Spitler School Foundation welcomes qualified volunteers to support its mission to provide exemplary education and developmental opportunities to the children of Ang Chagn.
Minimum volunteer contracts are generally one month.
We are a fully functioning school with formal educational programs in place in both Khmer and English. Our most successful volunteers have possessed some of the following qualities:
- Teaching and/or child-care experience
- Training in educational pedagogy
- A spirit of independence and creativity
- Willingness to adhere to Khmer codes of conduct regarding cultural norms.
- Unique or special skills or interests which would support the educational mission of the school (i.e. arts, music, drama, sports coaching).
- Ability to work effectively with adults and children with limited English proficiency
- Willingness to take directions/instructions from on-site Khmer and Western volunteer coordinators.
- Willingness to forego certain Western comforts and to live and/or work in sometimes challenging conditions.
- Willingness to sign up to our child-protection policy and, where possible, demonstrate suitability to work with young people.
Volunteer FAQs – Prepared by School Volunteers
[tabs slidertype=”left tabs”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]Accomodations[/tabtext] [tabtext]Living Costs[/tabtext] [tabtext]Things to Do[/tabtext] [tabtext]School Distance[/tabtext] [tabtext]Transportation[/tabtext] [tabtext]School Facilities[/tabtext] [tabtext]Number of Students[/tabtext] [tabtext]Work Hours[/tabtext] [tabtext]Visa Info[/tabtext] [tabtext]Climate[/tabtext] [tabtext]Health Concerns[/tabtext] [tabtext]Safety[/tabtext] [tabtext]Cultural Differences[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]There is a wide selection of accommodation throughout Siem Reap to suit every budget. For those on a tight budget there are hostels as cheap as $1 per night. For this, you will be sleeping in a dormitory with individual mosquito nets. Unfortunately may be a fan, but no air conditioning. For those who have slightly more to spend you will be able to pick up a room for approximately $4 – $8 per night at a guesthouse. For this, you will have your own room with fan and for the most part an en suite. In some cases, you will have a small refrigerator and/or wifi access. For slightly more, you will be able to find accommodation in a guesthouse with air conditioning, a refrigerator and wifi. Or for those looking for a little more luxury you will find accommodation with a swimming pool and gym for as little as $17+ per night.
Siem Reap also has a good variety of 4/5 star hotels including Le Meridien, Raffles and the Sokha Hotel (Cambodian’s own chain of luxury hotels) as well as numerous boutique hotels. You can expect to pay anything from $80 – $500+ per night. The longer you stay the more likely you will be able to strike a deal with the owner or manager for a reduced rate.
If you are planning on staying in Siem Reap long-term then it is possible to rent an apartment or house either on a monthly or yearly basis. If you would like to stay at a guesthouse where many of the residents are engaged in volunteer activities we recommend that you check out the Seven Candles Guest House, which is associated with the Ponheary Ly Foundation – www.sevencandlesguesthouse.com [/tab] [tab]What are the other living costs? Bicycle hire – $1-$4 a day Internet – approximately $0.50 for 30 minutes. Many restaurants and bars have free wifi. Food – $1-$15 per meal. The cheaper end of the scale is for the street food found whilst the higher end of the scale is for a meal at an upmarket restaurant. Alcohol – $0.50-$2 for a local beer and approximately $3 for a glass of wine. Washing – $1-$2 per kilo (normally returned the next day). [/tab] [tab]What is there to do in Siem Reap? Aside from Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction – Angkor Wat Temple – being on your doorstep, you will find a good selection of things to do in and around Siem Reap. There are various day trips to the temples, rural areas and to Tonle Sap Lake where you can see a floating village. You can go quad biking, dirt biking, horse riding and hot air ballooning.
In Siem Reap, there are a vast selection of restaurants and bars. The main street, called Pub Street is colorful with good restaurants, shops and live music. There are three main markets around the center of town where you can buy cheap clothes and trinkets. There are also a couple of miniature shopping malls but if you want a proper shop then you would be best to take the bus to Phnom Penh. [/tab] [tab]How far is the Spitler School from Siem Reap? The school is approximately 7 kilometers (four miles) from the center of Siem Reap. [/tab] [tab]The easiest way to get there and back would be by bicycle. Most of our current volunteers cycle either to Spitler School or a little further to Kurata School. You can buy a bike for as little as $30 – or splash out on a Giant Mountain bike for $300.
