Medical Volunteer Program in Cambodia
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.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from $715 for 3 weeks
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
- Shadow local staff in a local pediatrics hospital
- Discover Cambodia's incredible temples and pagodas
- Stay with other volunteers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital
Who is this program suited to?
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. You’ll be based in a pediatric hospital in Phnom Penh where your role will be mostly observational, though volunteers who stay longer on the program are more likely to have hands-on tasks.
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 scrubs or lab coat and stethoscope.
Why do Medical volunteering in Cambodia 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
- To join the Medical project in Cambodia you need to be in your fourth year of medical school and have some experience of pediatrics.
- 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.
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 city of Siem Reap which is famous for its temples, or the more remote city of Battambang.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Siem Reap any time on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Siem Reap International Airport (REP). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
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 traveling 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 socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
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.|
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’ll stay in a volunteer house where you can expect to share a room with three to seven other volunteers. Bedrooms have bunk beds with a bottom sheet, blanket and pillow provided. Due to the heat, there are electric fans in each room, but no air conditioning.
Volunteer houses are located in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The 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, television and WiFi.
Volunteers on the Teaching project in Battambang will be accommodated in a homestay which is located in the school compound in which you will be teaching. You will have a separate room which you will share with one other volunteer. Electricity, running water, western bathrooms and WiFi are provided.
Volunteers in Cambodia are provided with three meals a day. Breakfast generally consists of fruit and baguettes.
Lunch is usually rice or noodles with fried vegetables and meat. Dinner in the volunteer house or at your homestay includes a wide range of dishes consisting of rice, soup, vegetables and meat with sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavors. Fresh fruits, such as mangoes or pineapples are served with sticky rice for dessert.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let the team know when you apply for the program so arrangements can be made.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|3 weeks||$715 Equivalent to $35/day|
|4 weeks||$830 Equivalent to $30/day|
|5 weeks||$1,045 Equivalent to $30/day|
|6 weeks||$1,160 Equivalent to $28/day|
|8 weeks||$1,390 Equivalent to $25/day|
|10 weeks||$1,720 Equivalent to $25/day|
|12 weeks||$1,945 Equivalent to $24/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Cambodia generally find US$50-80 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Check what's required to visit Cambodia
Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Cambodia, based on your country of residence.
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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||Cambodian Riel (KHR)|
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.