Cambodia Community Projects FAQs
You will find below answers to many frequently asked questions. If your question does not appear then please click here to open the 'contact us'
page to ask us your question.
01. Is Cambodia safe?Siem Reap is a very safe and friendly town but, as always when travelling you must take the usual precautions to make sure you stay safe. Common sense and knowledge is the key phrase, and on arrival you will have an orientation meeting to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Your greatest risks are from road traffic accidents. Most visits to Cambodia are completely trouble free.
02. What languages do I need?You need to be able to speak English as this is the common language at our projects. English does not need to be your first language but you will need to be proficient in English if you are on a tecahing project. It is also courteous to learn some Khmer and you will be given help on arrival with the basics (Hello, Thank you etc) - We will send you some useful Khmer phrases before you set off!
03. What are the living conditions in my guest house?
Volunteers will stay together in a modern, friendly and locally owned guesthouse close to shops and restaurants in the town of Siem Reap. Rooms are single occupancy or can be shared if volunteers are travelling together. The guesthouse has 24 hour security and reception giving volunteers both peaceof mind and easy access at all times.
Rooms are clean and comfortable, each with hot water, private toilet and shower. The rooms have fans but can be upgraded to air conditioning for a daily fee. Cable TV is available in all rooms with channels in English, and each room has a small fridge for storing cold drinks and snacks.
The guest house has a bar area and restaurant, all set in lovely leafy grounds, and Globalteer volunteers also have use of our very own social area - just right for a refreshing drink and snack after a long day working at your project. There are also plenty of Khmer restaurants near the guest house if you fancy "going local" in the evenings.
Free computer access is available and WiFi internet is available in rooms and in communal areas.
We also have a team of friendly and reliable tuk-tuk drivers on hand with specially negotiated rates should you need transport at any time.
Globalteer's guesthouse provides a friendly and social environment for volunteers, and is located about 100 metres from Globalteer's offices. This enables us to offer unparalleled support, resources and guidance for volunteers.
04. What type of food will I be eating?Siem Reap has hundreds of restaurants, cafes and market food stalls catering to all tastes and budgets. The town provides worldwide cuisine including Thai, Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Italian as well as menus catering to vegetarians and western tastes. Globalteer do not provide food at this project.
05. Will I have time for extra activities?
Yes, in fact we actively encourage it! Cambodia is a beautiful country and we wish you to experience it's culture, history and people. Our co-ordinator will give advice and arrange trips for you to Angkor, Tonle Sap and various activities in town. Extra activities
at the Cambodia Community and Sports project.
06. How many hours will I be volunteering?You will be volunteering for approximately 6 hours per day, 5 days per week. We can be flexible with your time as required - for example you may wish 3 consecutive days to visit the temples.
07. Do I need to be qualified to teach or coach sports?No, you will be given guidance and teach from text books with the help of local teaching staff and existing volunteers. If you don’t feel confident enough to teach at first then you may just help out the local teaching staff.
Sports volunteers work with Globalteer staff so can assist in training sessions.
08. How do I get to the project?If you arrive at Siem Reap international airport then we will meet you there and take you to your accommodation. If you arrive overland then we will supply you with directions to the guest house and meet you there.
09. Is there access to E-mail, telephone and post?Globalteer's guest house has computers for volunteers use. There is Wi-Fi internet access in the house for those wishing to travel with laptops. Siem Reap caters to many tourists and therefore the town has numerous internet cafes, telephone kiosks and a post office.
10. What vaccinations will I need for Cambodia?We recommend that our volunteers consult a doctor for up to date advise about vaccinations. Do this as soon as possible as some vaccinations take time to be effective. General advice is to be up to date with tetanus and diphtheria, Hepatitis A & B and typhoid.
11. Do I need a visa?
Visas are easily obtained on arrival at Siem Reap and Phnom Penh international airports. Visas are available at border crossings with Thailand and Vietnam but not always with Laos.
A tourist visa costs US$30 for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days only. An 'ordinary' visa (previously called a 'business visa') costs US$35 for 30 days and can be extended for an indefinite period of time.
Cambodia immigration authority ask that volunteers get an 'ordinary' (business) visa on arrival, even if they stay less than one month. By law, an 'ordinary' (business) visa permits visitors to volunteer. In reality, many volunteers get a tourist visa and the immigration on arrival will often tell volunteers that they only need a tourist visa unless they are staying for more than 60 days.
Be aware that a passport with at least 6 months validity is required. You will also need to provide immigration with a passport size photograph.
