Internship Abroad: Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Internship Abroad Program in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

About the Location

Phnom Penh is the cultural and economic center of Cambodia. Its beautiful historic architecture is interspersed with modern buildings indicating the robust economic growth the country has experienced in the last decade. Real GDP expanded at double-digit rates from 2004 to 2006, and Phnom Penh has become the heart of the country’s thriving manufacturing sector.

However, significant problems persist in this capital of one of the world’s poorest countries. Decades of conflict have significantly weakened economic, political and social institutions, and many residents of Phnom Penh remain trapped in the poverty cycle. Access to education and healthcare remains limited for many, and gender inequality and lack of property rights are pressing challenges. Additionally, the skill and wage gap for the city’s workers is widening and further limiting opportunities for the poorest. The Gap Year projects in Cambodia offer you a range of possibilities, including teaching underprivileged children and volunteering with local community organizations.




What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work six to eight hours a day in Cambodia’s largest public hospital. It is a busy, chaotic and loud hospital that faces chronic shortages of materials and manpower. Volunteers usually work in the emergency room or surgery ward. Younger volunteers and/or those with less experience shadow nurses and doctors during their work on everything from patient intake to administering IVs and suturing wounds. Unless qualified, which only the local doctors can determine upon meeting and observing volunteers once they have arrived, volunteers cannot directly participate in medical procedures. However, the opportunity to observe and peripherally assist is always there for volunteers who are proactive and have gained the trust of the local medical professionals.

Requirements to participate:

At least an advanced level of English or French.
-The flexibility to participate in many different activities depending on the ever-changing local needs.
-At least a first-year masters student in medical or nursing school.





What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work three to five hours a day in centers and orphanages for children with a range of ailments, including autism, cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome. Additionally, depending on the center, some of the children are HIV positive. Volunteers assist the local staff in playing with the children; helping them during their rehabilitation and therapy exercises; and leading activities like painting, dancing, and singing songs. As needed, volunteers also help clean and feed the children.

Requirements to participate:

The energy to keep children stimulated.
-A very caring and open attitude.
-English is not required, although at least a basic level is helpful.
-Education and/or professional experience in a caregiving-related field is not required.



What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work three to five hours a day in community centers, orphanages or public schools for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The children are ages 6 and up, some may be HIV positive, and they are divided into classes ranging from basic to intermediate level English. Volunteers usually work with local teachers, although in certain resource-poor schools they plan lessons and lead classes alone.

Requirements to participate:

At least an advanced level of English.
-The creativity and initiative to lead classes with limited resources.
-Teaching experience and/or certifications are not required.




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