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Medical Volunteer Program in Cambodia - Phnom Penh

Medical Volunteer Program in Cambodia - Phnom Penh

Purpose
Improve access to quality healthcare
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Duration
Choose from 4-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+
Accommodation
Guest house
Program fees
From AU$1392 for 4 weeks
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who are in medical school, have completed at least four years of study. You’ll also need to be prepared to work in a largely observational capacity.

Project details

Want to be a Medical volunteer in Cambodia? International Volunteer HQ’s Medical project is an exciting chance for trainee doctors to gain healthcare experience and observe clinical practice in a cross-cultural setting. Volunteers are placed in a pediatric hospital in Phnom Penh and shadow local professionals. Medical volunteering in Cambodia helps increase access to healthcare and improve the wellbeing of local people.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

The healthcare system in Cambodia is quite different to those in other parts of the world, which means it offers a great learning experience for Medical volunteers. While volunteering on this project you will have the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of differences between medical systems in developed and developing countries.

Your tasks will primarily be observational; however, there may be some hands-on tasks you can do, depending on your duration. The local team work with a pediatric hospital in Phnom Penh where you can contribute to and learn about the healthcare environment in Cambodia.

Regardless, you’ll get a much greater understanding of the differences between healthcare in a developing country and your own as you develop your medical knowledge by rubbing shoulders with local professionals. Local medical staff also benefit from the additional hands on deck, as well as the two-way cultural exchange of ideas, skills and learnings that comes from interacting with international volunteers.

You’ll need to provide a resume and a recommendation letter from your university upon being registered for the program. You also need to bring your own white lab coat and stethoscope.

COVID-19 requirements for Cambodia: Please note that there is a requirement for all volunteers on the Cambodia program to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated (including booster), at least 14 days before flying to Cambodia. These measures are in place until further notice so please do keep this in mind for your planning.

Volunteers on this project will also need to bring a RAT (rapid antigen test) or equivalent with them from home and complete this in front of the local team upon their arrival.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Good mental and physical health is key to sustainable development and building healthy and happy communities. Now more than ever, we must increase access to free healthcare and health education across the globe to achieve an acceptable standard of living and wellbeing for all.

Why do Medical volunteering in Phnom Penh with IVHQ?

By volunteering in healthcare in Cambodia, you’ll be improving access to healthcare for the local community, while also gaining medical experience through:

  • Assisting qualified medical professionals
  • Gaining healthcare experience and skills
  • Getting exposure to different clinical practices in action
  • Developing your cross-cultural communication skills
  • Immersing yourself in Khmer culture
  • Exploring Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh

Volunteer requirements

  • To join the Medical project in Cambodia you need to be in your fourth year of medical school.
  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

IJ
Isabella Jones
06 Jun 2024

Cambodia is definitely a hidden gem. The amount of history and culture that the Khmer people share with foreigners is amazing. My work at the daycare was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. The amount of joy and love the kids gave me is a gift that I am profoundly thankful for. The city of Phnom Penh is busy and loud but very safe. Nights spent with other volunteers exploring and enjoying the nightlife has created friendships that will last long beyond our volunteer periods.

...
SW
Steven Waslander
29 May 2024

It was an encouraging experience, to be welcomed so warmly, to be able to work with locals and to help students in a meaningful way. Very happy with the experience.

...
HP
Hannah Pruett
01 May 2024

I had ample guidance and preparation resources that allowed the trip to go smoothly, and I travelled to Cambodia with confidence due to the help I received prior to departing. The local team was a friendly and knowledgeable group. They all made sure that we were happy and taught us many things about the local culture and were very time oriented.

This opportunity has made me realize that so much joy comes from volunteering and helping those around you. I will most likely be volunteering with IVHQ again in the future.

I gained confidence, new friends, a better resume, a connection with the students and school, and so much more. If someone is feeling hesitant about joining, they should follow their instincts and think about why they are looking into volunteering abroad. This route is affordable and safe. Traveling abroad this way allows you to have connections with the locals that can speak the language and help you in any situation.

...
BL
Barbara Leslie
13 Mar 2024

The Program Guide is very thorough. It was easy to return to sections to double check details. I definitely gained an awareness of the reality for teachers in a third world country. They worked extremely hard with so few resources. I discovered that the Cambodian people with whom I worked with are so very resilient and well intentioned. Their circumstances are so very different from our first world circumstances they have no frame of reference, but were very eager to learn. I benefited tremendously from the experience, more than I anticipated. While I was there to help, which I believe I did, I received much in return.

...
SS
Stien Somers
17 Aug 2022

During our weekends we did trips to Siem Reap and Koh Rong. I'm very glad that I did it! I have become more social and have met some very nice people.

