Last fall, ELI Abroad launched a new program in Cambodia. We’ve been sending volunteers and interns to neighboring Vietnam and Thailand for years, but Cambodia was a new territory for us.
Well... no more! Since November, more than a dozen international travelers -- from the U.S., Canada, Spain, France, Mexico, Germany and other nations -- joined ELI Abroad’s partners in the capital city, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap, the gateway to the fabled temples of Angkor Wat and Cambodia’s top tourist attraction.
ELI-ers teach in Buddhist monasteries, intern in microfinance organizations, and help out in daycare, schools and orphanages. They live in local guest houses and work alongside Cambodia’s warm and welcoming natives. Because Cambodia is inexpensive, even modest budgets allow volunteers and interns to explore this beautiful nation, relax in Phnom Penh’s restaurants and cafes, venture into the jungles outside of Siem Reap, or hit the beautiful beaches and secluded islands of the southern coast.
Traditionally, Thailand has been the biggest draw in this region. But if you’re looking for an affordable, exotic destination where you can share your skills while expanding your horizons, add Cambodia to your list of possible journeys. It is less expensive than Thailand, less overwhelmed by tourists, and English is more commonly spoken. And hey, the food is almost as good! So why not volunteer or intern in Cambodia. You can still make a sidetrip to Thailand. To whet your appetite, here are two articles that feature tips and ideas for the Cambodia-bound traveler.
36 Hours in Siem Reap - New York Times
Cambodia in Two Weeks - The Guardian
Or, check out our Cambodia programs to learn more about the opportunities and adventures that await ELI Abroad volunteers. Past participants say, this may be your trip of a lifetime.
By Kevin O'Neill