Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Cambodia

Video and Photos

About

Projects Abroad has been sending volunteers abroad since 1992. This is your chance to have a direct impact on the lives of the less fortunate. As a Projects Abroad volunteer, you can get involved in Teaching English, Community Development, and Conservation & Environment projects, or Medicine & Healthcare and Microfinance internships.

Cambodia is an exciting place to volunteer abroad. Visit our website to apply online and discover how easy it is to make a positive impact in your world.

Highlights
  • Choose a project you are passionate about that fits your interests
  • Choose your own start date and duration
  • Get 24/7 support from our local staff
  • Have fun exploring the country and its culture over the weekends
  • Gain practical international experience and build up your credentials for your resume

Questions & Answers

Reviews

80%
based on 21 reviews
  • Impact 7.5
  • Support 8
  • Fun 7
  • Value 8
  • Safety 7.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 21
Default avatar
Sophie
9/10

My Time In Cambodia

During the summer of 2018, I spent 3 weeks in Cambodia with Projects Abroad. Including weekend trips to Kampot and Siem Reap, I spent most of my time in Phnom Penh working in a school. Overall I found the trip amazing. The weekends and dinners during the week allowed me to relax and enjoy time with the other people on my trip, while the work during the day helped me to feel like I was making a difference. The hotel I stayed with was overall good but the food wasn’t amazing so our project supervisors took us out for dinner nightly. All our problems were dealt with quickly and professionally. Definetly would recommend to others ! Support was also provided afterwards as projects aboard stayed in touch.

How can this program be improved?
Hotel wasn’t great but was told it was the last year they were bringing volunteers there.
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Sophie, it's great to read you had such a great time in Cambodia. We do work hard to have a balance between your volunteer work and exploring the beautiful sightings that Cambodia has to offer. Thank you for your feedback as well, we are indeed working to provide more comfortable accommodation for our current volunteers. Hope to see you again in another one of our projects soon!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Abbey
9/10

High School Special Cambodia January 2018

My experience was very enjoyable and I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to partake in an overseas immersion experience. The staff in the country were well experienced with the program and itinerary and also about the local culture. The staff were also very friendly and were able to connect with the kids to ensure we got the most out of the trip. The support provided prior to the trip was also extensive and helpful and once it came time to leave for Cambodia I felt very prepared and I knew what I was to do once I arrived due to the conversations I had been having with Projects Abroad staff prior to my departure.
At our placement we spent our days painting, teaching and we built a pond at the primary school. My favourite part was seeing the excitement on the faces of the children. This motivated me even more to continue the good work I was doing and assured me that this trip was worthwhile. I enjoyed every moment on placement and to see the impact we had made once our trip was over was a life changing moment for not only myself but all people involved.
One of my biggest concerns when embarking on the trip was the people I would be sharing the experience with. However, I didn't need to worry as I made long-lasting friendships in the people I went on the trip with. What I found even more interesting was that the individuals on the trip came from across the world and were all of a similar age to myself. I truly believe the people I shared the experience with made it even more worth it.
Overall I believe the trip was prepared and managed well from start to finish by the Projects Abroad staff. I never had a doubt in doing a program with Projects Abroad and I plan to do more as I loved the first one so much.

Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Abbey. We are glad to hear you had such a great time in Cambodia! We understand that it may be a bit scary to go to a foreign country at a young age, which is why our staff is always happy to provide all the information you need and answer any questions both before you travel and during your stay.
One of the great thing about volunteering abroad is that you get to work with other volunteers from around the world who share your same vision and passion for helping out those in need. It's wonderful that you got to experience how grateful the children are for your contributions!
Thanks for sharing!

