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Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Take a Gap Semester Abroad in Asia

10 Weeks in Cambodia and Nepal

At a glance

  • Get Started:  Download this trip’s itinerary
  • Experience a different kind of project every two weeks!
  • Do conservation work in the Himalayan Mountains
  • Help disadvantaged communities with Microfinance, Public Health and Childcare Projects in Cambodia.
  • Support disaster relief work by Building classrooms and help local staff on our Teaching Project in Nepal.
  • Explore the UNESCO temples of Angkor Wat and take a safari at Chitwan National Park.

Start Dates: 

Throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Ten Weeks

Ages: 

17-24


Is this Gap Semester in Asia right for me?

If you are 17-24 and seeking a chance to discover the world in a structured, meaningful, safe and engaging setting, you should read on.  This program is designed to allow you to explore new cultures and gain exposure to a variety of fields through hands-on experiential learning.

If you have finished high school and have passion, energy and an open mind to really find out what it’s like to live and work in other countries, this program is perfect for you! 

We explain more about Gap Semester Projects and what they involve below. While most of these projects focus on volunteering, we can facilitate internships during your gap semester if you need to fulfil requirements for school. Just let us know when you apply to join.

Cambodia

Microfinance

Work alongside Projects Abroad and our local partners to support entrepreneurs in and around Phnom Penh. Many of the poorest people in Cambodia lack access to banks and loans. You’ll help provide interest-free micro-loans to get their businesses up and running. 

  • Help people develop business plans
  • Assist with workshops on basic business skills and accounting
  • Visit beneficiaries at their homes and businesses

Learn more about our Microfinance project in Cambodia.

Childcare and Education 

The focus of our Childcare Project in Cambodia is to ensure that young kids learn the skills they need to thrive once they leave school. You’ll provide extra support for teachers in overcrowded and understaffed pre-school and primary schools. You’ll teach through play and other creative activities.

  • Create lesson plans with help from our local staff
  • Support early childhood development through games, arts and crafts.
  • Focus on literacy work and conversational English.
  • Promote good hygiene practices and teach about nutrition

You don’t need previous experience working with kids. We’ll provide training, workshops, and resources so you’ll have everything you need.

Read more about supporting Early Childhood Development in Cambodia

Community outreach

Provide education to remote communities in and around Siem Reap. Teach about the environment, basic health, nutrition and other important topics that are often ignored in regular classes.

  • Visit remote communities
  • Create workshops and games to involve community members of all ages

Public Health

After returning from Siem Reap you will have the opportunity to join our Public Health initiative. You’ll work alongside nurses and doctors to provide outreach visits and mobile clinics to communities that have little to no access to healthcare.

  • Learn basic medical skills from our experienced staff
  • Conduct health checks alongside professionals
  • Teach children about healthcare, nutrition, and hygiene
  • Record, analyse, and report data for our Global Impact Database

Read more about our Public Health work in Cambodia. 

Nepal

Teaching

You'll be based in a primary school and work alongside local teachers who will guide and assist you.

  • Teach children English and make lessons fun and engaging
  • Design resources to contribute towards a literacy-rich environment
  • Assist teachers with subjects like music, science, sports, art, life skills, and hygiene
  • Attend workshops about the education system in Nepal

Learn more about our Teaching project in Nepal.

Building

Work alongside builders, engineers and architects to assist with classroom construction. Kathmandu is still recovering from the 2015 earthquake that devastated the region. Your assistance will make a clear and visible impact in developing the local community and enabling more children to access education.

  • Renovate existing classrooms
  • Support construction of new classrooms, toilets and washing facilities
  • Learn how to mix cement, dig foundations and lay bricks

Learn more about our Building project in Nepal.

Conservation

Head up into the Himalayas to begin your Conservation adventure. Stay in the beautiful town of Ghandruk, perched among mountains and rice fields. 

  • Work in the Annapurna Conservation area alongside local experts
  • Monitor species and conduct biodiversity surveys
  • Check camera traps for Snow Leopards
  • Raise awareness about ongoing conservation efforts through workshops and lessons in local communities

Read more about our Mountain Conservation project in Nepal 


Cultural Exchange

Throughout your journey you will be immersed in local culture. Dedicated local staff will support and work alongside you every day. You'll learn from them and have an insight into regular life in each country.

Join workshops, excursions, and visits to historical sites! The history of Cambodia has been turbulent and tragic. You’ll learn about the mighty Khmer Empire and explore Angkor Wat. During your first week you'll also visit the Killing Fields, hearing the heart-wrenching history of the Khmer Rouge Regime. Whilst learning about their rise to power and subsequent fall, you'll get a better understanding of how Cambodia is still recovering, and why your work will help make an impact.

Nepal is also rich in both culture and natural beauty. Sitting between India and Tibet, Nepal is a mix of both, while being entirely unique as well. Between the temperate rainforests of the south and the massive heights of the Himalayas in the North, Nepal has a little bit of everything. During your trip, you will get to explore all these different environments, spending time at temples, learning about cultural practices, and spotting wildlife in National Parks.

A volunteer receiving a bindi from locals

Experiential Learning: Reflective Journals

During the program, you will be encouraged to take some time to reflect on your experience. Each group member will join a series of reflective exercises and prompts throughout the program. You’ll be given a journal that you can write in that has questions to help you reflect on your time abroad. These become great ways to process your experience but also a great memento to remember your trip after the program is over. 

Volunteers record their work in Nepal

Where in Cambodia and Nepal will I work?

Phnom Penh

You'll start your journey in Phnom Penh. The Capital of Cambodia sits on the banks of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong Rivers. However, for all its growth, there remain areas of poverty and marginalization in the city. These are the communities your work will focus on supporting. 

Even with Cambodia’s history of war, the city is rapidly developing to keep up with an expanding population and growing tourism industry. In some places, it can be an intriguing mix of traditional and modern life. And, around every corner, your nose will be led to some of the most delicious Cambodian food. The city also boasts a lively night life and a great selection of spas and restaurants.

As you walk the streets, you’ll be greeted by saffron-clad monks, chaotic traffic, and some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet. You can spend time at the many Buddhist temples, sample delicious fish amok or Cambodian chicken curry, or visit one of the local markets and modern malls.

Siem Reap

The cultural and tourist center of Cambodia, Siem Reap retains some of its colonial French influence. With sprawling night markets and an assortment of exciting street food, Siem Reap is a great place to explore and learn more about the culture of Cambodia. From here, you’re also within easy reach of the world famous Angkor Wat. Hundreds of ancient temples are scattered throughout the jungle and are an unforgettable sight. 


While Siem Reap city is prosperous, the surrounding province is one of the poorest in the country. You'll conduct community outreach events and workshops in these areas.

Chitwan District

You’ll spend your first three weeks in Nepal around the city of Bharatpur in Chitwan District. This fast growing city is full of sacred religious sites, as well as forts and palaces. It’s popular with tourists due to its close proximity to Chitwan National Park. Bishazari Tal wetland also lies on the southern side of the city and is a popular bird watching site. Spend time exploring the many colourful markets, and gaze in wonder at the snow-capped mountains surrounding the city. 

Ghandruk

You’ll live and work in Ghandruk during your Himalayan Conservation project. This picturesque village is located in the Annapurna mountain range (part of the Himalayas). Ghandruk is home to truly spectacular views, as well as plenty of friendly people. You’ll stay at a family-run guesthouse with other members of your group. Pokhara, one of the largest cities in Nepal, is the closest city. Simultaneously vibrant and laid-back, Pokhara is home to plenty of attractions and restaurants, making it an ideal weekend getaway spot.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at Phnom Penh Airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Cambodia Arrival Procedures page.

Our staff will take you to the airport on your departure and make sure you are able to successfully board your flight.

On arrival to your airport in Nepal, you will also be met by a member of Projects Abroad staff. You can find more information regarding this at the Nepal Arrival Procedures page.


Food and Accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your Gap Semester Trips. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.

The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.

Cambodia

You will live in a shared apartment with the other group members in Phnom Penh, and a guesthouse in Siem Reap. A cook will provide your meals each day.

Nepal

You will stay with host families in Chitwan District. You will share accommodation with other members of your group and get to immerse yourself in local culture by joining a family. During the Conservation Project, you will stay at a guesthouse with the rest of your group in the beautiful town of Ghandruk.

Find out more about our accommodation.


Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.


Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.


Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.


Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.


Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

Things are changing rapidly these days. If you have ANY questions, please call us at (+1) 619 320 2424 and we’ll fill you in on the latest updates.

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