it takes many years experience to look after so many volunteers from diverse backgrounds and individual requirements and skills.

What do coordinators do?

Airport pick up

Your in-country coordinator will organise your pick up and make sure you get to the volunteer house as smoothly as possible. If your coordinator does not meet volunteers from the airport, their trusted regular driver will be sent to meet you.

Help organise specific placements

Coordinators will also ensure that volunteers with special preferences eg. medical/building can get involved as fully as possible in their preferred area of work.

Show you around and help you to locate things

Need a Sim card? Want to buy some paintbrushes for an art session tomorrow? Speak to your coordinator – they will advise on where, how to get there and prices.

Provide an orientation on arrival

Your coordinator or their local team will provide an orientation on arrival of what’s where and how to get started. This may take the form of a more formal meeting for all new arrivals by your coordinator or through informal advice for new arrivals from staff, long stay volunteers, handouts, information on the noticeboard as per needs dictate.

This will usually include any important cultural awareness if this may affect your stay. For example bare tummies should be covered in Ghana for example otherwise the children won’t stop giggling!

Help you when things go wrong

We are often asked what happens when things go wrong. Your local team are the experts on getting you the help you need immediately. They have seen it all before (in a nice way) and are well experienced in looking after hundreds of volunteers each year with all the usual niggles from sunburn to upset tummies. Whether you need a doctor in the night for sickness or you want to try out a new project or move bedroom or volunteer house. This is not something by contrast a hotel manager would help with but a volunteer coordinator will!

If you have remembered to print off your project contact details and leave them with family (these are sent before travel to all volunteers) – your family can also contact the coordinator directly. Or they can call us and we can put them in touch.

For any country related crises which may occur which would require volunteers to return home, your coordinator and their team will ensure everyone is safely escorted to the airport or Embassy as per the advice provided by each volunteer’s government together with any additional support that may be required.

Help you when you feel unwell

Coordinators are the first port of call if you think you may need medical assistance. They will organise an escort to the local clinic/hospital and make sure you are well treated. They can also contact home and will be happy to speak to parents to explain how you are. If you are volunteering alone, they may also stay with you in the hospital or request that a member of their staff and a volunteer keep you company as it can be quite daunting to be in a foreign hospital, even if it is only an infected mosquito bite!

Most health problems are minor and with a day or two’s bed rest either at the volunteer house or the local hospital and plenty of water, most volunteers are back to their normal selves again. Prevention before travel is also a good idea!

While on the subject of hospitals – make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover local medical bills and repatriation. In developing countries and where medical care is mostly private, it is not uncommon to be admitted into a private room for something which would be treated as an out-patient back home. Without insurance, hospital fees can be as much as £200 per day. 

For doctors appointments when you only need a prescription, your coordinator will help you to locate the nearest doctor/clinic. For these it is often easier to pay on the spot and not claim on the insurance. Expect to pay approx. £5 – £15 per consultation and £5 – £20 for basic medication.

Organise excursions

Cambodia volunteers can make use of their coordinator for all the best trips and best prices which volunteers over the years have participated on and recommended. If the options are not posted on a notice board ask what is available and how to book. Typical prices across all destinations as a very rough guide: £30 – £40 for a day’s activity, £200 – £400 for a trek/budget safari for 3 – 5 days. Most volunteers go together in a group for more fun and get discounts. Additional trip discounts for volunteers are available in Ghana and Tanzania.

Return transfer back to the airport

Your coordinator can organise the return trip back to the airport for you, simply ask a few days before your flight. This is not automatically organised as many volunteers will have made friends and may leave the project a day or two earlier to sightsee before flying home, want to go shopping right up to the last minute or forget that the transfer was booked and have already jumped in a taxi!

Placement map

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Cambodia placement details

Volunteer in Cambodia helping on a rural community project which won’t cost the earth and where you can make a real difference to the children who all come voluntarily every day to their English classes! For a once-only project contribution of £150 you can stay between 2 and 12 weeks (which works out to only £12.50 a week if you are lucky to have the whole 12 weeks spare). You can also come and go flexibly during your stay because of the way the project is organised by the volunteer group and the project director, organising the sharing the classes according to who’s on site that week.

And if you’re not coming to teach in Cambodia, there is plenty to help with at the project from organising activities, helping in the rice field, on site repairs, to new building projects and looking after the grounds and vegetable garden! Read more about this unique project, how to get there, what to do in your free time and health and safety.

