FAQs Cambodia

What programs do you offer in Cambodia?

We presently focus on four major volunteer service projects in Cambodia: orphanages, teaching English, working in community development projects and NGOs. New Hope Volunteers works with many local NGO's orphanages and community projects to offer meaningful placements for our volunteers in Cambodia.

How can I apply?

Please Read New Hope Volunteer’s 4 Steps of Application

1.There are two options for applying to volunteer in our Cambodia programs. You can apply online or you can simply download an application form, fill it out and mail it into New Hope Volunteer’s offices. Participants are required to submit their application with application fee plus the program fee for the number of weeks you choose.

2.Once New Hope Volunteers receives your application, we immediately forward it to country coordinator for processing. The in-country coordinator reviews the application carefully to determine the most optimal project for you while you volunteer in Cambodia. Decisions pertaining to room and board are made at this time - depending on the location of the project. The vast majority of participants stay in fully immersed in-home stays.

3.We receive the details of the participants' placements from the in-country coordinator.

4.The information is then passed on to the prospective participants along with a final invoice. The placement details contain local contact information to be used when applying for a visa and/or to get in touch with the local staff and host family.

Preparation for your volunteer vacation in Cambodia should include reading about travel to Cambodia, immunization, acquiring a travel visa and booking airfare for your volunteer journey to Cambodia. If you face any problems, our Program Manager is always available for any assistance.

IMPORTANT: Once participants purchase airline tickets, we request flight information be forwarded to our office by fax or by email. Participants' flight information will then be forwarded to the in-country coordinator in Cambodia, who will then arrange an airport pick-up.

Who will meet me at the airport?

Phnom Penh International Airport is your destination and arrival point for your volunteer travel to Cambodia, so please book your flight accordingly. Even if participants are joining a program elsewhere in the country, we suggest participants arrive in Phnom Penh. One of New Hope Volunteer’s representatives will await your arrival at the airport. Participants should ensure pick-up by sending their flight information to New Hope Volunteer’s offices - a follow-up call is suggested as your departure date draws closer.

What should I do if I am delayed or miss my flight?

If volunteers are delayed or miss their flight, it is highly recommended that you call our offices or your coordinator and make alternative arrangements with them. In the event that a volunteer gets lost, our general suggestion would be that they go to any hotel via taxi. Once you meet our representative or coordinator, you will be transferred to our offices and onto your accommodations where you will meet staff members and fellow volunteers.

What happens if I arrive early?

The program fee covers expenses beginning of the first day of the program (usually first or third Monday) to the last day of the program (the following Sunday). If you arrive before the first day of the program and/or stay beyond the last day of the program, expenses are your responsibility (usually $30 per day for room/food in guesthouse or host family).

Where Do I stay during volunteering program?

We arrange room, meals and supervision to volunteer for the entire duration of the program. Depending upon the location of the project, volunteers will either stay in our hostel or with a host family. Our host families are very friendly and hospitable. They look forward to learning more about our volunteer‘s home-country culture and life. Whether you stay in our hostel or with host family, New Hope Volunteers manages clean but simple accommodations with a separate room (occasionally shared with other volunteers) and shared bathroom.

What do I eat? Do you accommodate special diet?

You’ll be served 3 local meals a day. We’ll manage volunteers‘food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some volunteers have lunch at their project. Should a volunteer have special dietary requirements (e.g. as a vegetarian or vegan), we recommend staying in our hostel and not with a host family, as meat is the basis of most daily Cambodian meals.

What are Visa regulations in Cambodia?

