Takeo Province

 

Volunteer in Cambodia | English teaching with music in Cambodia
Brief Description

  • Our program in Takeo Province is one of the programs we are most excited about at INTVS. Our local partner had been active in microfinance projects for many years, doing a fantastic job, and was very eager to start a new project with foreign volunteers, volunteering at any of the 27 schools they support in the Takeo Province. So they adapted the local accommodation to more Western needs, providing local food, but keeping in mind the sensitive foreign tummies that are not used to the Cambodian kitchen. Some changes were made with regards to accommodation and aircon ;)…as it could get pretty hot in the summer!
  • After approximately two years teaching the ‘traditional ways’, INTVS decided to introduce a new form of teaching that would run side by side with the traditional teaching methods; teaching English with the use of music!
  • As the children only ever use one book and never learned new words, this innovative teaching method was set up so that the children would expand their vocabulary, but would also get a chance to read, write and pronounce new words.
  • INTVS general manager Xavier was the first to teach the new program and INTVS volunteers are now taught to teach using the same methodology in which volunteers first choose a (very) simple song, translate the song with the help of one of our partner’s coordinators, practice specific words, listen to the song, sing the song and then play a variety of games in which they practice vocabulary, pronunciation, reading and writing based on the chosen song(s).
  • Volunteers stay at a house that is situated anything from a 20 minute bike ride to a 45 minute bus ride to the schools where the volunteering takes place.
  • The classes are generally given with the assistance of one of the local Cambodian teachers. The classical lessons consist of simple grammar and vocabulary for the younger children, and a more advanced level of grammar and vocabulary teaching for the older children. The music classes are taught according to the INTVS methodology stipulated above.
  • THERE ARE NO CLASSES GIVEN FROM SEPTEMBER UNTIL OCTOBER!

Apply

Takeo Province program info

Accommodation.

  • There are two shared rooms; one for men and another one for women (separated). They are equipped with bunk beds and air-conditioners. Each room can accommodate between two to six volunteers. One closet is provided for every two volunteers.
  • There is also a common area equipped with a sofa, table and television. It is next to the bedrooms and is a space where volunteers can spend their time relaxing with other volunteers.
  • There is a very good wifi connection that reaches all areas of the house.
  • The bathroom is by the kitchen and is shared. It has only cold water, but considering the weather is always warm, it is in fact quite refreshing.
  • The house is in the town of Krong Duon Kaev and is close to the market. There are numerous gas stations nearby which double as supermarkets and at times also coffee shops. Restaurants are typically Cambodian, meaning they give onto the main street and serve mainly chicken, pork and beef, vegetables and above all rice

INTVS Volunteer accomodation in Takeo, Cambodia

Food

  • Breakfast (6–7 a.m.): There is always bread, jam and peanut butter, coffee and tea, as well as some fruit. Volunteers sometimes buy some extras like cereal from a local supermarket.
  • Lunch (12 p.m.): Rice with three or four of the following; vegetables, noodles, tofu, chicken, beef, fish or pork. Vegetarian dishes are always available. Food is sometimes eaten at the volunteer house and sometimes closeby the school
  • Dinner (6 p.m.): Similar to lunch. It is the time when most volunteers come together and talk about their day.

The food at the INTVS volunteer house in Takeo, Cambodia

What to see & do
(In Takeo Province)

  • The Takeo Province has a number of pre-Angkorian sites built between the 5th and 8thIn fact it is often referred to as ‘the cradle of Cambodian civilization). It has a lot of natural (and man-made) beauty and consists of numerous rice fields and other types of plantations that get covered entirely during the rainy season.
  • Angkor Borie; Angkor Borie is a close by town that has several ruins and archeological sites. It contains artifacts dating back to the Funan (4th/5th century), Water Chenla (8th century) as well as the later Angkorian period.
  • Phnom Da; Phnom Da is a renovated cultural, historical site where visitors can relax or research Cambodian history. The scenery is beautiful throughout the entire year. It is flooded six months of the year, during the rainy season and dry the rest of the year. The Phnom Da temple was built on the top of a small hill in 6th century by King Rutravarman, who reigned during the Norkor Phnom period. It can be reached by car, motorbike, bus or boat and is about an hour away.
  • Numerous other historic sites, parks and temples can be reached in about one or two hours by car such as; Wat Phnom Khliang pagoda, Chruos Phaork reserve , Phnom Chiso historical site, Phom Bayang, Phnom Tamoa Zoo, Tonle Bati, Ta Promh Temple, Yeay Pov Temple, and more…