Got a question about any aspect of volunteering in Cambodia from airport transfers to food and teaching to toilets? Ask us here! Want to travel within the next 1-3 months? Contact us as soon as possible to check dates as this project fills fast.


What are the aims of the project?

The focus of our volunteers in Cambodia is English teaching although there is lots more to get involved with locally. The English language is a highly regarded skill and a definite necessity for gaining jobs in towns and cities.

Many new larger employers paying higher wages, expect to see English qualifications on CVs indicating a better all round education even if English is not a requirement for the job itself.

With a growing tourist industry, poorer applicants without English will lose out. Their families simply cannot afford to top up their children’s education with private English lessons and without English there will be less of the better job opportunities available.

What’s it like to be a volunteer teacher in Cambodia?

There are currently 260 children learning English aged between 3-18 years-old in two locations. The main base for our volunteers is the rural village community school where volunteers live and do their volunteering. Longer stay volunteers (staying a couple of weeks or more) tend to take a class of their own with short stay volunteers assisting.

Lessons are mostly adapted from the Oxford University Press Headway series of TEFL books which provide lesson plans to follow and additional material. This makes it easy for anyone to have a go at teaching even if you have never stepped in front of a class before or even considered teaching before.

Volunteers are welcome to bring extra art/craft/other subject resources to provide a variety of learning experiences. Take a look at our easy guide on how to teach English if you have never taught before.

Do I need experience to volunteer in Cambodia?

Volunteers do not need teaching experience to be successful volunteer teacher at the project. Most volunteers observe and assist classes for the first week or two, before taking classes or a group of their own. By week two or three nearly everyone is ready and eager to take the next step. If you have some experience or feel ready sooner, speak to one of the team about taking your own group or class.

If this will be your first time volunteering abroad or teaching let us call you back, we’ll be happy to discuss the project in more detail to give you a clearer picture and help with any questions you may have. It’s what we’re here for! Use the reserve now form and we’ll be in touch!

Are there opportunities other than teaching?

At the rural school there is always something being built or improved so any volunteer with practical skills is welcomed to help out. A vegetable garden has been started recently and some volunteers have been helping with weeding, watering and planting. Cambodia volunteers also make visits to local projects, including the local orphanage and poorer families needing a bit extra support.

With the new school at the next village being prepared, it is likely there will also be opportunities there too.

Free time in Cambodia

Cambodia volunteers generally teach Monday to Thursday or Friday so there is plenty of time to get away to explore. After a visit to the Angkor Watt temple complex at Siem Reap which featured in the Tombraider series of games and films, it is the southern beaches which draw volunteers each weekend. Your coordinator will assist you with the best way to get to places in your free time.


OV volunteers on the southern beaches, 2 hours from the project. Many volunteers spend every weekend on the beach.

Islands and sandy beaches

Price from just £40

When you’ve done the temples, head to the southern beaches and spread your towel. Uncluttered and still relatively tourist-free other than a gentle smattering of hotels, enjoy pristine white sandy beaches and bath temperature turquoise waters.

Enjoy it now because Cambodia’s beaches will not be a secret for long. Koh Rong and Koh Rongsaloem are the top 2 to visit, pre-book any guesthouse on the island and they will organise the boat across.

OV volunteers on the ruins at Angkor Watt.

Angkor Watt

Price from £150

Angkor Watt, probably the most famous temple complexes in Asia. Tourists in neighbouring countries will make length journeys just to make a day visit. Speak to your volunteer coordinator a day before you go and allow a long weekend.

Bus leaves Takeo at 6am, allow £150 for an entire weekend including bus to Phnom Penh, bus to Siem Reap, entrance, hostels and travel back to the school. Number of volunteers making a trip? Nearly everyone – cannot be missed out!

Angkor Watt temple complex. An essential trip for any visit to Cambodia. 8 in 10 volunteers make a long weekend visit at some point during their stay or before flying home. Volunteers arriving to the project overland from Thailand may find it practical to make a visit on their way as it is on route to Phnom Penh.



OV volunteers make a visit to local family, a recommended experience for a cultural insight and chance to practice your Khmer.

Live like a local

Cost of food £5

Ask your coordinator to meet a local family then buy some food in the market and spend the day cooking, sharing giggles and playing with the children.

A fantastic cheap way to have fun, meet the locals, experience the children’s homelife away from the project.

Cost? None, other than food to cook.