Yes, I recommend this program
Christine
1/10

A money making company that lacks financial transperancy

After spending 2 months in Cambodia volunteering with Projects Abroad (cost $4400 Australian not including flights) I came away asking where has the money gone. Apparently PA allocated $4.50 US each day for each volunteer to eat. The organization gave the school that I was working at $100 US for my placement and allocated a further $40 for me to buy resources for the school. The accommodation was worse than any basic hostel I have seen. The mattress I slept on looked like it had been dragged out of a rubbish tip. So where did the money go In fact where did the $18 million profit that this company made in 2016 go? Well according to PA (as per an email they sent me) "In Cambodia we make considerate donations to an NGO called Khemera for their 8 daycare centres..." Interesting use of the word "considerate" when Khemera's 2016 financial statement indicates that Projects Abroad donated a mere $42,469.00 some of which was made up of the $100 per volunteer placement contribution made to 8 childcare facilities operated by Khemera. Further investigation uncovered the mother company of Projects Abroad....Beech View Holdings Ltd. The company's financial statement 2016 makes for an interesting read: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03286143/filing-…. And if you're not fully convinced about the profit making focus of this company, here's another article: https://www.incomediary.com/peter-slowe-interview-running-t…

How can this program be improved?
The mission statement on the Projects Abroad website states that: "Our mission is to encourage young people to volunteer for worthwhile work in developing countries." I find this statement discriminatory in the extreme. At age 58 I clearly don't fit the "young" profile and my attention was crudely drawn to this by a PA staff who referred me to the mission statement when I questioned the efficacy of Projects Abroad practices.
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Christine,

We appreciate the concerns you have raised, and we have been in email communication several times to answer your questions around how your project fees are allocated. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our projects and the experiences our volunteers and partners have, and we’ve taken all your feedback on board to help with this effort.

We try and be as transparent as possible around how project fees are allocated. Unfortunately, the picture you paint is not the full story, and reflects only a small part of the costs of running projects in the developing world all year round. There are many fixed costs that need to be covered even if we don’t have any volunteers signed up at various times during the year, such as local staff salaries, office rents, donations to projects and project materials. Your fees would have also contributed to the annual costs of running these projects and our full-time team in Cambodia, as well as towards other projects around the world that don’t receive as many volunteers but still make a significant impact on local communities.

The $18 million “profit” in 2016 you refer to is actually £18 million turnover – it’s the full amount of money we received in 2016, with the vast majority of this going straight into running our volunteer projects and support structures throughout the year. We do factor in some profit, with most of this going into a reserve fund to make sure we can keep our projects running throughout the year, even if we don’t have any volunteers at any given time.

We understand that it can be difficult reconciling Projects Abroad being a for-profit organisation and offering volunteer work, but we have found that by structuring ourselves this way we are best able to keep our projects running year after year, for 25 years now, as we are not reliant on government or donor funds. We can choose the communities and focus areas that we believe will benefit the most from the work and contributions of our volunteers, and we often work in areas that very seldom get attention from large donor organisations or the international media.

We welcome volunteers of all ages and from all backgrounds, and in fact we see more and more people choosing to volunteer as a career break or during retirement. We certainly don’t intend to exclude anyone based on age, and we apologise if you felt our mission statement is discriminatory. We are always looking to improve, and this will be reviewed to make sure we are as inclusive as possible.

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Lilong
10/10

My 2-week public health volunteer experience in Cambodia

My first time away from home volunteering experience was fantastic with Projects Abroad. Upon my arrival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I was welcomed warmly and amazingly. I was given a city tour and introduced to the local cultures/language the first day there. The following work days, I worked alongside qualified professionals at various places such as child care center, kindergarten, impoverished communities and center for disabled children ((different activities every single day), providing basic health services and education on illness prevention. The evaluation procedures were easy to grasp with the help of the experts. Through the outreach processes, I’ve learned how to test and screen for illnesses and prescribe relevant medications in addition to build quality interactions with the patients.

I found it quite impressive that this program brings together people from many cultures with varied work experiences and different perspectives on strategic and organizational challenges. The team members come from different countries and functional backgrounds always work together to manage complex conditions and evaluate the care of patients. Moreover, the accommodation was also mind-blowing, you get private room and personal bathroom, hotel like bedding, AC, 24/7 guarded gate, 3 meals a day healthy diet plan that matches your preference with plenty of fruits and vegetables, convenient and cheap transit service, flexible schedule etc.