New Hope Volunteers requires volunteers to acquire a tourist Visa in their home country prior to departure for Cambodia. Volunteers should apply for a tourist visa. Please find the Cambodia Embassy Abroad below:

Embassy of Cambodia,
4530 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011
p. 202.726.7742 202.726.7742
f. 202.726.8381
E-mail: mail@embassyofcambodia.org
Canada (Contact US Embassy for information)

Royal Embassy of Cambodia
64 Brondesbury Park,
Willesden Green, London NW6 7AT,
United Kingdom
Tel: (0208) 451 7850
Fax: (0207) 483 9061
E-mail: cambodianembassy@btconnect.com
Web: www.cambodianembassy.org.uk

Royal Embassy of Cambodia
No. 5 Canterbury Crescent,
Deakin, A.C.T. 2600, AUSTRALIA
Tel: (612) 6273 1259, 6273 1154,
Fax: (612) 6273 1053
Email: Cambodianembassy@ozemail.com.au
Web: www.embassyofcambodia.org.nz

How should I take care of my health while in Cambodia?

Volunteers should be aware of all health and safety information before traveling to Cambodia. We suggest you visit some of the websites listed below.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Health Canada Online Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Travel Report U.S. State Department & Consular Information Sheets Travel Health Online Travelers' Health

What are general health tips for travelling to Cambodia?

General Health Tips for Cambodia

  • Drink only bottled or boiled water or carbonated (bubbly or fizzy) drinks in sealed cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes. If safe drinks are not available, you can make tap or other water safer by both filtering through an "absolute 1 micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. "Absolute 1 micron filters" can be found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
  • Buy bottled water from respectable outlets to guard against upset stomach. Make sure that the seal of the bottle is intact.
  • Watch out for spicy dishes, especially at the beginning of your trip. Avoid eating food from road-side stalls. Eat unpeeled fruits and avoid fresh salads, especially in small hotels. If you are forced to eat food at some place that you have doubts about, make sure the food is cooked and served hot.
  • Always use an insect repellent if you find yourself in a mosquito laden area. Keep in mind that not every place is always mosquito-infested.
  • If traveling in scorching heat, remember to drink enough water, wear hats, sunglasses & SPF/sunscreen. Stay out of the intense mid-day sun.
  • Pharmacies or chemists are available in every little town and village at which you can buy over-the-counter medications and receive minor medical advice. In case you need to see a doctor for a specific condition, ask for help from your in-country coordinator or project director. The cost of visiting a doctor is low (less than a dollar) compared to western countries.
  • In Cambodia, most modern medicines are available over the counters in drugstores, but it is wise to travel with a reserve stock. If you take any prescription drugs, bring enough for the duration of the trip. It is advisable that you carry a small health kit, which should include upset stomach/digestive tract remedies, antiseptic cream, mosquito repellant spray, sunscreen, etc.

Do you recommend vaccination before travelling to Cambodia?

We strongly recommended volunteers to get vaccination before travel. Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications by CDC (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationCambodia.aspx) The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Southeast Asia including Cambodia. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

Vaccines Recommended: The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to South Asia. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • Hepatitis B, especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • Japanese encephalitis, if you plan to visit rural farming areas and under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
  • Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to South Asia.
  • Rabies, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, like camping, hiking or bicycling or various occupational activities.
  • Typhoid, Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or food sold by street vendors Vaccination is particularly important because of the presence of Salmonella-typhi strains resistant to multiple antibiotics in this region. There have been recent reports of typhoid drug resistance in India and Nepal.
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) and a one-time dose of polio for adults.

What is the exchange rate?

Find the Exchange Rate of Cambodia: http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi

Where should I change my dollars?

The local currency is the Cambodia Riels. You can change your money upon arrival to Phnom Penh International Airport. There are many bank counters at the airport. We suggest you change $400 in the beginning as you can change money in any bank (banks are conveniently near to our office).

Can I use my debit card or credit card?

In Cambodia, credit card information is often stolen and used fraudulently just by paying with a credit card. For this reason, New Hope Volunteers suggests cash and travelers checks to settle your bills. Travelers should have a credit card for large and emergency purchases You can also carry a debit/ATM card that can be used at ATM's to withdraw local currency. An ATM card is the best way of getting money. Vendors are available in major banks and department stores in Bangkok. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in some of the large stores and hotels in larger cities but not accepted in smaller cities.