Inside of Phnom da Temple, a popular half day trip.

Local Temple Ruins

Cost £15

You don’t need to travel far to enjoy some of Cambodia’s hidden temples with ruins within 10 minutes walk of the project.

Your volunteer coordinator happily shows all volunteers aound. Just remember to cover your shoulders and knees.

Cost? Free. A 3 hour round trip up river by boat to Phnom Da (photo) is a popular excursion.

Hire a boat for approx £15 and climb the hill temple known as the nipple (!) for far reaching views across the plains as far as Vietnam.

Cost £15 for Phonm Da Temple.


OV volunteers at the rural school, after water fight with children.

Hanging out


Make your own entertainment! Volunteer life at the rural school is focused at the project and is fun and informal. With all meals provided on site, there is little need to head into town unless going away for the weekend.

The children have a great bond with their volunteer teachers, here volunteers pose together after a water fight with the children! A refreshing activity on a hot day!

Cambodia 1 Italian pizza

Italian pizzeria at Kep beach.


Italian pizza

Price £3

When you’re in Kep beach, check out Pasta e Basta, set back from the beach.

Also serve caramelised shrimps and fresh fish. £3. Recommended.

cambodia 2 _vietnam2

Vietnam is close enough to visit easily.




Getting a visa often stops Cambodia travellers making a visit, but most travel agents and hotels can organise this for you in a few hours, just ask around.

If you want to simply get inside Vietnam and see one of the most remote beach towns and stunning caves in the region, then head to Ha Tien.

Take a moto-taxi from Kep for £4. For Ho Chi Minh city it’s easier to go up to Phnom Penh and travel across from there.

Cambodia 3 Kep National Park

Kep National Park can be combined easily with Kep beach.


Kep National Park

$1 entrance

Get off the beach and up into the hills for lush jungle forest trails, and great views down to the sea.

Take a tuk tuk around or hike the signposted trails for the best experience. See monkeys, tropical birds and butterflies. Take snacks and water, there are benches along the way and also a cafe with great views. Allow 3 hours. $1 entrance.


Fun day organised by volunteers. You are welcome to suggest and help organise special events.


Volunteers at the school on a tuk tuk. £6 each way but can be shared by up to 6 passengers

How can I prepare for teaching before I go?

Take a look at the Headway course materials on the Oxford University Press website where you can find sample pages online for selected books to get an idea of what is involved in teaching English. It is also worth looking in the English teaching section of your local book shop. In the UK the larger Waterstones book shops often have a copy or two to glance through. A larger library may also have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) section. There is no need to buy any TEFL books but by looking at samples, you can give you a good idea of what the programme is like if you are new to TEFL.

If after your stay you would like to take up TEFL as a career, it is a good idea to get a qualification. The only ones worth having are the CELTA or CertTESOL and you only need one of these. The CELTA certificate is endorsed by Cambridge (having Cambridge on the certificate will look good to foreign employers!) and the CertTESOL qualification provided by Trinity College London. They both cover the same content and offer the same supervised teaching and can be studied at centres around the world.

It must be noted that CELTA and TESOL are genuinely the only two genuinely recognised international qualifications, despite what some other providers of TEFL may claim.

If you would like advice on teaching in Cambodia and what to expect fill in a call back request form and we’ll get right back!

What do I need to take for volunteering in Cambodia?

Lesson plans and resources from the OUP (Oxford University Press) series are being used. The content is outstanding and widely regarded by language centres around the world but the style is more geared towards adults so if you are staying more than a couple of weeks and will be teaching you may want to bring any additional fun games suited to young learners. You may want to search online for TEFL activities and games for young learners. Here is a site which has been running a long time dedicated to teachers of young learners.

Black or coloured marker pens are a good investment for creating flashcards that the children at the back of the class can see. They can dry up quickly and run out so if you are staying a while you may want to bring a few.

Although there is usually a blackboard, it can be quicker to prepare in advance on A4 paper and avoids having to turn your back all the time to write/draw on the board. Some teachers only ever hold up A4 sheets and never use the board except for Hangman at the end of a class.

Informal clothes are acceptable for teaching although as with any teaching avoid strappy vests. If you would like to be involved with hands on work at the village school rather than teaching you might like to bring sturdy footwear and work/gardening gloves.


Volunteers built a road to prevent muddy feet in the rainy season.


Some children don’t want to go home after classes!

What happens on arrival?

