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Cambodia Teaching in Phnom Penh

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
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Visit the alluring and exotic country of Cambodia and discover its incredible combination of dramatic landscapes, captivating cultural and historical heritage, and friendly people. Make a positive and rewarding contribution to the lives of underprivileged children who live by scavenging on Phnom Penh's rubbish tip. Equip them with the tools to help lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty, and open up opportunities that we in the Western world take for granted.

Cambodia, the sacred kingdom, is a country truly in touch with its ancient roots. This is the home of the once mighty Angkor empire, which ruled over a vast area of land from its centre in Angkor Wat. One glance at the region's spectacular environment and you'll see why they chose Cambodia for their base. Terraced rice paddies ring gently rolling hills, lush tropical forests are alive with the calls of hornbills and gibbons, and mile upon mile of fabulous untouched beaches skirt the coast. Cambodia is a serene, welcoming land and immediately you'll feel at home in this fabulous, exciting country.

The project is situated in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's exotic, vibrant capital city which is built on the banks of the mighty Mekong River. Temples and palace spires give the city a real sense of history, and the market stalls fill the air with the scent of exotic spices. Some of the world's poorest people live amongst the bustle of city life, some of whom are children with no parents to look after them. By taking part in this project you can help take care of them and give them the vital education they need for a better future.




  • Teach and care for fun-loving, orphaned scavenging children
  • Earn your TEFL certificate absolutely free if you complete 20 hours teaching
  • Explore this wondrous and welcoming corner of the world
  • Up to date CV
  • Criminal background check (DBS)
Airport Pickup Community Emergency Hotel Meals Teaching Qualification Free Time Breakfast

Cambodia, Phnom Penh
*Approximate location

Activities Teach English to scavenging children
Devise and run recreational activities
Transport Pick-up from the airport (if arriving first Monday of the month)
Transport to the project site (if arriving first Monday of the month; 4+ week volunteers only)
Accommodation School dormitory, homestay or Frontier HQ

Before you go

Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
UK TEFL training weekend (costs 135 EUR)
Free TEFL Certification for those completing 20 hours of teaching 
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier T-shirt

In-country Accommodation
Project orientation and training
Airport pick-up (if arriving first Monday of the month) 
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup


Poverty, and the lack of education that results from it, traps the rubbish tip scavenging children of Cambodia in a cycle of deprivation that causes many acute problems in their lives. They become vulnerable to child labour markets where they can be forced to work on hazardous jobs, or even be sold into prostitution. Poverty also results in malnourishment, homelessness, and lack of access to healthcare and sanitation, amongst other things. With nearly one in three of Cambodia's 7-14 year olds unable to attend school, the prospect of escaping this 'poverty cycle' is bleak indeed. The situation is all the worse for those children who have been orphaned and who lack even the love and care of a parent.

You can bring hope to these impoverished children by giving them the love and affection that they have been denied for much of their lives. You'll teach English, sports, arts, craft and dance, sing and play games with the orphans of Phnom Penh. Literacy is key to education and future jobs for these children, so you will be helping them to move beyond their scavenging existance. Illiterate children have no educational options, and your presence in the orphanage gives them the gift of English, the language of commerce, allowing them wider access to stable and secure jobs, and potentially even high-school and college scholarships.


You will be working in a school in the slums of the Phnom Penh, where anything you do will be of enormous value. You will have the freedom to be creative and inspiring with your teaching and lessons. The children you will be teaching are desperately poor yet incredibly energetic and enthusiastic. They will be profoundly responsive to your presence and appreciative of your help.

Teaching these children English is a powerful way to enable them to access opportunities that would otherwise be entirely denied to them, and is also an enjoyable way to build up your own skill base and independence with practical TEFL experience, whilst embracing the exotic and friendly culture of this spellbinding pocket of Asia.


*Approximate location


If you arrive on the first Monday of the month you will be met in Phnom Penh by your project representative and escorted to your accommodation. After a night to settle in you will be introduced to your new colleagues and given a health and safety talk. You are welcome to join the project on any other dates and make your own way to the city. We can advise you on how to do this.


This project benefits from a wonderful location, as you will be staying in the vibrant, exotic city of Phnom Penh, which is right on the banks of the mighty Mekong River. You may be staying in the Frontier house in central Phnom Penh, the orphanage itself or enjoying the legendary hospitality of the friendly locals in the form of a homestay. 


A great aspect of this project is that it is self-catering. This is a fun element of travelling away from home and a good opportunity to bond with your fellow travellers. You can have loads of fun exploring local restaurants and market stalls. Traditional Cambodian cuisine includes dishes like Amok curry (based on coconut milk), oriental squash, unusual vegetables such as winter melon, luffa and yardlong bean, and ngam nguv, a chicken soup flavoured with whole preserved lemons. About $25 per week should be sufficient for basic diets but make sure you take a bit extra for drinks, treats and luxuries! 


Transport from your accommodation to the orphanage each day will be by local tuk tuk (cost not included).

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In your free time you will be spoilt for choice with activities and wonderful sights and experiences. Get lost in the mystical world of the temples of the Khmer Empire, where you will be inspired by the beautiful unspoilt monuments, the magical atmosphere, and the charming monkeys tumbling amongst the ruins.

Visit the local towns with their complex and multifaceted architecture, and friendly, welcoming locals. Watch the captivating sight of a traditional Aspara dance, or visit one of the silk factories, where silk worms produce reams of delicate and rare fabric.

On a weekend break you could take a road trip through the rice paddy fields, catching a glimpse of the age old farming techniques that are still in use, to visit the famous floating village of Chong Kneas, or the flooded forest of Kompong Phhlul, both on the extraordinary Tonle Sap Lake.

Modern conveniences

Phnom Penh

  • 24 hour supermarkets
  • Banks / ATMs; ANZ Royal Bank, Canadia Bank, Union Commerical Bank
  • Bars / clubs
  • Bureau de Change
  • Cinema
  • Dentist
  • Department store
  • Hairdresser
  • Hospital
  • Hotels and hostels
  • International Embassies and Consulates
  • Internet cafe
  • Medical clinic
  • Mobile phone shops
  • Pay phones
  • Pharmacy
  • Post office
  • Tours and excursions
  • Traditional markets and cafes
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union


2 weeks € 745

4 weeks € 1.195

Extra week € 245

Discounts available in October / November for 2 weeks (668 EUR)


First and Third Monday of the month. 

Alternative dates available on request.

Please note there will be a number of public holidays throughout the year. Please enquire when checking availability.


You can join this project for a minimum of 2 weeks



Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • UK TEFL training weekend  (costs 135 EUR)
  • Free TEFL certification (4 week+ volunteers only, or those completing 20 hours teaching)
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier T-shirt


  • Accommodation
  • Project orientation
  • Airport pick-up (if arriving on first Monday of the month)
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup



Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.