Teach English in Cambodia for 12 weeks

Video and Photos

Volunteer English Teachers in Cambodia
Volunteer English Teachers in Cambodia
On the way to rural project
Volunteer in Cambodia, Teach English
Volunteer in Cambodia, Teach English
Lunch during orientation trip to rural development project
CWF Students come from all walks of life
CWF Students come from all walks of life
A day trip to Kirirom national park organises by CWF

About

Make your next Summer Holiday useful through Volunteering!

Conversations With Foreigners is seeking volunteer teachers to teach Khmer students English at our language center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Profits from student fees help provide a sustainable source of core funding for the development projects of our partner NGO's.

CWF’s unique in-house curriculum draws on the student’s desire to share their traditions and uphold their cultural identity. Content reflects the realities of Cambodia and incorporates many aspects of its life. This is effective in motivating students to practice their English and promotes a balanced cross-cultural dialogue with their teachers.

Join us and receive priceless gifts: thanks from a nation with a deep history, living in a different world, a sunny culture where you'll hardly catch a cold and environments worth quitting the urban western world.

Visit our website for more info.

Highlights
  • No fee
  • Complete program
  • Phnom Penh capital city
  • Help communities
  • A lot of fun

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

It generally is a mixed age group ranging from 19 even up to 70. The majority are in their 20's and 30's. Age is irrelevant. Generally the younger ones live in the volunteer house whilst the over 30's to 60's live independently in their own apartments. Everyone seems to get on. We are all young at heart.

Reviews

94%
based on 24 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9
  • Benefits 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 7
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 15 of 24
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SHASHANK
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing and life-changing experience

I volunteered with Conversations With Foreigners (CWF) in May 2019. I decided to join CWF because I saw it as a great opportunity for me to improve my teaching skills and gain teaching experience. I was a newly qualified teacher when I joined CWF and it was my first ever in-class teaching experience. I am proud to say that CWF went beyond meeting my expectations. I not only improved my teaching skills and gained teaching experience, but saw myself growing and evolving as a teacher and a person as well. Today I am a confident teacher with so many teaching techniques and ready-to-use classroom activities in my pocket, which I learnt during the professional development workshops given at the beginning of the program.
First of all, unlike other volunteer organizations, CWF is a very legit social enterprise, which runs a school having all facilities for volunteer teachers as well as for students. This means that you won’t be teaching a group of underprivileged children in a village, but students in a well-maintained school who pay their fee (which is very affordable). Also, 60% of their profit goes to fund their social projects in the provinces of Cambodia.
The staff of CWF really surprised me. The staff was very supportive, friendly and helpful. They were always ready to help us at any time of the day with a smile on their face. Right from the pickup at the airport till the end of the program they made me feel so welcomed and made sure that my stay there was comfortable. I was truly humbled.
I got training during the first week of the program and it proved to be so helpful that I still use what I learnt during the training, in my classroom at my present job.
Last but not the least, the students were very motivated and highly enthusiastic to learn. Also, I was humbled by the respect that they gave me.
It was truly a life-changing experience for me where I learnt, grew, evolved as a person and a teacher. Doesn’t matter whether you are a teacher by profession or not. If you are not, you will be by the end of the program. CWF has so much to offer to you, irrespective of what field you belong to. I would recommend anyone and everyone to join the program. It will be a life-time experience for you. Cambodia will give you memories to cherish for life and the Khmer people will win your heart away with their smiles. Go for it…

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Conrad
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach and learn

I joined this programme to improve my teaching skills and gain confidence in the classroom. I more than achieved both these goals thanks to CWF. The in house training and support staff are amazing. I’ve made friends for life with some of the staff and also some of the students. The teachers were a mix of ages, nationalities, and abilities. We all had something different to give and we all learnt from and about each other. The social scene is fantastic and there is a lot to see and do in Phnom Penn and the surrounding areas. The program offers many cultural visits and you also get to see some of the work that is done with the monies raised. The support you receive is second to none both on and off the school premises. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CWF and would recommend it to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned professional or a beginner there is something for everyone. Go for it, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

What would you improve about this program?
The only gripe I heard in the whole time I was there is that they could do withA/C in the teachers house.
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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A transformative experience

My volunteer experience at Conversations with Foreigners (CWF) began in March 2017. I taught at the Toul Tom Poung site until the end of May, then again from September to November of that year at their new school in the Toul Kork district. This led to a part time job at an entirely different school in Phnom Penh where I have been teaching until now.