8 in 10 volunteers to Cambodia fly to Phnom Penh, are met on arrival by the regular driver or the coordinator and transferred straight to the project. As for all projects we recommend arriving on a Monday or Tuesday to settle in to the routine and make friends before your first weekend when many volunteers will explore further afield in their free time.

Arriving at the weekend can mean you miss out on a trip and things are a bit quieter whilst you wait for everyone to return. If you are coming overland from elsewhere we will put you in touch with the local support team closer to travel to make arrangements. Some volunteers make their own way from Phnom Penh by bus, taxi and even speedboat!

What is a typical day like as a volunteer in Cambodia?

08:00 – 09:00 Wake up, get ready, daily project maintenance tasks

09:00 – 11:30 Maintenance, free time, visiting the market to top up personal supplies.

11:30 – 12:30 Planning together : lessons and other activities

13:00 – 18:30 English teaching, arts, sports and social activities according to children’s abilities

19:00 – 20:00 Communal meal and informal group discussion

20:00 – 22:00 Volunteer group activities : Quiz nights, card games, movie nights etc

Are meals provided?

Cambodia volunteers can take advantage of the resident cook’s delicious evening dinners between Monday and Friday for approx. £4-£5 a day. Healthy eaters should not be concerned about the quantity of food. There are usually leftovers for a second plate if needed.

Drinking water is provided and included in the weekly dinner payment.

Breakfast and lunch is not provided but at the start of the day the cook is happy to prepare omelette or chips or something you have bought. Previous requests have included hot dogs and roast dinners!

Are there any shops?

A house close to the project maintains a little supply of cold soft drinks (Sprite etc), noodles, Cambodian crisps and cigarettes if you run short.  For additional snacks morning trips into the market by tuk tuk are made to buy fresh bread, jam, milk and fruit. If you are busy in the morning, there is usually someone going to market who will be happy to pick up things for you.

There is a fridge on site but it can get quite full and fridges in Cambodia struggle in the extreme temperatures. Volunteers generally only use the fridge to store milk. Fresh food bought in the market in the morning which does not require a fridge can still struggle to stay fresh in the heat and is best eaten same day.

Tea drinkers may want to invest in bringing their favourite tea bags from home, the international brand Lipton found locally is not very strong.

Longer stay volunteers may like to bring some favourite snacks for a treat and cooking ingredients for the cook to create brunches for you. Avoid bringing anything which requires a fridge or will melt in the heat. For example, breakfast cereal bars or a tasty cooking sauce sachet which could be combined with rice/noodles.

What do I need to take to make my stay comfortable?

Volunteer accommodation is provided on site with 30 beds divided between single sex dormitories.

Ideally you will want to bring a pillow and single duvet cover (not the actual duvet – too bulky and too hot!) to sleep inside which will be more comfortable and less sticky in the heat than a sleeping bag. A sheet will also be easier to wash and dry than a sleeping bag if you are a longer stay volunteer.

A mosquito net is essential although if you would rather not buy one as they can be expensive, you may get lucky and find a volunteer has left one behind. If you are buying a net, take the largest one you can, there is nothing worse than a small net which rips when you tuck it in and volunteers have managed to fix all the different types of nets. Nets can also be bought locally cheaply if you need one.

A hard lockable trolley case is practical item to keep your belongings tidy as there is not enough furniture to store everything away. Longer stay volunteers may find the novelty of everything squashed in a rucksack and strewn over the floor wears off quickly.  

You may also want to bring some guidebooks on Cambodia to read, some games and things to do in the evenings with the other volunteers as it can be quiet when the sun sets.

Recently a gym for volunteers was installed on site so no excuses for not keeping trim.

Not sure what to bring? Perhaps if you will be travelling around beforehand and can’t carry lots? Request a call back using the form and we’ll help you prioritise what to take.

A Cambodia volunteer visits a family. The area is one of the poorest in South east Asia with most people still living off the land. English can lift children out of poverty by winning scholarships and entering higher education.


Stay long enough and you may have an opportunity to visit a state run orphanage but the poorest and most vulnerable children will be those you work with at the rural school

Is Cambodia safe?

Considering the country’s poverty compared to it’s neighbour Thailand, Cambodia is surprisingly safe. The people are on the whole extremely friendly and genuine. Cambodia is still relatively untouched by the aggressive commercialisation of other tourist destinations. Come and enjoy the country before it gets too busy!

