Join our Occupational Therapy internship in Cambodia and gain practical work experience while helping disabled children. You’ll learn a great deal from observing and working with medical staff and caregivers at the centre. This a different and memorable way to add work experience to your CV, and give back at the same time.
Through this internship, you’ll learn how to engage, assess, and treat children with varying disabilities. Your studies will be put to good use as you create individualised treatment and exercise plans. Through your efforts, you’ll help strengthen the mobility of each patient. Through this experience, you’ll learn to be more patient and compassionate, and your confidence in your work will grow.
You’ll live and work in the charming capital city of Phnom Penh, and stay with other Projects Abroad interns and volunteers in a shared apartment. Use your free time to explore and eat your fill of Cambodian cuisine.
Children aged 3-14 must be accompanied by at least one adult paying full price
We offer discounts for families and groups of friends travelling together. Call us on 1300 132 831 for more info.
When you apply you only pay AUD$495, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1300 132 831 to see if we can offer a discount.
Completely flexible dates
Anyone aged over 16 can join
You should have completed at least one year of occupational therapy studies or training.
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
A supervisor/mentor at your work placement
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Support to help you complete registration or internship documents, if applicable
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
Is an Occupational Therapy internship in Cambodia right for me?
Are you working towards a career in occupational therapy? Do you enjoy working with children? Then our Occupational Therapy internship in Cambodia is for you.
You’ll learn practical skills alongside qualified medical staff and caregivers, which you can use this to enhance your studies. This internship adds great value to your CV, and gives you interesting points to talk about in applications and interviews. Your work in Cambodia also demonstrates your commitment to therapy, and your willingness to help those in need.
Our internship is open to occupational therapy students who have completed their first year of study. The project runs all year round, so you can join whenever you want. You can intern for a minimum of two weeks. We strongly recommend staying longer so you can have a bigger impact on the children.
Volunteering for Professionals
This project is also perfect for qualified professionals. With your skills backing up our ongoing efforts, we can make an even bigger difference together. We'll match you to the placement where your skills are needed most.
This means you can share your training and and knowledge with others. You can work hand-in-hand with our partner organisations and local communities to support sustainable development.
If you have relevant skills or qualifications, read more about how you can make use of them with Projects Abroad.
What will I do during my Occupational Therapy internship?
At your Occupational Therapy placement in Cambodia, you’ll work with mentally and physically disabled children at a care centre. Here are some of the tasks you’ll assist with at the centre:
- Observe the medical staff and caregivers as they work with the disabled children at the centre
- Care for the disabled children through a range of occupational therapy techniques
- Update patient files by including your notes and observations
- Encourage an exchange of medical knowledge between yourself and the staff at the centre
Your work will focus on the following:
Observe the medical staff and carers as they work with the disabled children at the centre
Before starting any form of work, you’ll spend time shadowing and observing the centre staff as they work with the children. You’ll learn how to pick them up, engage with them, and assess and treat them. Each child will be different depending on their disabilities. By observing first, you’ll get to know the children and learn skills that will benefit you in the future.
Care for the disabled children through a range of occupational therapy techniques
After observing, the staff might ask for your assistance with the assessment and treatment of patients. For quick reference on each patient, you can observe the wall which displays all the patients details. This wall has patient cards which detail the progress of each child. It gives staff an idea of the patients’ disabilities and which goals they should work towards. These goals could be anything for each patient such as rolling over, sitting, or standing.
You’ll also assist with the creation and implementation of individualised exercise plans that help strengthen the mobility of each patient. You need to monitor their progress and ensure accurate records are kept.
Update patient files by including your notes and observations
To ensure all staff members and future interns are up-to-date with the progress of each child, you’ll be asked to add information to their patient files. You’ll also need to update the patient cards attached to the wall.
Encourage an exchange of medical knowledge between yourself and the staff at the centre
There is a lot you can learn from the medical staff and caregivers at the centre. However, they can also learn a lot from you. Occupational therapy is not a widely known profession in Cambodia, and the staff will benefit from learning different techniques that you were taught during your studies. You can also help improve the English levels of staff members, which will make it easier to communicate with them.
Where in Cambodia will I be working?
You’ll be based in the capital city of Phnom Penh. With its beautiful riverside promenade along the Mekong and Tonle River, and the many historical sites, this city is definitely one tourists can’t get enough of. There are a host of attractions in this ever-modernising city, including the genocide museums, Royal Palace, and markets. The famous Angkor Wat Temples are only a few hours away!
You’ll gain occupational therapy work experience in Cambodia at a centre for mentally and physically disabled infants and children. Many of them were abandoned by their families because they couldn’t afford to care for them. The centre provides the necessary support and care to these children.
A typical day at your Occupational Therapy placement in Cambodia
You’ll start each day with a Cambodian breakfast of fresh fruit, banana pancakes, and egg fried rice before grabbing a tuk tuk to your placement. Our staff will accompany you on your first day to show you the way, and introduce you to your new colleagues.
A typical day will start at 8am and end at 4pm, Monday to Friday. You’ll get a long break between 11am-1pm where you’ll head back to your shared apartment for lunch. Alternatively, you can pack a lunch, and spend time going over the children’s medical files during your break.
Each morning, you’ll go over the plans for the day with your project supervisor. Your main focus will be to help with the assessment and treatment of patients at the centre. The infants and children have varying degrees of disability. Many of them have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or autism.
You’ll help with individualised exercise plans, progress monitoring, and updating patient files. You’ll spend an hour with each patient before moving on to the next.
In your free time, you can grab dinner at one of the many restaurants dotting the main street. You can plan weekend trips with the other interns and really make the most of your stay in Cambodia.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
There are two main aims for our Occupational Therapy internship in Cambodia: to improve your skills, and to provide better quality care and additional support to the infants and children we work with.
You’ll work at a centre for infants and children with mental and physical disabilities. Many of these children were abandoned by their families because they were unable to care for them. The medical staff and caregivers at the centre provide them with care and a safe place to grow up in.
You’ll use your skills and training to support the children, and share knowledge with the local staff. Occupational therapy is not a widely recognised profession in Cambodia so you’ll need to be confident and proactive when working. Supporting local medical staff also means that more children will be able to receive treatment at the same time.
In Cambodia, we’re working toward four long-term goals in our Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan:
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
- Improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge
- Improve hygiene standards
Join this internship in Cambodia and help us work towards these goals while improving your occupational therapy skills.
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.
I gained skills in massage and manipulation alongside a great deal of knowledge around cerebral palsy, the predominant disability at the centre. There are also ample opportunities to use graded activities and games to help improve a child’s sensory, process and motor skills. Seeing even the smallest improvement in a child’s functioning was so rewarding and satisfying!
Occupational Therapy Internship in Cambodia
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