Overall, my 2 weeks stay there was comfortable with kind and caring attention. Everything went smooth from arrival to departure. I was almost fully immersed through interaction with the local culture and I also picked up a little of the local language. The experiences that I had have shaped myself as a person. If I am to volunteer abroad again, I would definitely come back to Projects Abroad and get a duration of a longer program.

Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Lilong. We are glad you were able to enjoy your time in beautiful Phnom Penh and that you got to learn so much from your supervisors, as well as from your peers. We do actually recommend staying for as long as possible so you can learn that much more and build stronger relationships with your patients. Hope to see you again in another one of our projects soon. Thanks for sharing!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Stacey
10/10

Public Health in Cambodia: Incredible Experience!

My two weeks of volunteering in the Public Health program in Cambodia through Projects Abroad was hands-down the most amazing experience of my life. During my time there, I practiced hands-on medicine in a way that directly and immediately helped impact the lives of people living in some of the poorest regions of Phnom Penh. We worked with kids in the mornings and adults during the afternoon, and in our free time, most of the volunteers explored the city or even ventured to other cities on the weekends. The other volunteers quickly become some of your best friends: whether you need someone to have an impromptu water-gun fight with, or someone to be your support during a long day, they are there for you. Some of the people I met, though we were only together for 1, maybe 2 weeks, are people that I feel certain I will remain in contact with for the rest of my life, even though we are from places as spread out as Australia, Switzerland, UK, and Alaska! While I would highly recommend this program to anyone thinking about volunteering abroad, I will say this: research the area, the project, and what to expect prior to arriving in the country. Some people expect it to be an easy, comfortable experience, and I will tell you bluntly that it is not. Is it fun? Yes. Do you learn a lot and meet incredible people? Absolutely. Will it change your outlook on life? Most likely. BUT it is not an easy experience. One of my roommates came expecting that her lifestyle could stay the same; she also was not mentally prepared for the heat, humidity, or cultural isolation that comes from not speaking the native language. Needless to say, she was miserable for a good majority of her project. I, however, researched extensively and arrived prepared for hardships galore. I was, thankfully, pleasantly surprised that it often was not as bad as I thought it would be, but you will have a much more enjoyable experience if you mentally prepare yourself for it to be a challenge.
While the incredible people I met, the work I did, and the unforgettable memories all play an enormous role in my reflection of this experience, I know that the program itself is to thank for most of this. The volunteers were incredibly well taken care of, and there was never an instance where I felt that the program had been ill-prepared to handle the situation; we always had a safe place to stay, clean/safe food and water, and ample opportunities to communicate with our program leaders if we ever needed extra help or support. Leaving a small town in Alaska to travel to a developing country on a continent I had never been to before was, understandably, only marginally less than terrifying, but the constant support from the Projects Abroad staff—which starts nearly the moment you send in your application—helped alleviate my concerns and was one of the factors that helped me decide to proceed with my volunteer experience. I have no reservations in entirely, whole-heartedly recommending this program to anyone wanting to volunteer abroad.

How can this program be improved?
Nothing that I can think of!
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Stacey. Sounds like you had a wonderful time in Cambodia! We agree, setting the right expectations before your project is key! Our Volunteer Advisors share as much information as they can with the volunteers, and answer all their questions. Volunteers can also find useful tips on their MyProjectsAbroad page. Just like you, we also think this makes it much easier to adapt quickly and start enjoying everything that this incredible experience has to offer. Thanks for sharing!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
William
9/10