Like any country, capital cities attract undesirable petty crime and in Phnom Penh, a city of motorbikes it is a good idea to keep your valuables tucked away so they can’t be grabbed.

Care should be taken in your free time when visiting Sihanoukville which is a popular destination (known to backpackers as Snooky). Although it’s still a fairly tame new resort compared to other places it’s still a good idea to avoid drinking there after dark if you are a long walk from your hostel.

What support is provided?

A friendly English speaking coordinator directs the Cambodia volunteer programme and can be contacted at any time throughout your stay. They will be your first point of contact should you have any questions or queries during your trip. Local project staff and long stay volunteers also provide support from arrival and meals to help with organising your classes, free time and any additional help you may need to make your stay more comfortable.

Effective volunteering requires great support and organisation for volunteers to be able to concentrate on making a difference, without support in Cambodia, the programme simply would not be possible! In addition support comes from within the volunteer group itself, everyone supporting each other pro-actively to create the very atmosphere and experience. 

Can I travel with other volunteers?

We will Buddy you up with another volunteer so you can fly out together, just let us know at the time of booking. Even if you do travel alone, and about 7 in 10 do, it is extremely unlikely you will be on your own on this popular project. There can be upwards of 30 volunteers on one day in the summer months. You can also:

  • Add yourself to the Buddy List to meet other volunteers, travel together or simply find a familiar face when you arrive.
  • Join the volunteer community on Facebook and like the page to connect with other volunteers, receive recent pictures, stories and updates.

Mealtimes are a special time when everyone comes together. A resident cook provides delicious between meals Monday to Friday

Volunteers in Cambodia often share classes. In your first week it is more usual to shadow and assist until you find your feet and get to know the level of the children.

Can I choose where to volunteer in Cambodia?

All volunteers start at the rural village school which has been the main volunteer base since the start of the project. Here you are well looked after by your volunteer coordinator and the assisting staff and cook.

You may like to move to other projects which may be running at the time of your stay, these are generally only recommended after settling in and your coordinator will help you with this.

Occasionally visits are made to a local orphanage, ask your coordinator about a visit if you are interested. The emphasis of most orphanage visits is play rather than direct care and support. Contrary to the children who come to the English classes, looked-after children can be in receipt of more of the basic essentials such as food and resources due to state or private funding. Many local children’s families work in the rice fields for £2 a day which can make providing for the children a serious challenge.

What if I travel with my friend?

All friends are met on arrival and transferred to the rural school together where 9 in 10 volunteers stay. Let us know at the time of booking that you are travelling with a friend so your support team can organise schedules and plan accordingly.

Will I be safe on the project?

You will be perfectly safe whilst volunteering in Cambodia. This is an area where there are few tourists so few opportunities for people to move into the area to take advantage of their foreign visitors.

Volunteer visits are hassle-free with any incidents occurring likely to be when away on trips and to a certain degree self-inflicted; sunbathing in the heat of the day, too much alcohol or accidents on mopeds (nearly everyone has an accident story to tell – avoid mopeds to stay safe, take a tuk tuk instead!).

It is an extremely friendly and welcoming place where locals are still genuinely pleased to see you. Many families still rely on what little work they can get in the rice fields so if you are invited for a meal, take a little offering (bag of rice or other staple) with you just in case it is a poorer family or else you might inadvertently be eating tomorrow’s dinner in order that they can welcome you as their guest!

Will I need a visa?

British passport holders do not require a visa before travel. Unlike it’s neighbour Thailand, all types of visa for all durations can be obtained on arrival at the airport or point of entry.

Will I need any jabs?

Our travel health section has all the information on jabs and keeping yourself healthy and safe abroad.


Volunteers take in local landscape from nearby hilltop.

Some of the younger children are happy simply to be creative with materials volunteers bring.

How will I get around when I’m not volunteering?

Most volunteers stay at the village school stay on site during the week. When the project is busy with volunteers there is usually a lot more happening at the school than in the local local town! You can still get into the local town if you want to by tuk tuk for approx. £6 return (this can be shared by up to 6 passengers so works out cheaper if a group travel together).