Should I bring traveler's checks?

You will have trouble actually paying with traveler's checks, but you will be able to exchange them at local banks. Traveler's Checks are recommended as a safe way to carry money with you, make sure you write down the check numbers and contact information you need to cancel stolen checks. Different brands of traveler's checks work better in different countries so consult your local financial institution regarding which Traveler’s Checks to bring to Cambodia.

How much money should I bring?

How much money you bring depends on your personal spending habits. Thrifty people can get by on less than $10/day. Your budget should also include money to explore Cambodia in free time as well as for your personal use. A good rule of thumb for money management is the 1/3 method, bring 1/3 cash, 1/3 traveler's check and leave 1/3 of your money in your account - plus a credit card for emergencies.

How does New Hope Volunteers help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication?

Once your volunteer program begins, our local staff members stay in constant touch with you. However, if you are staying far from the Phnom Penh office, our staff will visit volunteers every 2-4 weeks (if possible) and you are always welcome at the office. We recommend that the volunteers stop by the office once a week, if they are staying/working in the local area, to give feedback on their home stay and project. Many minor issues can be avoided with a just little extra communication before they develop into major issues. Your project will have local staff members in addition to our in-country coordination staff. If your project is located a long distance from our offices, then our local staff communicates by either email and/or phone.

We are available for you at the local office via email and phone for your entire trip. It is our job to make sure that you are safe and healthy.

How do I communicate with my family back home?

Volunteers are requested to bring their UNLOCKED mobile phones. Upon arrival in Cambodia, participants can purchase and change SIM cards and use it. This is the perfect way to stay in touch with your family and New Hope Volunteer’s offices in Phnom Penh.

Will we have internet access?

Internet cafés are available in several areas of Phnom Penh. However, if you are placed in a rural provincial setting, internet and international calling access is very limited. You will receive placement location information in your personal placement sheet.

What is the climate like in Cambodia?

The internet offers current weather forecasts for your destination: • Yahoo Weather: http://weather.yahoo.com/regional/CBXX.html (www.weather.yahoo.com) • The Weather Channel: www.weather.com • The Weather Underground: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=cambodia Situated in the tropical zone, Cambodia is bathed in sun almost all year around. There are two main seasons: the rainy season and dry. Each season brings about a refreshing change. The humid, rainy season lasts from April to October. Temperatures range from 27-35 degrees Celsius. The hottest month is April when the temperature can reach 41 degree C these days. The cool, dry season lasts from November to March, with temperatures ranging from 17-27 degrees C. December to January is the coolest period at about 27 degrees C. Temperature and rainfall of Cambodia

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature(°F) 14-24 14-24 15-26 17-26 17-27 17-26 17-25 16-26 16-26 16-25 16-25 12-24
Average Rainfall(inches) .20 .10 .90 .70 3.5 4.4 3.3 3.9 5.1 5.1 2.2 .60

What items should I bring?

Most items of daily use are available in Cambodia at a reasonable price. However, we suggest volunteers bring the following things.

  • Camera
  • Mobile phone (you can use mobile phone after changing sim card)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Mosquito repellents
  • Insect repellents
  • Sun-block
  • Working gloves (if you are joining conservation or construction project)
  • Some books about Cambodia
  • Map of Cambodia
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Flash light
  • Electricity adopter/converter
  • Sun glasses
  • Footwear (for work and travel)
  • Towel

What gift should I bring for my project?

It is a common courtesy to bring a small gift for the family that will be hosting you. You are not required to do so, but if you choose to bring something it can be pretty simple. We suggest a box of chocolates, a t-shirt with a hometown logo, or pictures of your family and some local post cards. If you want to bring gifts for your project (and if you are working for an orphanage or a school please bring pencils, pens and paper, art supplies like markers and construction paper pads, and games. Remember that every child will need these items so you may wish to bring a bunch of one thing.

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