Public Health In Cambodia

I really enjoyed this opportunity to work abroad. This is my second time using Projects Abroad with my first experience being a nursing internship in Nepal. This time around was a Public Health internship in the capital city of Phnom Penh. I traveled with my wife who was working with English Education and Projects Abroad was able to accommodate us with our lodging as well as transportation so that we were able to stay together during our time there. I had an excellent experience working in different districts in and around Phnom Penh, and I was able to truly experience the culture in the short time that I was there. The work mostly consisted of distributing medications to individuals as well as providing health education and giving cursory physical assessments. While I greatly enjoyed the work, we also had a great time traveling around Cambodia to such places as Koh Rong Samleoum, Siem Reap (Ankor Wat), and Sihnoukville. We were also able to tour the S-21 and the Killing Fields which are essential pieces to an an important time in the development of the country. I highly recommend traveling with Projects Abroad for a safe and inclusive experience as well as traveling to Cambodia both to discover more about the past and yourself!

How can this program be improved?
N/A
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear William.
Thank you for trusting Projects Abroad once again for your international volunteer experience. It sounds like you and your wife had a great time in Cambodia - both at your project and around the country! Thank you for sharing!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jennie
9/10

Cambodia's Human Rights Project - Projects Abroad

After 4 exhilarating weeks in Phnom Penh, I completed Projects Abroad's Human Rights project. I was 22 and I was a fresh graduate from university. I completed a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and History, indicating my natural gravitation towards participating in a Human Rights project. My interest in participating in this volunteer project also heightened as I learn more about the country of Cambodia prior to my journey there: the mysterious landscapes and dark history that the country is built upon. I have a strong passion for travelling and I was fortunate enough to learn more about distant places, its histories and political landscapes throughout my academic career. Let me also preamble that I am also simultaneously pursuing a career in law and was hoping that I could gain quantitative and qualitative legal experience in my volunteer endeavor.

Preparing to embark on my volunteer project, I had a ton of help from the Projects Abroad staff, who consistently kept in touch via phone and email, and also a friend of mine who recently completed a Projects Abroad project in South America. The Projects Abroad website provided me with a personal webpage of my own that contains all instructions relating to my upcoming travel to Cambodia. It is organized by a timeline of before, during and after your project. This layout extremely helped me in keeping myself organized before I travel, as well as the smooth arrival that I experienced when I landed in Phnom Penh.

I worked for a Cambodian NGO, the Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), that seeks to advocate for human and housing rights in Cambodia. Cambodia, as a country, offers many learning experiences starting from its diverse history all the way to its culture and modern identity. Until today, I still look back on my 4-week experience working side-by-side with justice workers, human rights defenders and legal officers and I remain in awe. My work mainly consisted of researching and writing numerous case studies. The research component was what I found the most exhilarating. I had an opportunity to look closely into Cambodian and internationally-binding laws, mainly targeting human rights and housing law aspects. I was also very fortunate to experience most of my research on the field: I witnessed and observed numerous human rights protests, housing developments, political meetings and human rights trials. HRTF also actively participated in meeting and collaborating with other local and international NGOs that provided me with a whole new system to work with and be a part of.

I was also very fortunate to call a place ‘home’ during my stay in Phnom Penh. I lived in a project Abroad volunteers’ apartment in the heart of the city and was surrounded by people who helped me feel at home, fed me amazing local dishes and made sure I was driven to work and brought home safe every day. The people I lived with came from different parts of the world and have become very close friends of mine. Volunteering abroad was improved a hundred-fold when my experiences turned into friendships and life-long memories.

I highly recommend Project Abroad’s Human Rights project in Cambodia for various reasons, most of which are outlined in my review. It helped me shape my understanding of the world, its realities and also its wonders.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Betsie
10/10

TESL in Cambodia

I loved teaching English as a Second Language in Cambodia with Projects Abroad! I got my certification in TESL at my college and Projects Abroad not only gave me the opportunity to practice the skills and knowledge that I had gained through that program, but it also reminded me why I fell in love with TESL in the first place and rekindled my passion for teaching in that way someday. At all times I felt supported and encouraged by the Projects Abroad staff as well as the staff at my placement. I greatly enjoyed getting to know my students and miss them dearly. I can't wait to take what I learned through my project with them and help similar students in a similar way.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Katherine
10/10