Fast facts – Project information

Project Duration: Min 1 week if not teaching – 12 weeks. 2 weeks recommended for teaching.
Volunteer options: English teaching, outdoor games or hands on work at the village school.
Accommodation: Shared volunteer accommodation
Food: Village school: Meals provided on site due to location.
Working Hours: Teaching is part time Mon to Fri only, other work may be part or full time 5 days a week. Weekends always free.
Volunteers usually stay: 2 – 3 weeks, longer stays welcome. Two weeks is recommended for anyone wanting to have a go at teaching.
Project operates: All year with a one week teaching break in April (2017: 9th – 17th) and October (although volunteers can still stay on site) and for Christmas week. 
When to apply: Contact us asap to check dates and help advise as this project fills fast. and is often full.
Requirements: Minimum age 18 on arrival.

How will I get back to the airport?

Your in-country support team will help you to organise the return transfer to Phnom Penh airport. For early morning flights you may like to travel to Phnom Penh the day before and stay at the volunteer guesthouse which can be pre-booked for you.

Can I leave my things at the school if I travel?

Yes you can leave your things at the project to collect before your return home. Just let one of the staff know and make sure your case is locked securely and in a safe place. You may like to contact the school team just before you return so they can make sure someone is there.

What are the costs after I have registered and booked my space?

After you have booked your space and registered with us,(registered volunteers travelling within 12 months of their first project abroad do not need to pay the registration fee again) there is only one one-off programme contribution of £150. This covers a visit of up to 12 weeks. This includes on-site accommodation at the school. One large hot meal is provided Monday to Friday for approx. £4 a day, payable at the project. 

All volunteers purchase a return flight to Cambodia (some volunteers fly to Bangkok in Thailand followed by independent travel overland to Cambodia to save on flight costs); Phnom Penh is the nearest Cambodian airport to the project. It is approximately 2.5 hours from the project which is halfway between the capital city and the souther coast. If you are not sure how to buy a flight or what are the ones to look for get in touch.

If you fly to Phnom Penh in the morning during the week an airport pick up and transfer will be organised automatically for you for approx. £30, payable on arrival.

Travel insurance is required, make sure the one you purchase covers all medical bills. You can expect to pay between £40 – £80 for a short stay.

A visa is not needed before travel if you have a British/European passport and will stay for less than 30 days, a tourist visa is obtained on arrival. If you stay longer, a longer stay visa for approx £20 – £30 can be obtained on arrival at Phnom Penh airport on request which can then be extended regularly throughout your long stay.

Allow about £200 extra for anything you would like to do in your free time and for your weekend/day trips to the beaches. We strongly recommend taking as much as you can extra, as you may want to buy some materials for the children, the school or poorer local families.

If you have any questions regarding flights or visas, ask us! We’ll be happy to advise.

How and when do I need to pay for my project?

An invoice for the Cambodia school project contribution will be sent by email, usually shortly after we have received your flights. This is the easiest way to pay.

What does the Cambodia project contribution cover?

The Cambodia programme contribution covers accommodation throughout your stay, general project bills (electricity), maintenance, and basic project management resources. A substantial part of the programme fee also covers the required advertising by OV to recruit volunteers to the project. Although many volunteers will find this project from friends or by word of mouth referral, there are not enough word of mouth volunteers to make this project viable throughout the year on word of mouth alone and many volunteers will only be able to stumble across the project through traditional forms of advertising and our website which are sadly, not free.

If you would like to provide additional help small donations or resources bought locally are warmly welcomed, speak to your local project manager about what is needed at the time of your visit.


Local girl, taken by volunteer on visit to family. Volunteers often make house visits to experience everyday life and see first hand the challenges faced by the children they teach.


What happens after you have booked?

  • As soon as you have booked with the once-only £125 registration fee (this covers one or more projects within a year), you will receive a welcome email confirming your booking and explaining in more detail how to get organised for your trip.
  • We will Buddy you up with another volunteer in Cambodia arriving around the same time so you should have a good chance to travel together if you wish to.

