Heir to the ancient Khmer Empire, modern Cambodia now shows benefits from two decades of relative stability, having endured decades of civil war, genocide, and occupation. This program immerses you in a culture that is deeply different from the Western world and provides insight to the various social, political, and economic factors that contribute to those differences. This program is also about understanding NGOs, volunteers, tourists, and the ways in which these entities intersect. Students who are comfortable working independently, are creative and adaptable, and are interested in Southeast Asian culture, international aid and development, or education are the best fit for this program. Studying abroad in Cambodia would also provide a strong foundation for any student interested in becoming a Minerva Fellow upon graduating.
To learn more about the program and Cambodia, read the Volunteer Orientation guide.
Course of Study
The program in Cambodia is centered around two internships with The Global Child, a small private NGO school for disadvantaged students in the Siem Reap area, and The Ponheary Ly Foundation, which promotes access to education for 2,800 public school students in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces. At The Global Child, you will assume the responsibilities of departing Minerva Fellows by creating lesson plans and teaching English. You will interview with The Ponheary Ly Foundation to be placed into an extracurricular program that matches your skills with the needs of the students. Placements range from working with PLF's media program to leading Arts & Crafts classes or organizing educational workshops.
In addition to volunteering at PLF and TGC, you will study Khmer language with a local teacher and explore the interplay between Cambodian culture, globalization, and international aid effectiveness through a series of excursions, guest speakers, and documentaries.
A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required.
Students will live in Siem Reap, a friendly and relaxed town that serves as a major tourist destination for those who wish to tour the ancient temples of Angkor. Students will be housed in Seven Candles Guesthouse, a family guesthouse owned and operated by Ponheary Ly. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, a mini-fridge, a television with international cable, and hi-speed wifi.
(For specific dates, contact the International Programs Office, Old Chapel, Third Floor.)
- September: Application deadline is the third Friday of fall term.
- Mid-November: Non-refundable deposit due at the Cashier's Office in McKean House, and receipt brought to the International Programs Office
- Winter term: Orientation meetings
- Late March: Program begins
- Early June: Program ends
For More Information
Students may email Professor Hal Fried or contact him at 518-388-6368.