Public Health Project- Great Experience

I did the Public Health Project for 5 weeks with Projects Abroad. The support staff is great, very helpful. I stayed in the apartment in Phnom Penh for most of my time. We spent time in the communities helped by the Khemara Organization, doing public health checks in the communities and childcare centers. It was a great experience getting a lot of hands on medical experience and learning a lot from our public health program managers. I also spent a week with a host family, doing public health checks in a rural community. It was a great to experience how a Khmer family lives. Another week I spent with the conservation project on King Island. We also did public health checks there. Each community had their own public health problems and different common illnesses. I highly recommend Projects Abroad. Although it is more expensive than other programs it has excellent in-country support and organization.

How can this program be improved?
At times the scheduling could be disorganized, but it always resolved in the end.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Molly
6/10

Needs to step it up.

I volunteered in Cambodia for physical therapy, I'm not a qualified PT so that meant I was supposed to go to the hospital but on my first day there we find out that they promoted that wrong, you go to the orphanage... which is fine i loved the children, and the father who runs the organization and his staff are so nice and friendly....LOVED the house moms at the apartments.

CONS: For how much this volunteering costs the living conditions are very poor, and hardly any money went to the orphanage. the administrative management will never let you know how much of your donation goes to the charity.

before volunteering i traveled for two months in cambodia and vietnam staying in hostels that were 5-10$ a night that came with breakfast, AC and Hot water & never got sick.... and the crazy thing is that out of 20 rooms at projects abroad only 3 had AC, and 0 warm water... which isn't that bad unless your sick... i got food poisoning from the food, 103 fever & my coordinator wouldn't respond to my messages for help. I missed 1 and a half weeks of volunteering. :( A lot of people got sick due to the fans blowing in there face because its so hot its the only way to cool down.

Rats/ rat poop and mosquitos dominate the living room and kitchen. I hope they improve the living conditions for the volunteers, and I hope that the organization finally listens to all of the complaints, GOOD LUCK!

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Kyra
9/10

Best Way To Travel and Make An Impact

For the past two years I have been researching for the perfect program and organization to volunteer abroad. I finally made the decision to travel to Cambodia as it is one of the poorest countries in Asia in need of English speaking volunteers. This trip turned out to be everything I expected it to be. The Projects Abroad staff was helpful and available every step of the way, the volunteer apartments were comfortable and very clean, the food was delicious, and every individual I met while volunteering was grateful for the work I and other volunteers were doing. In just two weeks it felt as if I completed a month’s worth of things on the Khmer Project. I not only was able to help a family in the rice fields and teach English in a school; but, I also learned about Cambodian culture through making a traditional Khmer puppet, cooking traditional Cambodian food, learning traditional Khmer dancing, learning the basics of the Khmer language, visiting the national museum, visiting the ancient temples in Siem Reap, visiting a floating village, meditating in a Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh, and visiting the areas of Cambodia that were used during the devastating Khmer Rouge. All of which was covered in my expenses. The experience was life changing in the way I was able to make friends with volunteers from all over the world, learn about Cambodia first-hand from my Cambodian coordinator who was with me every day, and most importantly how I was immediately exposed to the unfortunate circumstances of this very poor country by teaching young children and simply travelling around the country.
Volunteering is the best way to travel and the only way to truly understand and empathize with the inequalities of this world. As a student studying to become a social worker, this experience gives me an advantage on my resume, as well as the confidence to broaden my career goals to a global level. I left Cambodia an even greater advocate for change and I am already planning my next volunteer trip with Projects Abroad as my trip would not have been what it was without them!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Anonymous
2/10