Below is an example timeline for what to do next after you have booked

  • At anytime : As soon as you are registered with us and have received your confirmation email you can get flights to Phnom Penh, airport code PNH. An arrival between Monday and Wednesday is recommended to settle in before the weekend when the volunteer group tends to travel or head to the beaches. is the preferred search site for flights. There are not currently any direct flights from the UK to Cambodia. Flight advice: When choosing a route, try to stick to total journey times in sites like of between 20 and 27 hours if you can. It is also a good idea to choose a route means you will change flights in a large international airport with a lot of English speaking travellers passing through, for example, Dubai, Doha, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur. Flight changes in China are best avoided unless you are changing in Beijing or Shanghai as there may be fewer customer service assistants with good English in the transit lounge between flights. The most common airport to change flights is Bangkok. If you are travelling overland (usually from Thailand) we will put you in touch with the local team to arrange a suitable meeting point/pick up which will usually be from a hostel of your choice in Phnom Penh.
  • Add yourself to the Buddy List to meet other volunteers, travel together or simply find a familiar face when you arrive.
  • Join the volunteer community on Facebook to see recent pictures from projects and other interesting stories and updates
    3 to 4 weeks before travel: contact your travel nurse or travel clinic to make appointments for jabs and boosters (for more information on what is typically recommended please refer to the NHS website fitfortravel). For the location of the project, the risk for malaria has lowered, the project now lies in a low risk zone. You will need malaria tablets if you intend to travel to the northern jungle border regions in your own time when you leave the project. Japanese Encephalitis is optional and is sometimes recommended as the project is close to rice paddy fields, although the jab can be hard to find and opinion on the risk for foreign visitors is currently variable.
  • Before travel : Purchase travel insurance which will cover medical bills and repatriation.
  • No visa is required before travel for Cambodia for UK passport holders. On arrival for UK passport holders, there are a few options and you will usually be asked for a passport photo even if this is not used: A tourist visa is $20 US and you can extend this once. An ‘ordinary’ visa is $25 and can be extended repeatedly for $45. The local team recommend anyone staying 1-2 months obtaining a tourist visa and for stays of 2-3 months, an ordinary visa. Business visas are recommended for longer stays although check they stamp your passport correctly. More info on visas on arrival:
  • As soon as you have flights to Phnom Penh: Upload your flight following the link in the Welcome Pack – if you are not flying to Phnom Penh your flight to another airport still confirms your space on the project. We will put you in touch with the coordinating team regarding a suitable pick up/meeting point.
  • At anytime : pay for your volunteer support contribution – we will send you an invoice by email shortly after we receive your flight to pay online – this is the easiest way to pay – don’t worry if you forget! We’ll send a reminder.
  • We will organise your pick up and transfer from the airport automatically when we receive your flights unless you tell us you are making your own way.

Cambodia at a glance

Language: A Khmer phrasebook and dictionary will be a good idea whilst on your placement. Holiday/festival periods are around October 10 – 20, and Nov 26 – 30 each year but dates can change at the last minute. When the is closed volunteers usually get involved with the festivals or take time off to explore the region. The local team will try wherever possible to organise alternative volunteering opportunities with children who live close to the school or further away but this cannot be guaranteed. Climate: Cambodia has a tropical to sub tropical climate with high temperatures. The south can be warm to hot all year round.
Time difference from UK: GMT +7 hrs

Other places of Interest

Cambodia’s charismatic capital, Phnom Penh, will never be too far away and is definitely worth a day or weekend visit during your free time. Explore the many markets, stalls and boutiques, delve into the nation’s ancient past at the National Museum or visit the captivating temples and Royal Palace. The city also has a legendary nightlife with many lively cocktail bars.

Approximately a three hour bus journey from Phnom Penh is the stunning seaside town of Sihanoukville, perfect for a weekend break or for a short stay once you have finished volunteering. Surround yourself with white-sand beaches and undeveloped tropical islands, great for a relaxing after a weeks work and well equipped for a backpackers needs.

Choeung EK
Cambodia’s history is marked by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and many volunteers have found a visit to one of the museums interesting. Rising above the 129 mass graves in the Killing Fields is a blinding white stupa, which serves as a memorial to the approximately 17,000 men, women and children who were executed there by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Best visited after Tuol Sleng to get a full understanding of the scope of the Khmer Rouge madness. 

Cambodia specific questions

Is experience needed?
Volunteers heading to the Cambodia volunteer programme do not require any experience. Teaching is fairly straightforward following the lesson plans in the course books and volunteers often share classes. Most volunteers find after a day or two they are settled in well after watching other volunteers and are ready to get going. Most of the approach is repetition of new words and phrases followed by writing or drawing and labelling. Some of the children have been learning English for some time now and be learning harder sentences and grammar but you will soon pick it up watching other volunteers classes who have arrived before you. Younger children sometimes attend and may require more art/craft activities than solely English. Sometimes classes are organised for the local mums who will be complete beginners but these classes are generally on an ad-hoc basis according to how busy the mums are at home or in the fields.

