Arrival Procedure in Cambodia
All volunteers joining Projects Abroad in Cambodia are met at the International Airport in Phnom Penh. After getting your visa and your passport stamped, you will collect your luggage and exit into an arrivals area. A member of Projects Abroad staff will be easily visible, waiting for you behind the barrier with a Projects Abroad sign.
Volunteers can fly to either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Volunteers flying into Siem Reap will be asked to pay a supplement fee for their round-trip airport transfers.
Depending on the time of your arrival, you may travel first to our office, or to one of our volunteer apartments, which will become your home in Cambodia. On your first and/or second day you will receive a briefing at our office, and a thorough orientation around Phnom Penh. You will also be taken to settle into your apartment and meet the other volunteers living there.
Conservation volunteers usually spend one night in Phnom Penh before they are taken to a bus station and put safely on the public minivan to Koh Sdach. Your bus ticket will be arranged in advance and a member of the Conservation team will pick you up at the bus stop on Poy Japon beach, from which you will then travel on a speed boat to Koh Sdach island, which is only 5 minutes away. The bus trip takes around seven to eight hours.
Volunteering in Cambodia: Orientation and Induction
The orientation will include showing you the main sites and landmarks in Phnom Penh and showing you how to get public transport to and from your apartment to our office. Our staff will also explain a bit about Cambodia's history and, if there's time, you may visit one of the museums.
The following day, one of our staff will take you to be introduced formally to your place of work and to meet your placement supervisor. During this meeting your schedule and working hours will be arranged and you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have. Most volunteers then start work properly the following day and our staff will make sure that you are happy with the plans for this, including arranging your transport to and from work by moto taxi or tuk tuk.
That afternoon or evening, you'll have the chance to relax and get to know the volunteers living with you at the apartment. You may want to go to the internet café, or call home, or simply take it easy and enjoy a typical Khmer dinner, cooked by our staff at the apartment. The ladies who cook and clean the apartments are like one of the family and they will be keen to talk to you, and perhaps teach you a few Khmer phrases.
Conservation volunteers will receive a thorough induction from one of the conservation staff when you arrive on the island. Volunteers should be aware that if they arrive on a Friday, they will only be brought to the Island on Sunday.