Cambodia: Peace & Development Studies (Summer Program)
100% Rating
(2 Reviews)

Cambodia: Peace & Development Studies (Summer Program)

Known for the incomparable ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a country that evokes images of overgrown jungle temples, robed monks, and religious splendor. Today, Cambodians navigate complex conversations related to regional water politics and aspirations for more democratic rule. Students gain firsthand insight into these contemporary issues through intimate engagement with regional experts, extended home-stays and community-organized service projects.

We offer comprehensive, personal home visits so that we can answer your questions in person. One of our expert staff members will present on our program options and share stories from their own formative Where There Be Dragons program. To request a home visit in less than 2 minutes, fill out this form.

Asia » Cambodia
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1-3 Months
Host Family
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Program Reviews (2)

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18 years old
New York

Learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable


My experience in Cambodia was incredibly meaningful and eye-opening. Cambodia is built on peaceful Buddhist values that produce a laid back culture. At the same time, a large majority of the population lives in poverty without access to clean water, electricity, and plumbing. The combination of these two factors is interesting, because although people live difficult lives, I found that they made the most of their circumstances and did not resent that which they don’t have. For example, my homestay consisted of an outdoor kitchen, small bathroom where I used a squat toilet and took bucket showers, and communal outdoor space with tables and hammocks. Essentially, they were living a minimalistic life and I was inspired by their ability to separate the link between happiness and material possessions. It was refreshing to be a part of a community where people’s happiness was instead determined by their relationships with family and friends. Additionally, in adapting to a new culture, I practiced mindfulness. In applying deeper thought to my routines and actions, I was able to take advantage of each opportunity to learn and grow. In Cambodia, I constantly shifted my perspective on life at home, realizing that the important things in life are often taken for granted. My increased mindfulness allowed me to return home with greater appreciation and respect for the people around me and my time spent with them. Overall, traveling to Cambodia was an incredibly formative experience that showed me the value of stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

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20 years old
Bowdoin College

Authentic Discovery of Self and Country


Whether you are called by the vibrant green rice paddies of Southeast Asia or the warm plains of West Africa, travelling with Where There Be Dragons is an inspiring and formative experience. In the summer of 2012 I went to Cambodia with a group of eleven other high school students and a team of three remarkable instructors who each possessed expertise about Cambodia’s culture, history, and development. Four years later, my best friend-whom I met on this trip—and I still speak with our instructors, now mentors, on a variety of topics. There is a sense of community cultivated on Dragon’s courses, which affords a lot of room for personal growth and self-discovery. I can so vividly remember the sparking light cascading though the cracks in my homestay family’s home positioned in a village near Penom Penh. I recall swinging awkwardly in the hammock on the first day, but laughing and cooking with this family by the end of the short week-long stay. Learning to dissolve cultural misunderstanding and see one another was a lesson in perspective that I continue to work on today. This course revealed to me ways of life that are much different from my own, comfortable midwestern lifestyle, but simultaneously, this course impressed upon me that we all share the same world. Cambodia is especially beautiful, fully of rice, iced coffee, wrinkled beetlenut stained smiles, incense, and saffron robes. However, it is also plagues with political vice, human rights violations, limited access to education, and a cruel past. The spirit of Cambodia is infectious—full of determination, kindness and potential. What I learned in and about Cambodia continue to translate into many aspects of my life.

In effort to mirror the lifestyle of Khmer people and fully delve into the beauty of Cambodia, this course is defined as rugged travel. There are times we see unparalleled beauty, but we also stay in modest accommodations. The 5/10 rating is not to deter one from travel, but only to convey a realistic picture of the journey.

About The Provider


Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel,