Teaching English in Cambodia
Your next teaching experience could lead you to the Kingdom of Cambodia, a country with a rich and ancient history, vibrant culture, and diverse landscapes. Teaching Nomad works with international schools in the capital Phnom Penh as well as Seim Reap, a popular destination to take in the beauty of Angkor Wat and other temple sites from Cambodia’s past.
Cambodia is a tropical destination that is well connected to other popular SE Asian countries such as Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam with whom it shares its borders. Characterized by flat terrain and low mountains, sandy beaches on the Gulf of Thailand, and lush forests cut through by the mighty Mekong river, Cambodia offers a variety of breath-taking views and activities for travelers.
Teaching in Cambodia
As Cambodia’s international and English language education sector continues to grow, the country still sets low entry requirements for teachers to begin their teaching journey. Though different schools may set their own requirements, a college degree and TEFL are not necessary for teaching in Cambodia. The smaller salaries go very far within the country and traveling to nearby SE Asian countries is also affordable. Cambodia has several national holidays that teachers can use to travel and explore the country. The need at international schools, private schools, and training centers catering to both adults and children means there are many opportunities for employment for teachers in the ESL field.
Tourism in Cambodia
Tourism is Cambodia’s fastest-growing industry and has largely been responsible for the countries rapid development in recent years. Each year millions of travelers flock to Cambodia to take in the majesty of the temples at Seim Reap, the rich history of Phnom Penh, and the beaches of Sihanoukville in the southwest. The country offers opportunities for adventure tourism, cultural exploration, and beachy relaxation alike. There’s something for everyone here!
Some interesting facts about Cambodia:
- The Angkor Empire of the 9th-13th century was the largest kingdom in South East Asia, spanning almost the entirety of the region. You can still see the remnants of the largest pre-industrial city in the world in Siem Reap.
- Cambodia boasts the largest inland lake in South East Asia, the Tonle Sap
- The critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin can be spotted in Cambodia’s northern areas. You can travel to Kratié to see these funny looking mammals frolicking in the Mekong river.
- Cambodia’s flag is the only flag to feature a building, the famous Angkor Wat.
Common and native languages in Cambodia
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer which is spoken by 90% of the population. Khmer was influenced by Sanskirt with the introduction of Hinduism and Buddhism early in the country’s history, and the alphabet shares similarities to Thai, Lao, and Myanmar among others. Influences from French and Cham (a dialect largely found in Vietnam) are also prevalent in Cambodia.
Healthcare for teachers in Cambodia
Along with Cambodia’s speedy growth and economic recovery, the country is rebuilding its public health sector, and the development of health care systems is a high priority with the Cambodian Government. International efforts including the UN and NGOs have helped bring Cambodia closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals for health access to citizens. Less densely populated areas of Cambodia still experience a barrier of access to health care services and many regions still rely on the services of traditional medicine practitioners called Kru Khmers.
The vast majority of Cambodia’s inhabitants practice Theravada Buddhism (96% of the country) while a considerably smaller portion is made up of practitioners of Islam, Christianity, and traditional animism. Cambodia’s rich Buddhist culture comes through in major holidays like the Khmer New Year celebrated on April 13th or 14th each year. Families visit shrines, contribute to charity, and wash the Buddha statues. Some people take advantage of the hot weather and nature of cleansing for the near year by engaging in giant water fights in cities like Seim Reap.
Cost of living
While Cambodia continues to grow they still have a very low cost of living compared to more developed nations. Rent for a one-bedroom in a large city center can be around $350 USD/month while going outside the city center can reduce the price to around $170 USD/month. Local transportation is also very cheap with the average ticket for a bus/train is around $2 and taking taxis can start at $1! Cambodia also has access to delicious fresh fruits and vegetables which can be purchased for under a dollar, and sometimes the beer is cheaper than the water!
Why teach in Cambodia?
Cambodia offers opportunities for beginner teachers and professional teachers alike, and with low barriers to entry, there are opportunities for almost everyone. If you’re interested in being in the heart of South East Asia, Cambodia is your gateway to opportunity. Delicious cuisine, amazing vistas, and the opportunity to learn more about this rich culture are at your finger-tips here at Teaching Nomad. A personal recruiter will work with you making sure you’re informed and prepared every step of the way.
Teaching IB in Cambodia
As of 2020, there are 4 schools in Cambodia that use the IB curriculum. This equates to a healthy number of IB teaching positions, many of which are available to foreign teachers. Learn more about teaching IB in Cambodia, and check out the history and an overview of teaching IB abroad in our blog.