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(In Phnom Penh)

  • Phnom Penh is just 2 hours north and is a vibrant city with a fun night life. Especially around the riverfront there are many restaurants, bars and clubs where foreigners enjoy the fantastic Khmer cuisine (you must try fish or chicken Amok) or have a Cambodian beer on a rooftop terrace.
  • The Russian Market. Go shopping at the Russian Market (it was given this name as, in the 80’s, mainly Russians would shop there). Find all types of souvenirs, clothing and more at a fraction of the price you would pay in any western country.
  • The Silver Pagoda. Right by the river front is the impressive Silver Pagoda, the silver Pagoda is the official temple of the king of Cambodia. Its floor is covered with five tons of gleaming silver and inside it houses a life-sized Maitreya Budha covered with 9584 diamonds.
  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Visit the reformed high/school where the Khmer Rouge regime kept and killed around 20,000 prisoners. It gives an insight into one of the most horrific regimes of all time, but at the same time demonstrates clearly how the Cambodian people wish to look to the future, not the past, with optimism and a smile.

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Schedule

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00– 11:00 & 13:00 to 16:00. Generally the schools don’t have classes on Thursday (instead they have classes on Saturdays, but volunteers don’t have to teach on Saturdays). The teaching times can vary quite a lot, but on average volunteers teach between 20 and 30 hours a week.
  • Teaching material is provided for the classical teaching, but volunteers should bring a small speaker in order to be able to play the song to the class during the music teaching classes.
  • HERE ARE NO CLASSES GIVEN FROM SEPTEMBER UNTIL OCTOBER!

Location

  • Doun Kaev is approximately 2 hours South of Phnom Penh (by car) and has a population of about 40,000.
  • t’s often referred to as the ‘cradle of Khmer civilization.
  • It’s a laid back small city with lots of natural and man-made beauty.
  • It’s about 2 hours´ drive East to the Vietnam border and about a 2 hour drive South to the Cambodian coast where you can find fisherman towns such as Kep.

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  • Minimum 18 years old, show creativity & initiative, confidence in the classroom & effective time management skills.
  • Good level of English (volunteers don’t necessarily have to be fluent speakers).
  • Volunteers should be outgoing. Timid volunteers will find it very difficult as you have to be very proactive. It will take some time to get past the initial language barrier. The teachers are also quite shy of nature. Add to this the natural timidness when required to sing and one can imagine that a reactive nature will make it very complicated. Extroverts on the other hand will very likely thoroughly enjoy this program!

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  • Airport pickup and drop off (Phnom Penh airport)
  • Accommodation (Food and lodging) at the local NGO dormitory in Takeo Province.
  • 1 to 2-Day Orientation
  • Presentation of aims and structure of the local NGO
  • Short introduction to Cambodia and the local area
  • Practical information and arrangements
  • 1-2 hours of basic Khmer (Cambodian) & possibly a chance to practice with a local volunteer.
  • Sightseeing and exposure tour.
  • Visit to Host Placement(s) primarily with a program director.
  • 1- day Mid-term Evaluation (for those who stay for 6 months and over)
  • 1- day Final Evaluation
  • On-going support and supervision during the program
  • Provision of bicycle for local transportation to the volunteer site

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Volunteer period Cost (US$)
2 weeks 302 $
3 weeks 411 $
1 month 520 $
5 weeks 628 $
6 weeks 736 $
2 months 954 $
3 months 1,388 $
6 months 2,690 $
9 months 3,992 $
12 months (1 year) 5,2940 $
Extra day 30 $ per day

 

Please click here to convert the prices to your local currency.

  • INTVS charges its own fee of 185€, regardless of the time that a volunteer stays abroad. This fee covers;
  • Volunteer support prior to, during and after the volunteer experience (in English, French & Spanish)
  • All necessary preparatory information including;
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Police Check form
    • The program (the site, schedule, role…)
    • Local contacts & important numbers

And also…

  • History, demographics & local norms
  • What to bring
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • And much more.
  • It also covers work and travel costs that INTVS staff incur to check up on and document the programs on a regular basis.
  • The payments to the local organizations and INTVS are completely separate. We do NOT charge them a commission and 100% of the program cost goes to them.

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Why did you decide to become a volunteer? I like to be useful and to help others. I wanted to live the experience of being a volunteer, too.

What did you find the most challenging? The communication with children and locals.

What did you find the most rewarding? Every single day when I arrive at school and all the children come to say me:  “hello, good morning…”  with a sincerely smile and the eyes full of hope.

What have you learnt from the experience? Taking profit of all the resources that you could have to do it the best you can. I also have learnt about the happiness and what could be mean.

What advice would you give to future volunteers? To be open-minded to enjoy the maximum this experience, that with no doubt is the best of my life. They have to be easy going and grateful with people and they have to come with a great capacity for adaptation. With these simply keys they will enjoy for sure the experience.

Anna Grau (Spain)

Volunteer in Cambodia

Why did you decide to become a volunteer? To try a different kind of travelling.

What did you find the most challenging? The communication with the local teachers.

What did you find the most rewarding? The reaction from the kids who were so eager to learn.

What have you learnt from the experience? I have learned a lot concerning the country in itself and the local conditions but also big lesson of humility.

What advice would you give to future volunteers? It can be a bit tough at the beginning but it is largely rewarding. Don’t judge the program from the first days.

Daniel Guttierez (Spain)

Phnom Penh

Volunteer in Cambodia | English teaching in Phnom Penh
Brief Description

  • Our program in Phnom Penh is one of our more ‘professional’ volunteer programs, in which volunteers teach English to High School students, University students and business professionals. The money raised by the local NGO goes to the Cambodian Rural Development team, which undertakes development projects to improve the living standards of subsistence communities in Cambodia.
  • All programs are for 3 months. They can be extended by 3 months as often as the volunteer likes, but always just 3 months.
  • For all programs, volunteers should have a TEFL qualification or equivalent.

Apply

Phnom Penh program info

Accommodation.

  • Accommodation is in a volunteer house with other volunteers. The volunteers share a room with another volunteer of the same sex. All rooms have fans.
  • All rooms have a bathroom with shower and toilet.
  • The volunteer house houses up to 20 volunteers at a time, has a large common room and balcony where volunteers relax and socialize, and has a cook that prepares lunch and dinner every day. It also has a television, washing machine and fridge.
  • The volunteer house is centrally located near the Russian market in Southern Phnom Penh. It is about a 20 minute drive to the center of Phnom Penh.

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Food

  • The cook prepares mainly local type dishes, which consists of lots of rice, vegetables and generally chicken, meat of fish. There is also always fruit.
  • Breakfast (6 – 7 a.m.): Breakfast consists of the basics; bread, peanut butter, jam, coffee and tea, and generally some fruit. Volunteers often buy some things on the side such as cereals.
  • Lunch (12 p.m.): Rice or noodles with vegetables and chicken, meat or fish.
  • Dinner (6 p.m.): A lot like lunch. It’s also a time when the volunteers socialize.

 

What to see & do
(In Phnom Penh)

  • Phnom Penh is just 1.5 hours north and is a vibrant city with a fun night life. Especially around the riverfront there are many restaurants, bars and clubs where foreigners enjoy the fantastic Khmer cuisine (you must try fish or chicken Amok) or have a Cambodian beer on a rooftop terrace.
  • The Russian Market. Go shopping at the Russian Market (it was given this name as, in the 80’s, mainly Russians would shop there). Find all types of souvenirs, clothing and more at a fraction of the price you would pay in any western country.
  • The Silver Pagoda. Right by the river front is the impressive Silver Pagoda, the official temple of the king of Cambodia. Its floor is covered with five tons of gleaming silver and inside it houses a life-sized Maitreya Budha covered with 9584 diamonds.
  • TuolSleng Genocide Museum. Visit the reformed high/school where the Khmer Rouge regime kept and killed around 20,000 prisoners. It gives an insight into one of the most horrific regimes of all time, but at the same time demonstrates clearly how the Cambodian people wish to look to the future, not the past, with optimism and a smile.

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Schedule

  • Volunteers teach up to 5 hours a day, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays.
  • The school is open between the hours of 6 – 8 am, 11- 1 pm and 4 – 8 pm.
  • Classes last an hour each and volunteers keep the same classes and hours throughout the schedule.
  • The school runs 4 semesters a year and each lasts three months. They begin in December, March, June and September.