You may rent a moto, or hire one (ride on the back) or go by tuk-tuk. Cambodian traffic is often very different than western driving, so we suggest strong caution in driving your own moto. The cost for either would be between $4 – $8 a day.If you are intending to cycle or use a moto, then we would advice you to bring a helmet as traffic conditions in Siem Reap can be challenging.
[/tab] [tab]Spitler School has seven classrooms, housing grades Kindergarten – 6th grade. In addition, there is an English room and a library. Kurata School is similar, though without the dedicated English teaching room at present. There is a male and female toilet with typically Asian facilities (no toilet seat or flusher).
There are a few food stalls around the perimeter of Spitler school selling water, juice, fruit, and snacks. Solar panels have recently been installed, so the school now has some electricity and therefore small fans in the classrooms. However, it can get very hot during the afternoons.[/tab] [tab]There are 600 students in Spitler School and 172 in Kurata School. All the children live in the surrounding villages and either walk or cycle to school. As with the rest of Cambodian schools, the students attend either in the morning or afternoon, so at any one time there are approximately 300/100 students at the school.[/tab] [tab]This would depend on the skills you bring to the job and consultation with the volunteer coordinators. You might typically work either a morning or afternoon session.[/tab] [tab]Whether you enter Cambodia by air, land or sea you will have to obtain either a tourist or business visa. Typically, visas can be obtained on arrival but would recommend you confirm this before traveling. Both visas will entitle you to a month’s stay in Cambodia. A visit visa will cost you $20 while a business visa will cost you slightly more – $25. The main difference is that you can extend a business visa while in Cambodia without having to leave the country. With either visa you will be required to hand over a passport photo. If you forget, though, it’s not an issue as you’ll just have to pay them a small amount.
With a business visa you can extend your visa by a month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. Only with 6-months and 12-months are you able to make multiple entries. The others are on a single entry basis (meaning that you will be unable to leave and return within the period of time that your visa has been extended by). The approximate costs for the extensions are: 1 month – $45 3 months – $80 6 months – $150 12 months – $250 You do not require any paperwork to obtain a business visa. [/tab] [tab]Cambodia has a tropical climate so remains warm to hot year round. The best months to visit Cambodia are November through to February/March as it’s dry with temperatures between 20-30 degrees celsius. By mid March the temperatures start creeping up into the 30’s and by May Cambodia is at its hottest – approximately 40 degrees. The wet season runs from June to October. Some travelers prefer to avoid Cambodia during the rainy season due to the obvious disadvantages, but for many it is a beautiful time of year where the landscape becomes lush and picturesque. Also, the rainfall is fairly predictable, occurring in the afternoons or evenings for a couple of hours at a time. [/tab] [tab]We would recommend that you seek medical advice before traveling to Cambodia, or any country for that matter. There have been cases of Malaria and Dengue Fever around the more rural areas of Siem Reap so it is up to the individual as to whether they wish to take the necessary precautions such as Malaria tablets. You should not travel to Cambodia without travel insurance as hospital facilities for serious illnesses or accidents are inadequate and the cost of airlifting you to Bangkok or Singapore for treatment are very high. [/tab] [tab]There is a low crime rate in Siem Reap. There have however been reports of expat houses being burgled so if you decide to rent an apartment/house then would recommend that you take the usual precautions such as locking up valuables and ensuring windows and doors are locked. There is also a risk of pick-pocketers. Keep your items secure when exploring town, also when on a moto or in a tuk-tuk. [/tab] [tab]The religion of Cambodia is predominantly Buddhism (around 95%) whilst the remaining adheres to Islam, Christianity, Animism and Hinduism. Although it is not required to cover please remain respectful of their traditions and dress appropriately when visiting temples, pagodas and other places of worship. This involves covering the shoulders and typically the knees. Also displays of public affections (aside from holding hands) are typically frowned upon[/tab] [/tabcontent] [/tabs]