Diving In Cambodia

Getting to the island was so scary. I was put on a bus with no other English speakers and told my trip would be 3 hours long, 8 hours later with no food we got to a beach where I was told to get out and ushered onto a small wooden boat that looked like it would sink. Luckily I survived the trip to the island.
The accommodation and bathrooms were so unhygienic I got sick almost immediately. There's no septic system so you have to put all of your used toilet paper in a opened bin beside the toilet which is in the same room as the shower facilities. There's nowhere to wash your hands and to flush the toilet your pour water down the bowl.
I also have a pre-existing medical condition that I was told I would be able to manage over there until I arrived and found the medical facilities on the island were very basic and almost non existent. I was apparently not the first person worried about this as diving is a dangerous activity and can require medical attention. I was also worried when I found out not one staff member knew first aid.
The staff are very friendly at first then become immediately standoffish on the second day. The only time they lighten up is when they are drinking which is most nights.
I'm a young person and enjoy a drink or few but not every night. I also felt very out of place because some of the people in charge were younger than I was and were almost only interested in sleeping with the volunteers. Even though most of the volunteers were already sleeping together or had done in the past.
There are posters all over the accommodation that state no drugs on the program. This couldn't be further from the truth. Almost every volunteer was smoking marijuana and taking pills every day and would come back to the house out of their brains. Not to mention certain staff felt it okay to supply the volunteers with drugs and were happy to do it with them.
There was also very little conservation work happening at all. Volunteers could work on their "own projects" which mostly consisted of us watching movies or reading each other's books. Only a few volunteers had actually collected any relevant data while most of them had not even researched anything, we just tagged along on the dives.
I also didn't even see a seahorse in my time on the island. I was told they'd seen 4 seahorses but I find that hard to believe.
The food was very mediocre to poor quality. If you don't like rice, don't go. That's what I survived on and occasionally ate fish. The chicken was disgusting and pork often still had skin and hair attached as well as parts of bones. There were so many times when no one even knew what the meat was. There are so restaurants on the island that do amazing food though so I recommend those.
There is no interaction with the community other than the children saying hello every time you walk by. I was advertised that we would be teaching and interacting with children as well as teaching them about conservation only to find this was never a part of the program.
When I left not one person from projects abroad contacted me or even saw me to the airport. I was simply put in a taxi and dropped off.
Two weeks after I returned home the project manager emailed me and asked how I was as they hadn't heard from me, they weren't even aware that I had returned home.
For the amount of money you pay it's definitely not worth it. Apparently a girl left before I got there, she changed her flights home. I wish I was fortunate enough to do that because I would have gotten out of there in the first week.

On the plus side:
I made some amazing friends who were equally as disgusted as I was at the organisation and overall let down of the program.
I also enjoyed the experience of seeing another country and culture.

I would not however recommend this to anyone unless they are into 'cheap drugs and alcohol' and watching movies every day and going for the occasional dive.

Response from Projects Abroad

This review has astonished our community in Cambodia and overseas. We have received nothing but positive feedback through all of our official channels, and we have been working to identify the authenticity of this review. Our project is run by qualified professionals whose primary focus is marine conservation and dive training. Health and safety are a top priority and illegal activity of any kind is absolutely not tolerated by our team or by the community on the island. We are happy to provide evidence of our qualifications, impact and health and safety procedures to anyone concerned. We would like to connect with the author of this review, as these allegations are being taken very seriously, and do not represent the feedback from any volunteer on the project to date.

Jessica Warner

Operations Manager (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam)
& Head of Programme Development
__________________________________
Projects Abroad

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Charlotte
1/10

Marine Conservation Cambodia with Projects Abroad

I attended the Marine Conservation Cambodia project this summer and had a really terrible time with it. Diving courses take place very infrequently: I had to wait over a week for my first dive, and other volunteers I met had to wait significantly longer. There is essentially no interaction with the villagers living on the island, and, unlike advertised on the website, no "training programs on sustainable fishing" take place. Since diving courses are very badly organised and take place infrequently, most volunteers do not reach sufficient proficiency to actually take place in marine surveys.