Location

  • Phnom Penh is situated in Southern Cambodia about 3 hours’ drive from the Vietnam border and about 6 hours from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
  • The local NGO is located near the Russian market in Southern Phnom Penh. It is about a 20 minute drive to the center of Phnom Penh.

  • Volunteers should have a TEFL qualification or equivalent.
  • Minimum 18 years old, show creativity & initiative, confidence in the classroom & effective time management skills.
  • Fluent English

  • Airport Pickup
  • Accommodation (Food and lodging) at the local organization’s dormitory (The NGO is a social enterprise funding the development work of its partner the Cambodian Rural Development Team in the province)
  • 2 weeks orientation
  • Tuktuk tour around Phnom Penh and river cruise
  • Presentation of aims and structure of the local NGO
  • Short introduction to Cambodia culture and customs
  • Khmer language classes
  • Optional orientation trip to Kratie to view the work of the NGO partners (4 days, $100 dollars)
  • Two day teaching orientation program
  • Practical information and arrangements
  • Ongoing teacher support and evaluation
  • On-going support and supervision during the program
  • Bicycles are provided for volunteers staying at the accommodation

(Minimum program duration is 3 months. 3 month extansions can be made as often as the volunteer likes, but always just 3 months).

This program offers the possibility to apply WITHOUT PAYING A PROGRAM FEE. In this case, the volunteer should, however find their own accommodation and must only pay the INTVS registration fee. Otherwise, there is the possibility of living in the volunteer house, where the majority of the volunteers stay. The price of acomodation (including 3 meals a day) is stipulated underneath:

Volunteer Period Cost (US$)
13 weeks (3 months)  US$ 725
26 weeks (6 months)  US$ 1450
39 weeks (9 months)  US$ 2175
52 weeks (12 months)  US$ 2900

Please click here to convert the prices to your local currency.

  • INTVS charges its own fee of 185 Euros, regardless of the time that a volunteer stays abroad. This fee covers;
  • Volunteer support prior to, during and after the volunteer experience (in English, French & Spanish)
  • All necessary preparatory information including;
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Travel/Medical Insurance
    • Police Check form
    • The program (the site, schedule, role…)
    • Local contacts & important numbers

And also…

  • History, demographics & local norms
  • What to bring
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • And much more.
  • It also covers work and travel costs that INTVS staff incur to check up on and document the programs on a regular basis.
  • The payments to the local organizations and INTVS are completely separate. We do NOT charge them a commission and 100% of the program cost goes to them.

“My time in Cambodia was a wonderful, life changing experience. I felt at home in the volunteer house from the very start and had a blast teaching every time I stepped into the classroom thanks to the wonderful Khmer spirit and the student’s willingness to learn. The staff at the local organization were splendid in how they assisted us with getting around Cambodia for our holidays and after the termination of the semester. I will always look back on my time in Cambodia incredibly fondly and hope that I can go back some day soon”.
Jake, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Demographics

  • Population: 15,9 million (2016)
  • Currency: Cambodian Riel (KHR)
  • (US dollar is equally accepted & acts as dual currency)
  • Capital City: Phnom Penh
  • Land area: 181,000 square kilometers (about the size of Uruguay or Syria)
  • People living below poverty line:
  • Language: Official: Khmer
  • Spoken: Khmer, English (to some extent, above all amongst the younger generation in the big cities), French (less & less, and above all the older generation)

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Culture

  • As is the case with its neighboring countries, family, religion and respect for the elderly are key to Cambodian culture. Large families can all live together under one roof, be it a large or small roof, or at least within the vicinity.
  • Communication: It is important to understand the concept of ‘face’ in Cambodia. When criticizing someone try to do this in a subtle way by giving it a positive twist; otherwise the person you criticize loses face. Communication is not as direct as in Western countries, which can be frustrating, but have patience, and with a warm smile and friendly insistence you will get your message through.
  • Hierarchy: Common hierarchical guidelines are that parents are superior to children, teachers to students and managers to subordinates. Hierarchy comes into play during greetings, events, eating and other social happenings. Respect must always be shown to the elder.
  • Collectivism: Cambodia is a collective society – individuals take second place to the group whether this is the family, neighborhood or company.
  • Theravada Buddhism is the religion of virtually all of the ethnic Khmers, who constitute about 90% of the Cambodian population. It is a tolerant religion that does not require belief in a supreme being. It requires that each individual takes full responsibility for his or her own actions. It is based on three principles; dharma, karma and sangha.
  • Dharma: The Buddhist guide to right actions and belief.
  • Karma: The belief that one’s actions will have repercussions on one’s future life; by doing something good, one will be rewarded favorably in the future and vice versa.
  • Sangha: The ascetic community within which man can improve his karma.
  • Minority religions are; Hinduism, Animism, Islam and Christianity
  • Minority ethnicities are; Ethnic Vietnamese (slightly distrusted amongst the Khmer due to past conflict and present influence), Ethnice Chinese and Ethnic Cham (Cham muslims were viciously persecuted during the Khmer Rouge Regime and a large part of their community was destroyed).