There is an online service to obtain a tourist visa via the internet which has an administration fee but will save time at the airport:
Note: As visa requirements can change and are different for nationalities, it is the volunteers responsibility to arrange entry visas.
12. What cultural differences must I consider?Cambodians are very friendly and a smile will go a long way. Be respectful to elders. Shouting, or public displays of over emotion are impolite. Remove shoes before entering a temple or someone's home. Dress respectfully, especially when visiting temples. Do not point at someone with your finger or naked foot, do not touch people's heads (including the children). Do not underestimate the importance of what you wear, Cambodians are very conservative when it comes to clothing and woman should cover up and when teaching you must cover shoulders, cleavage, belly and knees to be respectful and respected.
13. Is there etiquette when working with Buddhist Monks?Yes, for women it is forbidden to touch a monk or even brush past his clothes. A woman may not directly pass anything to a monk, she must place it on a table for him to pick up.
14. When is the best time to go to Cambodia?
Cambodia has four seasons.
1. November to February, cool and dry.
2. March to May, hot and dry.
3. June to August, hot and wet.
4. September to October, cool and wet.
The hot season rarely reaches above 35C and the cool season may go as low as 20C. The monsoon rains follow a regular pattern of 1 to 3 hours of rain in the afternoon making them easy to plan around. Dry season can be dusty and in the wet season the countryside becomes spectacularly green.
You can read more about what to expect at different timesof year here
15. Can I drink alcohol and smoke?Of course, but we request that you use common sense.
Alcohol is not permitted whilst at the projects and smoking must be done out of sight of children if you are at a teaching project as you are role models for the children. There are many bars and clubs in Siem Reap for you to indulge when away from the children.
16. Is there a dress code?Yes, Cambodia is a conservative country and we ask that you respect them by dressing accordingly especially as you may be in the company of Monks. Do not underestimate the importance of what you wear, Cambodians are very conservative when it comes to clothing and woman should cover up and when teaching you must cover shoulders, cleavage, belly and knees to be respectful and respected. T-shirts, sandals and anything that covers the knees are all acceptable.
17. Do I receive training and orientation?Yes, on arrival you will receive orientation from our volunteer coordinator, giving local information and advice. Globalteer has many resources at our offices near the guesthouse and at the project locations for volunteers to use. Our volunteer coordinator is available to assist volunteers in helping to achieve the project objectives.
18. What are the criteria of a volunteer?Volunteers will be assessed on the information provided during the application process.
19. Should I bring presents for the children?The greatest gifts you can give the children are respect and an education. Being part of one of our projects is the best way to help the children in poverty and their community. Giving beggars money is not a sustainable activity and full information will be supplied during your orientation. If there are specific activities during your placement we will advise you, for example, you may wish to bring crayons if an arts project is in progress. An up to date wish list will be sent before your arrival.
20. Do I need travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is highly recommended at this proejct. To help make getting insured easier we have formed a partnership with award-winning travel insurers, World Nomads. They provide insurance to travellers from over 140 different countries and are the only insurer we have found that will allow you to take out a policy even after you have left your home country.
If you purchase an insurance policy from World Nomads through this link -Travel Insurance
- they will also make a donation to Globalteer and the many projects we support.
Please note that Globalteer can accept no responsibility for your travel or insurance arrangements and encourages you to fully research all travel and insurance options available to you.
21. Who usually volunteers at your projects?The majority of volunteers are from the UK, United States, Australia, Canada and Ireland. We also place volunteers from Holland, Germany, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand although all nationalities are welcome. The majority of volunteers travel alone to the projects, although we also accommodate couples and groups. The project can have anything from 2-20 volunteers at any one time of all ages and nationalities. The project usually has a great range of ages present in Cambodia 18-24(36%), 25-39(39%), 40+(25%).
22. Where does my money go?A full explanation of where your money goes can be found on a link from the Globalteer home page including our full independent accounts as confirmed by the UK Charities commission.
23. I have read about corrupt NGO's and poor child protection in Cambodia. How can I be sure that Globalteer are not one of these NGO's exploiting children, donors and volunteers?Globalteer is a registered UK charity and we are therefore required to abide by UK charity law. We have a robust child protection policy and accounting system that is posted online in the public domain. Any partner projects are required to achieve the same high standards required by the charities commission. We agree with many of the concerns raised about some NGO's in Cambodia and take great care to protect those we serve and those who serve with us from such exploitation.