Additionally, accommodation is really basic and unhygienic, with mold covering the walls and rats living in the bungalows where the volunteers are sleeping. The food is of really low quality, which is completely unacceptable because in general even cheap food in Cambodia is really good. The staff is very unapproachable and generally gives you the impression that they do not want to be bothered by any problems the volunteers might have. While I was there, two of the volunteers ended up in a hospital because the staff did not take action when they first were injured/became ill. Some of the lack of organisation/responsibility of the staff may be explained by the fact that binge drinking is one of the main ways to pass time on the island (for both staff and some of the volunteers).

I had originally paid for four weeks on the project, but left after a week and a half, after a very upsetting incident with the diving instructor. I have written at length to Projects Abroad about this incident, the shortcomings of the project, the fact that the project description on the website is misleading, and that some of the staff are treating the volunteers is completely inappropriate. However, most of my emails were ignored, and even when I did receive a reply Projects Abroad refused to refund any of my money.

In conclusion, the project is badly organised, falsely advertised, completely overpriced and health and safety is non-existent. Do yourself a favour and save yourself this negative experience. If you want to experience Cambodia, go travelling instead. If you want to do volunteering, pick another organisation!

Response from Projects Abroad

The Marine Conservation Project in Cambodia has relocated to Koh Kong province and is now independently run by our team of trained local and expat staff. This project is running incredibly well and regular updates can be found on our website. Health and Safety is always a priority and all of our dives meet or exceed PADI standards. Our project site is an alcohol-free zone and we work in close collaboration with local authorities, including schools and temples on the new island in Koh Kong. We are happy to provide more information on the new project to anyone interested.

Jessica Warner

Operations Manager (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam)
& Head of Programme Development
__________________________________
Projects Abroad

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Fran
4/10

Pro Human Rights Volunteer in Phnom Penh

I spent 6 weeks in Phnom Penh as a Pro volunteer - this is the part of Projects Abroad that is marketed to experienced professionals in mid or late career, or those who are retired. I am a lawyer with decades of experience; I made the most of the opportunity in PP to assist a coalition with human/land rights. Most of that was due to my own efforts, with little support from Projects Abroad (PA).
My overall impression of PA is that is focused on young gap year volunteers, and that it is ill equipped to understand or support experienced professionals. When I was introduced to my placement, the coordinator asked no questions, and appeared unaware of the coaltion's work. This continued through the 6 weeks that I was there; the checking in was perfunctory and superficial. Fortunately, I understood not to rely on PA, and to deal with various issues at the placement on my own. I was quite comfortable doing this - but seriously question the value PA offered to me. I also observed that PA did little, if no vetting of at least one other volunteer at my placement. This person was clearly in over their head, creating a difficult situation.

At the accommodation, my experience was the same. Requests for a lock box for my and other volunteers' rooms, to repair a flooding shower were met with indifference, and delays. I asked PA to organize a trip for volunteers to the ECCC; although I sent PA all relevant info to make this easy for them, many texts were required. Essentially, I organized it. I would have preferred to use this time contributing my professional expertise, not doing PA's administrative work.

Again, if I had organized this volunteer placement on my own, I would accept the incompetence, but I paid a significant amount to PA, and it was not clear to me what value they offered.

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Lynn
10/10

Marine conservation

The staff on the island were nothing but friendly and welcoming. On my very first dive I had a bad panic attack and wasn't sure if I could continue. I was very close to switch to an english teaching position at the school there. The staff were very understanding and allowed me to continue my dive lessons at my own pace. I had the best time on the island and discovered a new found love of diving and marine conservation. I met other volunteers from all across the globe. A day on the island consisted of breakfast at 7am followed by a beach clean up and a dive before lunch at 12 then if possible another dive after lunch. You have the weekends off so you can go to sihanoukville if you choose or stay on the island and relax. Other days we played games with the local childern followed by a jump off the pier or hung out at Hua's bar or One's. The local fishing village is a small tight knit community and they will welcome you with open arms.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing wrong about this project is the lack of goggles for small faces, which is very easily fixed by bringing your own.
Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast...