Take the road less traveled by choosing Cambodia as your destination for high school abroad. Filled with friendly and always smiling people, Cambodia is rife with history and compelling stories.

Cambodia gained independence in 1953 and has been evolving ever since. Furthermore, the country is multilingual; though Khmer is Cambodia's official language, many speak English, Chinese, and even some French.

By choosing to do high school abroad in Cambodia, students will be inspired by this small Southeast Asian country and the powerful message it has to offer to its visitors.

Cambodia is best for students who are history buffs, language lovers, interested in volunteer work, and also want to explore a developing country in Southeast Asia.

Volunteer and service learning programs are the most common options available, though they can be limited. Students have the option to work with children (i.e. by teaching English) or build infrastructure such as homes, schools, and water wells. Discover more tips about short-term volunteering in Cambodia.

Cultural immersion programs and teen travel programs are best for students that want to see various parts of the country and immerse themselves into Cambodian culture. Because it is such a small country, students can easily travel to a wide variety of destinations and get the full picture of Cambodia’s history, culture, people, and lifestyle.

Popular cities

Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia, attracting many students as one of the country's most popular hubs. Siem Reap is another famous location as it houses the world's largest religious monument, Angkor Wat, drawing millions of visitors each year. For those less interested in city life, students can be placed in Cambodia's many rural areas as well.

Student visa requirements

A one-month tourist visa costs $30 on arrival and requires one passport-sized photo (and can be extended when in country). You can obtain them via your home country’s embassy and should do so at least a month in advance before your departure for Cambodia. Don't forget your passport!

Housing

While most accommodations in Cambodia are fairly minimal, they are enjoyable in their simplicity. Wi-Fi and air conditioning might not be provided, so keep that in mind. Homestays are the most popular option when staying in one place (for example, when volunteering), but hostels and hotels are options when on travel tours.

Costs

As developing country, Cambodia is very affordable to visitors from Western countries. Local meals and street eats are much cheaper than the still wallet-friendly restaurant options and can range from $1-3. Students should plan to budget around $20-30 per day after the costs of their programs. Find more budgeting tips for Cambodia on Lonely Planet.

Packing tips

Due to its humid and hot climate, head to Cambodia between November and March when it is considered “cooler” and drier, reflecting almost Mediterranean temperatures. Be sure to pack:

  • Lightweight clothing (modest enough for temple visits); long sleeves and long trousers or skirts are preferred
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Shoes that are easy to slip on and off
  • A 230V power adapter for electronics and blow dryers

Note: People from Cambodia typically dress more conservatively than Western countries, so be sure to brush up on Cambodian etiquette before you go.

Health

The CDC recommends all routine vaccinations as well as the following before traveling to Cambodia: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Polio, Tuberculosis, and Typhoid. Be sure to carry proof of your vaccinations while in the country. You should not go to Cambodia without having health insurance as medical aid is very primitive there. Don't be scared -- most travelers experience an upset stomach at worst, which can be treated with some Pepto Bismol.

That being said, be careful with what you eat. You cannot safely drink tap water and ice unless you are certain they are purified -- stick to reputable brands of bottled water or soft drinks with unbroken seals. Tea and coffee are generally fine if they've been boiled beforehand. Fruits and vegetables are safer washed with purified water and/or peeled.

Safety

Though Cambodia is pretty safe for tourists nowadays, the most important thing to remember while in Cambodia is to stay on marked paths in remote areas (due to landmines that are in the country from past wars). Besides that, petty theft is the most common concern, particularly during major festivals. You should always keep your valuables near your body (if you are even carrying them with you in the first place).

Contributed by Julie Peterson

High School Abroad Programs in Cambodia

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 programs
GVI
GVI: Volunteering for Teens
Multiple Countries
9.1 •10 reviews

GVI offers a variety of opportunities for young adults between the...

Travel For Teens
Travel For Teens: Travel Programs for Older Teens
Multiple Countries
9.72 •32 reviews

We know that older teens are more independent and we have designed...

Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad Teen Volunteer Abroad Program in Cambodia
Cambodia
9.71 •7 reviews

Spend 2, 3 or 4 weeks in the summer in Cambodia as a high school...

Carpe Diem Education
Carpe Diem Education | Southeast Asia Semester: Human Rights & Cultural Exchange
Multiple Countries
9.78 •9 reviews

Study Human Rights and Cultural Exchange with a community of students...

Where There Be Dragons
Cambodia: Peace-Building & Conservation High School Summer Program
Cambodia
10 •2 reviews

Known for the incomparable ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a country...

Where There Be Dragons
Mekong: Tibetan Plateau to the Heart of Southeast Asia Gap Year Semester
Multiple Countries
10 •2 reviews

To Tibetans, the Upper Mekong is a powerful spiritual entity. To the...

MEI International Academy
Semester and Term Programs in Asia and Australia
Multiple Countries
9.95 •21 reviews

Imagine studying Buddhism in the temples of Angkor Wat, exploring the...

Global Works
Global Works Custom Group Travel
Multiple Countries
10 •1 review

Global Works Custom Group programs offer travel experiences for an...

MEI International Academy
Full Year Global High School Program
Multiple Countries
10 •3 reviews

Imagine studying Buddhism in the temples of Angkor Wat, exploring the...

Rustic Pathways
Summer High School Programs in Cambodia with Rustic Pathways
Cambodia
9.64 •28 reviews

Cambodia is a country with a painful past and a hopeful future. Rustic...

Travel For Teens
Travel For Teens: Cambodia
Cambodia

Cambodia is a country with a poignant history and a bright future...

Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder
SStS Cambodia: Sustainable Agriculture Along the Mekong
Cambodia
9.5 •2 reviews

Live on a remote Island, support a local health clinic and immerse...

Where There Be Dragons
Laos, Thailand, & Cambodia: From Hidden Kingdom to the Temples of Angkor High School Summer Program
Multiple Countries

Discover the historic, economic, environmental, and cultural mosaic of...

Other High School Programs in Southeast Asia

Not enough options in Cambodia? Check out these other programs in Southeast Asia!
  • GVI
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    Meaningful Community Service is an important component to many of our...

  • Projects Abroad
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    Cambodia
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  • Pacific Discovery
    Pacific Discovery | Thailand Summer Program
    Thailand
    9.87 •15 reviews

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  • Carpe Diem Education
    Carpe Diem Education | Southeast Asia Semester: Human Rights & Cultural Exchange
    Multiple Countries
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