I’d visited Cambodia as a tourist in 2015. Prior to my visit, all I knew about it was what I had read in the papers and in a travel guide.

When I found out about a volunteer teaching opportunity at CWF in late 2016, I wanted to make sure it’s a legitimate school. There were stories about questionable organizations in Cambodia and I certainly didn’t want to waste my time by jumping into something I didn’t know much about. I contacted the school and I asked if it was all right for me to come and visit. I didn’t want phone or skype interviews – I wanted to personally look into it. So, I flew to Phnom Penh from San Francisco, California. The Education Services Manager graciously took the time to explain the program to me and gave me a tour of the school building. Feeling well-assured that this school fit my criteria as a good place to volunteer, I signed on.

Here are some thoughts I would like to share:

• CWF is a legitimate ‘social enterprise’ school. Part of the students’ tuition is donated to socially responsible causes in other provinces to help marginalized communities (e.g., water purification program, free schooling for children from impoverished families, support for environmental causes, etc.).
• CWF staff, from the director to the guards, are friendly, helpful, and great to work with.
• CWF has a volunteer house which is walking distance to the school. There is a reasonable fee for staying at this house which includes three meals a day, 5 days a week, and internet service. CWF can also loan you a bicycle to use for the duration of your volunteer time. The Volunteer Services Coordinator is available to provide support to the teachers (one of the nicest people you can ever meet).
• The school has school supplies and teaching resources and materials available.
• Prior to teaching, all volunteers receive a one-week orientation and training. Ongoing training is also offered throughout the term.
• Prospective students are tested and assigned to classes according to their level. A class may be composed of high school students and professionals, and everyone in between.
• Saving the best for last, the students are eager, enthusiastic, and inspiring. They make me want to wake up in the morning and go to school. They motivate me to do my best, and to be as good a teacher as I can be.

This is my experience, one that has extended from CWF to my current school, but “experience” can vary and can depend on the volunteer’s purpose for coming to Cambodia. My take and my suggestion? Search yourself and find out what may motivate you to teach as a volunteer at CWF. What can you offer and what’s in it for you? Do you have the resilience to adapt to a culture that may have dissimilarities to yours?

When you find the right reasons, it can truly be a transformative experience, as it has been for me. CWF has a special place in my heart.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Traffic. I have traveled all over the world, and the traffic here is insane!
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Ann
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Program, People and Country

My husband and I volunteered starting in Feb of 2018. The staff were wonderful and we felt completely supported from our first day to the last. We chose to live in the volunteer house and enjoyed the experience of being part of a ‘family’ of volunteers - eating together, discussing school, doing lesson plans, traveling, etc. Our cadre of volunteers included people from many different countries with varied backgrounds and ages which always made for interesting discussions, dinners out and travel. The workshops presented by the energetic, enthusiastic, knowledgeable education director gave us helpful instruction about teaching English to the Khmer people, as well as necessary cultural information. The students at the school were extremely receptive, friendly and appreciative. We enjoyed the ‘field trips’ where the school took us out to nearby rural areas so that we could see some of the projects that benefited from the CWF program. Cambodia is a fascinating country, growing out of a troubled past with gentle friendly people and much to see. The breaks from school gave us great opportunities to visit other parts of the country. Phnom Penh is a big, developing city with a bit of everything and anything, we particularly enjoyed the many local cafes, along with a good yoga studio and of course local shopping.