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History

  • The history of Cambodia is atypical when compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors. The people of Cambodia (or Khmers) have gone through just about everything a region could go through: foreign occupation; tributes to more powerful kings; strange turns in their political and ethnical status; the light of an empire; and the sad realities of dictatorship and genocide.
  • See below a brief timeline from 800 A.D until today.
  • 8th/9th century: Various kingdoms in today´s Cambodia:
    The first clans and kingdoms were initially spread over the territory of today’s Cambodia, but soon gathered along the two main rivers – Tonlé Sap and the Mekong Delta. Agriculture proved effective and the peaceful Khmers soon experienced economic growth, which led to various shifts of power from one ruler to another. Thus, in the 9th century, the Khmer civilization was already consistent enough to move to a new level.
  • 9th – 14th century: Rise and fall of the Angkor empire:
    During approximately half a millennium the Angkor (literally ‘capital’) empire flourished. The temple ruins in the area of Siem Reap are the remnants of the Angkorian capitals, and represent the pinnacle of the ancient Khmer architecture, art and civilization. At its peak, the capital area had more than a million people and its kings constructed temples, waterworks and dominated over most of today’s Cambodia, and much of Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
  • 15th century: Siamese (Thai) & Vietnamese Power struggles
    With the fall of the Angkor Empire in 1431, the Cambodian king fled and the country entered a period of decline in which the Thais and Vietnamese struggled for territorial claim.
  • 15th – 19th century: Various foreign rulers impose tributes & taxes to Khmer kings
  • From around 1500 onwards, a series of weak kings ruled the area, slowly diminishing the Angkor territory and finally shifting the capital to today’s Phnom Penh, in Southern Cambodia.
  • 1863 – 1941: French protectorate and eventual colony. In 1863 King Norodom signed a French protectorate, which marked the beginning of the French influence in Cambodia. By 1884, Cambodia was, in effect, a colony of France
  • 1941 – 1944: Japanese occupation. During WW2, with the Vichy government toppled in 1944, the Japanese took full control, but one year later were defeated and French gave autonomous control to Cambodia (within the French Union).
  • 1953: The country is unified under King Sihanouk and is returned to a rule of monarchy.
  • 1970 – 1975: Civil War. The Cambodian Civil War was a war between the Communist Party of Kampuchea (known as the Khmer Rouge), and their communist Northern Vietnamese allies against the government forces of Cambodia an (U.S supported) Southern Vietnam
  • 1975 – 1979: The rule of the Khmer Rouge.Khmer Rouge forces, led by Pol Pot seize Phnom Penh and establish their regime. They drive city-dwellers into the countryside in an attempt to create an agrarian, communist utopia. Brutal persecution of intellectuals, religious figures and ethnic minorities begins. The Khmer Rouge bans family relationships and begins an aggressive campaign of brainwashing young children to worship the state and spy on their parents. Most Cambodians are forced to work more than 12 hours a day in inhumane conditions in order to achieve this. Hundreds of thousands of Cambodians starve to death in the rice fields.
  • 1979 – Today.Vietnamese forces enter Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge regime falls. It is estimated approximately 1.5 million people were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime. The People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) is established with Vietnamese support. With the execution of so many educated people, reconstruction is made extremely difficult.
  • Today Cambodia is benefiting from two decades of relative stability. However, corruption is deep-rooted and Cambodia is still one of the world’s poorest countries, with around one third of people living on less than one dollar per day. Today it is a constitutional monarchy, where by the Prime Ministeris the head of government and a Monarch is head of state.

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