Each of our volunteer programs last 13 weeks. This covers an entire semester at Conversations With Foreigners, and ensures our students benefit from consistency throughout their semester, and our volunteers are able to immerse themselves in Khmer culture in a way not possible with short term programs.
Each semester consists of the following:
A 10 Day Orientation Program
Our orientation program covers Khmer language, culture and a brief introduction to our teaching program. We also take a 3 night 4 day trip to Koh Pdao or Koh Preah to visit CRDT project sites. Here volunteers meet the CRDT team, learn first hand the 5 year implementation plans for programs, and get to experience rural hospitality in traditional stilt-house homestay.
An 11 Week Teaching Program
With small classes and eager students, our volunteers teach a relaxed, fun conversational syllabus and help local students build confidence, and improve speaking and listening skills. While we encourage our volunteers to learn about Khmer culture, our students also benefit from learning about the diverse cultures of our volunteers.
Every semester there are 7 to 9 holidays in each semester. Some semesters have unique Cambodian festivals such as Pchum Ben or Khmer New Year, so the holidays are based on official government public holidays, while others have just a solid week off to travel, relax, and take in the wonders Cambodia has to offer. Most volunteers visit the southern coastal towns of Sihanoukville, Kampot and Kep, and venture up the Tonle Sap to Siem Reap to get lost amongst the ancient ruins of the vast Angkor complex.
Cultural & Social Events
Cultural events play a large role in Cambodian culture. Almost every week there is something happening, whether it be elaborate 3 day weddings, Buddhist ceremonies, or nationwide celebrations like Khmer New Year. We aim to help you experience as much as possible, including those which short term visitors might never experience. Read more about the major events in each group’s detail page.
Thank You Party!
At the end of each semester, we throw a thank you party at the volunteer house and present each volunteer with a Certificate of Appreciation and reference letter detailing teaching hours for their semester. It’s a great chance to show off your Khmer dancing skills and let you hair down before returning home or donning the backpack to continue your travels around south east Asia.