Be prepared to work hard - lesson planning and teaching are a full time job. Nothing too extreme but don’t expect working only a couple hours a day. My greatest challenge was the intense heat, we were there during the hot season and with no air conditioning in the volunteer house it was very hot.

Overall it was a wonderful experience!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Have a positive outlook and embrace all parts of the experience!
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Pippa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A brilliant programme for both students and volunteer teachers

If you're not a teacher already, you will be by the end of the semester. If you are a teacher already, you will be an even better one by the end of the semester. The teaching programme is sufficiently challenging to make every day interesting and, in my experience, you will get as much out of it as you put into it. The students, ranging in age from about 14-70 (excluding the dedicated young children's classes) are an absolute delight to teach - receptive, eager, respectful, funny, friendly and touchingly appreciative. They really do understand the value of learning from native English speakers. The workshops in the early weeks run by the Education Manager are excellent preparation and give you all the tools you need to deliver the lessons - which are very flexible and based on encouraging conversation - and there is on-going support throughout the semester if needed.
Outside of teaching, the volunteer house is excellent if you're on a budget, enjoy having food prepared for you and don't mind doing without the frills. Alternatively, VIC do a great job of finding you a private apartment within easy walking distance of school.
Phnom Penh is a crazy, vibrant, colourful, exciting city which is developing at a rapid pace, with great bars and restaurants, shops, galleries and entertainment while maintaining its culture through its fascinating markets, festivals, temples and traditional arts.
There are enough days off and holidays to explore much further afield - Siem Reap, Kampot, Battambang and even a few days in Vietnam.
I can honestly say I enjoyed every day of my time with VIC, whether teaching, spending time with the truly lovely local people, exploring the city and beyond or just spending an afternoon at the swimming pool around the corner from the school. Take courage and go - you won't regret it!

Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You'll be surprised at the end result!!

I love CWF and all that they stand for. They have been a huge support system for me in Cambodia, even after finishing my volunteer stint with them nearly 2 years ago. I consider them like family!

I had never taught English before so I was incredibly nervous about getting into the classroom. But, we got incredible training and by the time I got into the classroom, everything felt natural. The school provides curriculum and support for the teachers which I'm very grateful for.

I lived in the volunteer house. The cook, Mony, makes delicious food. I lived in there alone, so all food was to my taste! The house is big and spacious with lots of utilities available for the staff.

Phnom Penh is a very unique place. I hated it at first, but it very quickly grew on me. I think if I didn't have the support from CWF, my perception of Cambodia may be different!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
DO IT!

Don't be afraid to come alone and to try something new. Phnom Penh is a very social place and there is always something to do here.

You'll be supported with the teaching aspect and it is likely that after you've gotten some experience in the classroom with CWF, you'll be able to find another job!

Use the weekends and public holidays for travel! Cambodia is so beautiful and there is so much to explore. Don't be afraid to try something new!

You'll be surprised at the people you meet. Still today, 2 years later - there are 5 of us in Cambodia and many more always visiting!

pic below is of some of our gang!
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Anton
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kep On Trucking

Although I was already teaching overseas, the novelty of Cambodia and the thought of going on my own, instead of as part of a teacher group was kind of nerve wracking. Then getting to Phnom Penh and finding a homestay before school started was so easy. Then when school started and David the school dean made his presentation, it was so relaxing. Then having all these polite students who were interested and interactive was really great. When students gave me a marker, and said, "Please teacher, just write in English, you talk too fast", that was such a relief. On my days off, I'd walk from CWF through the city the French built, all the way to the Mekong, then sit in the shade with the vendors and practice my Khmer street lingo. So many people I met are waking up to the magic of Cambodia. You gotta get there to see it!! If you like young people, and you enjoy teaching, you will really enjoy your experience at CWF.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
On my week off I took the train to Kep and stayed in a homestay cottage, then walked up into the jungle park and wandered the paths until I found a Buddha statue alone in a glen, then sat gazing from the mountain down across the near-shore islands until late in the day, then made my way down to the beach, went for a swim, then had skewers of soft-shell crab that were barbecued right there on the beach at a fishing camp, as the full moon rose over the offshore fishing boats twinkling lights, on a quiet warm breeze night. Pretty much perfect.
Read my full story
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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazingly unique and engaging experience!

What I remember most about my teaching experience in Cambodia is the sense of community. The people of Cambodia are warm, welcoming, and genuine. CWF does a wonderful job of immersing their volunteers in the culture, helping to make connections, and setting their teachers up for success. It was amazing to travel around the country with our CWF friends to see the wonderful work they are doing with partner NGO's to improve the availability of clean water to many Cambodian villages. The teaching environment is very professional and helpful, from the comprehensive trainings to the structured curriculums. The students are very engaged, funny, and caring. The atmosphere and living environment in Phnom Penh is educational, social, and energetic. Anywhere you explore, you are bound to meet someone with a smile on their face:) Overall, an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Step out of your comfort zone and go all in! Teaching can be intimidating, but if you do it with passion it is so rewarding. Get creative, be bold, try new ideas, expect failure, but have fun. Go out and explore in your free time. Get to know the locals. Eat the local dishes. Immerse yourself in the experience and you won't regret it!
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Geeta
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

New Learning

Cambodia and the teaching experience there helped me grow as a person. Having been a home maker most of my life I gained confidence and self respect by volunteering. Although I lost my phone to a pickpocket incident the rest of my time there was an overall pleasant experience. All of us volunteering at the time became one big family and spent many a happy hour in the volunteer house. The locals were very friendly and kind too and went out of their way to provide help and support. Last but not the least the students themselves were quite enthusiastic about their learning and were extremely respectful and looked up to us ... their teachers. Our break gave us the opportunity to explore the country and we had a great time learning about the history of the place and enjoying its natural beauty.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was the victim of pickpocketing. Losing my phone with all the pictures I had of my time there was a very bad experience for me. That was the only glitch in the horizon though. The rest of my time there was great and security was not an issue otherwise
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Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience!!

This was easily one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I was 26 years old and travelling alone for the first time. The amazing staff welcomed me into the beautiful volunteer house. I made friends with the other volunteers (who were from all over the world) and I am still close with them today.

The accommodation and food is awesome. You are provided with bikes and you are living close to the Russian markets (great smoothies!) and a gym.

Of course, the most rewarding part of this experience is the teaching side. The students are so eager to learn and very respectful. It is impossible not to develop a really good working relationship with them and really invest in the classes. Don´t worry if you´re not an experienced teacher! I had never taught before but you are provided with detailed teaching materials and training and a lot of the time the students simply want to have a conversation with you.

The staff go above and beyond to introduce you to Cambodia. You really get a ´local´ feel and you are able to obtain great travel tips to the temples and beaches.

Great value for money for a rewarding and unforgettable experience!

Amanda Segedin

What would you improve about this program?
Can´t think of anything! I had a wonderful time
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Conan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience for Families!

The CWF staff takes care of you--from stocking the teachers lounge with coffee and materials to helping you negotiate for a bicycle or booking busses for weekend excursions with your new friends. My favorite thing was the extras, like the time the volunteer house cook took me to the market shopping and then taught me how to cook Khmer-style curry.

My wife and I volunteered together while our five-year-old son was in a local daycare, and they helped us navigate all of that. The CWF staff helped us find an apartment at a good price and were just amazing overall.

Jelle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience in the 'Kingdom of Wonder'!

I'm a non-native English speaker from Holland and this was the first time I taught. I figured that I needed a well-structured organization, able to provide me with all the support needed. I couldn't be happier with my decision to volunteer for CWF (Conversations With Foreigners) as it was the most amazing experience in my 21 years on this planet!