Each month there will be volunteers who opt not to teach at all, working in other areas from hands on maintenance, tending the vegetable garden, working and helping local people in the rice fields, visiting other local projects in need to developing their own project activities. One volunteer for example started the idea of taking children for swimming lessons to a local pool. This is now an activity which is organised every so often, great fun with a mini-bus hired and everyone squeezed in!

Is there an age requirement?
This project welcomes volunteers of all ages. The youngest volunteers are 17 travelling with older siblings or parents, the oldest volunteer was 72 years young. If you are looking for a larger and younger crowd aged between 18 – 22 best book your visit between June and September. Between October and May ages vary enormously with volunteers of all ages 18 upwards.

Are meals provided?
Due to the location of the village a main dinner of the day is provided in the evening by a resident cook, for approx. £4 a day, payable locally. Volunteers staying in town eat out at cafes for about the same.

Are visas required for Cambodia?
Cambodia immigration rules are a little more relaxed than its neighbour Thailand. Visas for UK passport holders can be obtained on arrival at the airport or at border crossings if travelling overland. For more information on visas on arrival please visit the Cambodia airport website: For volunteers requiring a visa before travel please consult your nearest Cambodia Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

What are the start dates?
There are no start dates for this programme, although if you can arrive between a Monday and Wednesday this will give you time to settle in and make friends before the weekend when volunteers often group together and head to the beaches.

Can I stay with my friend?
Everyone arriving together will be placed together either at the village school. Sometimes additional satellite projects are running and you may be invited to move across when you are settled in. Very occasionally volunteers may have an opportunity to live in another location though this tends to be longer stay volunteers who are ready for a new challenge.

I am worried about travelling on my own – can I buddy up with someone?
We can help you find someone to travel together – use our Buddy List or pop us a message on the main Facebook Group and we’ll add you to our weekly round up of travel buddies.

Will I need any jabs?
Unlike Africa, fewer jabs are needed which is great news! British NHS advice on malaria tablets has recently changed from essential for the whole country to medium to low risk. Japanese encephalitis is sometimes recommended. We advise to consult your trained travel health nurse a few weeks before travel for up to date advice.

Do I need to bring anything for the children?
The focus of this programme is English, so any TEFL materials (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) for age 8 – young adult will be especially appreciated. Some ideas: Khmer/English dictionary, picture books, flashcards, mini whiteboard and whiteboard markers. If you have not taught before, it may also be useful to watch some TEFL class examples on You Tube to get an idea. It is also a good idea to brush up on simple nursery songs with actions which again can be found on You Tube.
Some volunteers have also recommended taking a few postcards from home to pass around the class as an icebreaker or magazines for young children and teenagers which can stimulate interest in English.

What clothes are best?
Short shorts and strappy vests are not recommended when teaching but ordinary summer casual clothes are fine, for example, normal length shorts and regular T-shirts. For visiting temples, the orphanage and when parents and local officials visit for presentations it is a good idea to have one smarter summer outfit. Female volunteers may find a long crease-proof (as you will not use it regularly) summer dress will suffice, male volunteers crease-proof smarter long shorts and a smarter T-shirt/Polo shirt. This will help to maintain a good reputation in the local community. The Cambodians also love their public presentations and awards ceremonies. You might need at least a couple of sets of beachwear if you plan to spend your weekends at the coast, especially if you will be stay a long time.

How can I keep in touch with home?
Internet access is available in town which can be easily reached by tuk tuk or bike (40 min).

Contact us for specific questions

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. We pride ourselves in the vast knowledge of our projects and are always willing to share. Give us a call for a quick chat on 01603 280702 Option 1 or email us [email protected] get the answers you need!

Latest reviews

Average Review Rating: from 3 reviews.

Rose Trott – Review

Why did you want to volunteer? I wanted to visit Asia and many of the other companies were too expensive. I found this project online by accident whilst searching online. Do you feel you made a difference, how? The work done by the volunteers is truly astonishing. There are not a lot of resources but the books you...

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Amy Martin – Blog post with photos

I have recently come back from the Cambodian project through original Volunteers and wanted to take the time out to say how fantastic it was. After arrival in the capital, we drove for about 2 hours into the Cambodian countryside until we arrived at hope school. As we drove through the gates I noticed the 3 classrooms...

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Daisy – Blog post with photos

My name is Daisy and I travelled to Cambodia with Original Volunteers this summer; and I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made! I will never forget the fantastic, life changing trip I had. When we first arrived it was quite a shock as me and my friend Tabby sat in silence as the taxi driver drov...

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