Where we work / Cambodia
Cambodia is beaming with opportunities.
University students in the capital city of Phnom Penh are eager and excited to meet you. Our teachers are looking forward to helping you connect with the community and put you in a position to thrive as you teach and influence young leaders. The laid-back culture of Cambodia is a perfect fit for those looking to connect with students over coffee and enjoy meaningful conversations with new and curious friends.
You can also explore the various short-term programs we offer in Cambodia.
ELIC broke new ground in 2000 by sending a team of teachers to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Since that time ELIC has built a strong presence in the schools as well as in the surrounding community. We provide English instruction to students while collaborating with a variety of school administrators, officials, and other faculty members. Join our team in this key opportunity to invest and work among the beautiful people of Cambodia.
How many hours per week will I work?
Teachers often work two hours each week to write lesson plans and prepare their classrooms for teaching, and a variable number of hours per week teaching. Prep time, however, can vary widely from teacher to teacher. Our teachers benefit from access to materials from teachers who have taught courses previously.
What is the working relationship like with other faculty and teachers?
Our team highly values the opportunity to build strong relationships with local teachers. We also like to develop connections with faculty members by collaborating on classes or research, facilitating professional development sessions, and simply spending time together in the office.
What is the student demographic?
Students in Cambodia have various levels of English language experience. They are generally warm, friendly, and eager to improve their English, because this is often a requirement for employment.
As at most universities in Cambodia, students live off-campus and commute to school. Teachers build relationships with students using the English library, which is connected to our office. Our team hosts reading and conversation clubs to spend time with students and help them practice English. Teachers also build relationships with students by inviting them into their homes for games, dinner, and conversation or by going out for meals, coffee, movies, and so on.
What will my first week look like? How will you help me get my life overseas started?
New teachers begin their in-country orientation by settling into their homes and familiarizing themselves with where to shop for necessities. This includes informational sessions covering the most pressing needs, such as acquiring basic living skills for their city, obtaining a SIM card for their phone, understanding our organizational expectations, and getting to know other teammates. In most cases, a new teacher will also start language study in their first week.
What does ongoing professional/personal development look like?
In addition to times of team encouragement, individuals are encouraged to grow personally and professionally throughout their time living in Cambodia. Our team leaders walk alongside our team members to help facilitate their growth through check-ins and feedback.
New teachers attend twelve professional development meetings designed for first-year teachers, and teachers in Cambodia for two or more years attend at least three professional development meetings (and help lead them for new teachers). All teachers observe another teacher and are observed once per semester. Then, once a year, teachers fill out a form describing three strengths and two areas where they would like to grow in their teaching.
What is it like to raise a family overseas?
One of the highlights of raising a family in Cambodia is its vibrant homeschooling community, which gathers regularly and provides many opportunities for kids to play and interact with each other. Places such as climbing gyms, Crossfit centers, and soccer fields offer great alternatives to green spaces in the city, which are few and far between. Unlike America, there aren’t many open, outdoor spaces in the city for kids to run and play in, like parks or sidewalks. However, there are many great hotels with pools and facilities that make it easy to enjoy a “staycation.”
What are some things I might do to contribute to my team if my spouse is teaching, but I’m not?
There are many important roles for non-teaching spouses. There is no shortage of opportunities for hospitality, engaging with people who want to practice English, or providing a listening ear. Hospitality is also highly valued with meals, game nights, and other outings. Our non-teaching spouses put deep roots down in the local communities around campus as much as their varied responsibilities as a homeschool teacher, parent, spouse, and teammate allow.
Some non-teaching spouses have also contributed as member care specialists, business office managers, or volunteers at local organizations.
What kind of housing will I have? How far away are housing options from the school and other teammates?
There are many good options for housing depending on the neighborhood, the type of home, and whether the teacher will live alone or with others. A stipend from the university should cover all living expenses for singles and most expenses for couples/families with only one full-time teacher. At one of our partner schools, housing is even provided by the school at no cost.
The country director or leadership team will assist new teachers in arranging an adequate living situation. Some houses are already furnished and have air-conditioning, hot water heaters in the showers, and other western conveniences. Often, washing machines and other appliances are either provided or can be negotiated into the housing contract/lease.
What are some surprising things I might learn after the first 60 days?
A new teacher will be surprised to see the contrast that is Cambodia. In a country so rooted in traditions and history, there are many obvious western influences and imports. The dichotomy of being in the “Kingdom of Wonder” filled with stores and goods from abroad can be quite interesting.
What is the team structure like? How often are formal meetings, and what do they entail?
There are various weekly team commitments from city to city, including life groups, faculty meetings, and team learning times. Professional development sessions, meeting with mentors, and lesson planning with other teachers are encouraged as well.