Summer Service-Learning Programs In Cambodia


Global Public Health Education, Teach English Abroad, Buddhist Immersion,

Child and Orphan Care, and Community Development & Leadership Training

Nine weeks


Program Requirements and Credit

During the GSC Cambodia Program, students will gain hands-on community service project experience while living and working with the local people, in and around the capital city of Phnom Penh.

All students will begin their programs together during a cultural orientation. This orientation is intended to acquaint students with the culture and history of Cambodia and to prepare them for their service project placements. Basic conversational Khmer lessons will also be included during orientation.

Depending on the requirements of the student’s credit-granting college or university, students may be asked to keep blogs and/or journals throughout the program, and to submit papers reviewed by their home institution for grading. The GSC In-Country Coordinator will be in contact weekly and available for meetings to provide further information, support and assistance. Additionally the GSC In-Country Coordinator and the student’s in-country work supervisor will submit regular evaluations to the student’s home institution academic advisor. Students successfully completing the course will be eligible to receive college credits from their home institution.


Program Overview and Student Experience

Prior to departure, GSC will provide all student volunteers with the materials they need for their specific program placement, as well as background information on Cambodian culture and history. During the Summer Service-Learning Program, students will have the unique opportunity to learn while serving alongside local - Cambodians. All program participants will be together during orientation and volunteer outings, before they begin their project placements in the field. While the weekdays will be spent learning and serving the local communities, weekends are free for students to socialize, travel, and explore the beautiful sights of Cambodia. Also included is a weekend trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat and other Siem Reap attractions, hosted by GSC.


Nine-week summer community service placements are available in the following programs:


Teach English Abroad Program

Due to the crucial need to improve English literacy, GSC’s Teach English Abroad Program in Cambodia teams up with selected local non-profit and community development organizations to provide basic English training to some of the poorest citizens of Cambodia. The service-learning program gives GSC volunteers the opportunity to provide direct education and build the skills of local students in Cambodia, especially in much-needed conversational English.


Buddhist Immersion-Teach Conversational English Program

Students will have the opportunity to experience Cambodian Buddhist culture firsthand in the Buddhist Immersion-Teach Conversational English Program. During their stay at a rural or urban setting, students will either stay on site or visit daily the host wat (monastery). Depending on the wat, students may have opportunities to join monks in their daily activities, including meditation, chanting, and other rituals. The service component of this program includes teaching basic English lessons to students at local schools and to young monks when available.


Global Public Health Program

Participants in the Global Public Health Program will share their talents, experience, and knowledge with members of slum and underserved communities in and around Phnom Penh. They may lead health workshops with the help of local translators and GSC-provided materials and lesson plans. During the Health Education Workshops and follow up activities, volunteers will cover topics such as HIV/AIDS education and prevention, drug and alcohol abuse awareness, hygiene, nutrition, domestic violence and other public health issues. Participants may also have the opportunity to assist the public health nurses and social workers with administrative work and case visits, as needed.


Child and Orphan Care Program

GSC works with two unique children's centers that work with children who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, are homeless children, or are from displaced families living in the slums. One of the centers is in Phnom Penh and the other is in a small provincial town outside of Phnom Penh. GSC volunteers have the opportunity to assist the centers’ staff as they support, work, play, and bond with the children. Student volunteer activities may include providing workshops or training, teaching Basic English, planning and leading educational games, and offering a project based on their own background and skills. These projects could include a range of art, recreational, or enrichment activities. 


Community Development and Leadership Training Program

In the Community Development and Leadership Training Program, student volunteers have the unique opportunity to work with local NGOs assisting Cambodian youth to become community leaders and agents of social change. Student volunteers become part of a movement to build a culture of peace and social justice in Cambodia, in response to the devastating effects of the Khmer Rouge genocide.

*Note: GSC will place each student volunteer at one of the placements above based on the needs of the community and the student’s background, skills, and interests.




During orientation, all participants will stay at a centrally located hotel in Phnom Penh. Rooms are shared and have private bathrooms which include free laundry service, breakfast, and internet. After orientation, participants in the Buddhist Immersion, Teach English Abroad, Global Public Health, and Community Development & Leadership Training Program will stay at a homestay, guest house, or a local apartment during their placement, while some Child and Orphan Care program participants will be accommodated in volunteer dorms on the children center grounds. All participants will be housed in Siem Reap hotels during the weekend excursion provided by GSC.


Program Fee: $6,000 - $7,000 estimated, depending on what your university includes for tuition and associated costs.

Fees include:

  • College credits (number determined by your institution)
  • All in-country student expenses: Airport pick-up/return and project transportation; hotel, homestay, guest  house, orphanage, and monastery accommodations; all meals at accommodations or local restaurants; language and cultural orientation and project preparation; project administration; Siem Reap weekend trip

Not included:

  • Airfare, travel insurance, visa, and mandatory background checks; required and/or optional reading material


To Apply: (Please Note: Students will have to apply through both GSC and your home institution)