Why I definitely recommend CWF:

- The staff is incredibly kind and determined to help you with whatever you'll need
- CWF's managers are very accessible
- Motivated, adult students
- Teaching workshops are very helpful, especially for first-time teachers
- Free Khmer language classes
- Program lenght of three months is perfect to get to know the Cambodian culture
- Free. You'll only have to cover living expenses

I volunteered for CWF from June 1st - August 28th, 2016 and I definitely want to return someday.

Hopefully I will see you there!

What would you improve about this program?
Some people, like me, will feel the need for some luxury when staying in a developing country for three months. If you think you'll feel the same, I'll recommend staying independently. Rents are affordable.
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Danny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CWF Volunteer program

I undertook this programme as a career break and am 100% satisfied with my choice. I elected to stay independently very close to the school and the cost of living is very affordable. $400 per month for a 2 bedroom apartment, weekly expenses just over $100 including eating out each night. $5 will get you a main meal at good restaurants within walking distance.
Was a first time teacher and found the support from CWF staff fantastic. And for those wanting to build fitness in your spare time, there is a Sports Club with gym and pool just 100metres from the school. I joined for 3 months for $150.
The students are great, ranging from 15 to 40's and very appreciative of what insight we provide as an overseas teacher.
Highly recommend CWF overall.

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Patricia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From Phnom Penh with Love

From start to finish the CWF adventure has been inspiring and transformative. The first time you set foot on Cambodian soil you feel welcome and appreciated. It started with a trip to Kratie, do!phin watching on the Mekong and a Khmer homestay.
Teaching the beautiful Khmer people is a heartfelt experience. There is so much gratitude and unconditional love given. They have a heightened sense of obligation to help the development of their beloved country. It is so rewarding to be part of all this. There are so many fabulous cafes and restaurants here as well as fascinating places to visit. The support provided by CWF makes you feel as if you are part of a very compassionate community. There will always be a special part in my heart for Cambodia and its wonderful people. A challenging and enriching time not to be missed.The friendships forged with both volunteers and Cambodians are so worthwhile and hopefully enduring. It will be very difficult to return home.

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Tanmay
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life on Penh's Hill

As I walked alone on the Monivong Boulevard, I felt the cool evening air on my face and I could sense that the night was coming to life. I was walking towards a friend, who was about to take me for a traditional Khmer barbecue. We strolled for a while along the busy road and finally reached a cozy place where we were welcomed and seated by the courteous staff. The food that we enjoyed in the next hour was probably one of the best I had ever had. After a delicious and filling dinner we decided to leave for a costume party at a friend's place. Since I had never met anyone in the party before I was a bit nervous, but it soon turned into excitement thanks to the cordial host and the awesome people in elaborate costumes. After spending a considerable amount of time at the party I decided to leave before midnight since I had morning classes the next day. My friend offered me her motorbike so that I could avoid the late night tuk-tuk and save some money. It was when I was riding the motor on the empty streets of Phnom Penh when I witnessed the majestic full moon shining in front of me. The cool night breeze, the motor ride and the full moon made me realize the beauty of this place. I was happy on Penh's Hill.

Location

Location:
Phnom Penh
Currency:
Cambodian Riel
Weather:
Jan-Mar
95 F / 72 F
Apr-Jun
95 F / 77 F
Jul-Sep
91 F / 75 F
Oct-Dec
88 F / 72 F
Airports:
Phnom Penh International Airport
( PNH )

Cambodia in general is considered an untouched gem for travel. Even though Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia, it is still a bit rough around the edges but has the infrastructure to sustain more travel. While traveling here, make sure to venture outside of the monuments that document the cities troubled past and take in the vibrant and friendly nature.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

About Volunteer In Cambodia (VIC)

Driving development by language learning. Volunteer in Cambodia! We provide affordable, high quality volunteer opportunities to teach English at our language center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Conversations With Foreigners. CWF provides affordable...