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SV
Sandor Vander Poorten
27 Jul 2022

The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was that I took initiative, became a social and open minded person and it made me confident in navigating the world on my own. My advice is to just go for it - it is a life changing opportunity and you never know what the future has for you!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Cambodia with IVHQ

Location

In the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a country full of beauty and tragedy. As well as an abundance of beautiful beaches and temples there are many reminders of the history of genocide and civil war that left Cambodia one of the least developed countries in the world. In Phnom Penh there are numerous places where you can learn about what happened, including the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre. It is important to be informed about these poignant events in order to gain a better understanding and deeper respect for the Cambodian people and their culture.

As an IVHQ volunteer in Cambodia you could be based at placements in the capital city of Phnom Penh, the remote city of Battambang, or by the impressive temples of Siem Reap.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Siem Reap on the Sunday before orientation. There are two airport pick-ups times available: one at 10:00am and the other at 4:00pm. Arriving later than the Sunday before your start date is not allowed, as volunteers need to be ready for orientation early on Monday morning.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee when utilizing the 10:00am and 4:00pm pick-ups.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Siem Reap. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Cambodia prior to your volunteer program, the local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel in Siem Reap.

Orientation is hosted by our Cambodia team at the volunteer house in Siem Reap. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Cambodia – an introduction to Cambodia, its culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Although you are expected to fly into Siem Reap, as this is where the program orientation is held, your placement may be based elsewhere; either Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Battambang. After your time on the program ends, you can either fly out of Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, although please note that your transportation back to the relevant airport is at your own expense.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical volunteer day might be:

7:00 AM Breakfast in the volunteer house or with your host family
9:00 AM Volunteer leaves home and travels to the project to begin work
12:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch break. In Cambodia all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours. Some start earlier, some later. During this lunch break you are welcome to stay at your placement. Some placements will offer you food.
2:00 - 5:00 PM Work at the project usually ends. You are free to travel home, sightsee or do some shopping.
7:00 PM Dinner in the volunteer house or with the host family.

Weekends

Cambodia is packed with a vast range of things to do and see in your free time. In the modern capital city of Phnom Penh you can visit the king’s official residence, The Royal Palace, and the famous Silver Pagoda, check out the huge art-deco market, cruise along the Mekong or learn about Cambodia’s devastating history at one of the many museums.

The tourist hub of Siem Reap is home to Angkor Wat, a collection of temples that together form the largest religious monument in the world. There are many hotels, resorts, markets and museums, and nearby is a lake with floating villages, a national park featuring waterfalls, rivers and Cambodia’s largest reclining Buddha.

During the long public holidays in April, September and November, you may also wish to travel further afield to Laos, Vietnam or Thailand.

Accommodation and WiFi

You will be accommodated in either a volunteer house, guesthouse or home-stay and you can expect to share a room with four other IVHQ volunteers, who are of the same gender. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with bedding provided, which includes a bottom sheet, blanket and pillow. Although there is no air conditioning, electric fans are provided in each room and if volunteers require additional cooling, they are able to request an additional fan via the local team.

If you’re volunteering in Siem Reap, you’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house. Volunteer houses have electricity and running water and the majority of rooms have private bathrooms. In each volunteer house, there is a sitting area, dining area, TV and Wi-Fi.

For those volunteers placed in Phnom Penh, you will be accommodated in either a homestay hosted by a family who has been approved by the local team in Cambodia or a local guesthouse, depending on where your placement is located. Both the guesthouse and the homestay also have electricity and running water. Being in a homestay for your duration on the program is a fantastic way to experience the local culture and even if you are placed in a local guesthouse, this is still a great way to interact with the local community.

If your placement is in the province of Battambang, you will stay on-site in the school compound. You will have a separate room which you will share with up to one other volunteer. Electricity, running water, western bathrooms and Wi-Fi are provided.

Meals

Volunteers in Cambodia are provided with three meals a day which are served in the volunteer house. Breakfast generally consists of seasonal fruit and bread with a variety of spreads such as; peanut butter and jam.

Lunch and dinner is usually rice or noodles with fried vegetables and meat. These meals include a wide range of dishes consisting of rice, vegetables and meat with sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavors. Volunteers on the Animal Care project should expect a packed vegan lunch.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let the team know when you apply for the program so arrangements can be made.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately AU$520) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
4 weeks $880 Equivalent to $31/day
5 weeks $1,095 Equivalent to $31/day
6 weeks $1,210 Equivalent to $29/day
8 weeks $1,440 Equivalent to $26/day
10 weeks $1,770 Equivalent to $25/day
12 weeks $1,995 Equivalent to $24/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$520) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Cambodia generally find US$80-100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit Cambodia

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Phnom Penh
Population 16.49 million
Languages Khmer
Currency Cambodian Riel (KHR)
Time zone UTC+07:00

Weather and climate

Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22°C (71.6°F) and is generally accompanied by high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April and temperatures can rise up to 40°C (104°F ) around April.

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How to get started

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