Cambodia

28 Days

High School Service Program
Educational Projects & Rebuilding in Southeast Asia

JUNE 30 to JULY 27  |  28 DAYS
85 HRS SERVICE  |  TUITION $5950

JUNE 30 to JULY 27
28 DAYS
85 HRS SERVICE
TUITION $5950

Program Overview

Engage with Cambodia’s fascinating culture, challenging history and charming people from your homebase in Battambang. Attend a circus with thrilling acrobatics, learn to cook Cambodian food, explore the countryside on a bamboo train and be totally awestruck at Angkor Wat, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Contribute to the region’s promising future by improving primary schools and empowering kids.

WE ARE MINDFUL

“I really enjoyed seeing the project progress from beginning to end. It was very satisfying and rewarding to see all of our hard work translate into an actual result. Also, I enjoyed having the kids at the school always there watching us work. They served as a big motivation for me!”

Robert Rosoff

California

Embracing Projects That Matter

Many schools in Cambodia lack the basic infrastructure needed to care for and educate children. Working with community partners, VISIONS high school volunteers have built bathrooms and hand-washing stations at primary schools, and renovated classrooms and libraries in disrepair. Hands-on work is mostly cinder block and mortar construction, with local builders teaching you the necessary skills. When you’re not hauling cinder blocks, you’ll help with teaching English, leading arts and crafts, and some sports and recreation at these very same schools.

In addition, VISIONS has partnered with SALT (Sports and Leadership Training) Academy, which has developed youth soccer leagues around the country as a way to prepare and empower young people. A favorite for VISIONS teens is helping with SALT’s girl-focused program known as “Mighty Girls.” Working on and in the schools provides a double benefit that is rewarding for all, particularly local youth who spend time with our teens at the worksites and day camps.

WE ARE FAMILY

“VISIONS Cambodia was a truly amazing experience. Our group became very close and I felt as if I was part of one big family. Traveling so far away from home really opened my eyes to new cultures and ways of living. The leaders were friendly and the excursions unforgettable.”

Elizabeth McAneny

Maryland

Off the tourist beaten path in northwest Cambodia, Battambang is an easygoing, lovely homebase for getting to know the country and its people.

Making Meaningful Connections

VISIONS started working in Cambodia in 2012, building on pre-existing partnerships with a cross-cultural nonprofit and a program that helps put Cambodian street kids through school. The VISIONS leader team always includes a native of Cambodia, who shows us the ins and outs of the country and brings in other Cambodians who work and hang out with us. (Read about our current leader Sav Yuth below.) “Mum” is our dinner cook and house mom. She owns and runs a restaurant in town, but spends the summer with us, taking us in like family and teaching us how to make some traditional dishes. We socialize with people from other countries who are working at local NGOs (non-governmental organizations), with shopkeepers, with Yuth and Mum’s relatives and friends, and our neighbors. (Expect to learn some Khmer language basics while you’re here.) Most of all, the local children are the country’s greatest ambassadors—they delight in any chance to play with and get to know VISIONS teens, and inspire us return.

Our
Home:
Battambang,
Cambodia

WE ARE EXPLORERS

“The bike tour at Siem Reap, visiting the Angkor Wat, the circus, long boat ride, visiting the Royal Palace, and others were so much fun and I can never forget those moments. The activities played a great role in making this trip interesting and exciting.”

Jiwon Shin

British Columbia

From Angkor Wat to a notorious Khmer prison, you’ll experience first-hand Cambodia’s brilliant ancient past, devastating recent history and renewed hope for the future.

SETTING OUT TO GO BEYOND

Your work in Battambang contributes to a national movement of people striving to rebuild their country, and make peace with its recent and troubled past. Cambodia is bustling these days, and you’ll get the sense of being in a place on the brink of sustained positive change. At the beginning of the program, spend a day and a half exploring the extremes of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, from the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields to the Royal Palace. Next, you’ll travel to the stunning temple complex of Angkor Wat, renowned as the most sublime mix of art and architecture on the planet. While based in Battambang, you’ll bike alongside rice fields, make rice paper with farmers, clatter through the countryside on an open air bamboo trolley and hike at sunset to a hillside cave, just in time to see more than a million bats fly out for their evening insect hunt.

ACTIVITIES AND EXCURSIONS

  • Experience Angkor Wat by tuk tuk and bike, followed by a visit to the famous Night Market of Siem Reap
  • Tour Phnom Penh sites including the Killing Fields, Royal Palace and Mekong River
  • Ride the Bamboo Railroad into the countryside
  • Kayak down Battambang’s Sangke River
  • Shop at open air markets and learn to make local food
  • Attend the Phare Circus, where Cambodia’s stories are reimagined through music, acrobatics, dance and theater
  • Pedal through rice paddy country on a relaxed and scenic tour

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT

SAV YUTH

Program Leader

It’s actually a lucky thing we ever met Sav Yuth. She learned about VISIONS by chance in 2012, when two of our leaders contacted her family to see about renting their house in Battambang for a future program. Intrigued, Yuth decided to volunteer. “I tried to understand what VISIONS does, and after I got to know it well, I was in love with it all,” she says.

Yuth impressed us so much, we asked her to join the leader team the following summer. She’s been a vital part of our program ever since.

At 24 years old, Yuth is a fireball—full of life, quick with jokes and endless energy. She is also a great liaison for us with the community. She was born in Battambang, and her entire family is from the area. They are farmers and sell their produce in the community market. Yuth studied Law at the University of Battambang. Since graduating in 2015, she has worked with victims of domestic abuse and trafficking in seven provinces across Cambodia. She would love to be a lawyer someday.

Yuth says working with VISIONS has been one of the most memorable and eye-opening parts of her life so far. And even as she helps VISIONS teens learn about leadership, she has developed into a strong leader herself.

But it’s not all serious business. As one participant said after his Cambodia program, “There was never a dull moment with Yuth around—she’s one of the funniest people I’ve met and kept me laughing the whole summer!”

Cambodia Blog Posts

Cambodia Service Projects

Cambodia Service Projects

Service Projects Focus on Schools VISIONS summer teen participants have completed some fantastic service projects over the years in Cambodia. See a few highlights below and read more about the program here. Education in English Broadens Future Opportunities Our teens...

Meet Your Director: Kenny Kruse

Meet Your Director: Kenny Kruse

In addition to living in Myanmar where he's gearing up for another VISIONS summer, Kenny has followed in the footsteps of our founding Asia programs director—Wesley Hedden—as a Princeton in Asia scholar. Kenny is a lifelong learner and traveler. As a high school...

VISIONS REVIEWS

Read what others have said about their VISIONS Cambodia experience. You also are welcome to contact the VISIONS office to request student and parent references.

NOT QUITE READY?

Feel free to contact us with any questions! We are happy to help find the best program to meet your goals for the summer.

SAV YUTH

Program Leader

It’s actually a lucky thing we ever met Sav Yuth. She learned about VISIONS by chance in 2012, when two of our leaders contacted her family to see about renting their house in Battambang for a future program. Intrigued, Yuth decided to volunteer. “I tried to understand what VISIONS does, and after I got to know it well, I was in love with it all,” she says.

Yuth impressed us so much, we asked her to join the leader team the following summer. She’s been a vital part of our program ever since.

At 24 years old, Yuth is a fireball—full of life, quick with jokes and endless energy. She is also a great liaison for us with the community. She was born in Battambang, and her entire family is from the area. They are farmers and sell their produce in the community market. Yuth studied Law at the University of Battambang. Since graduating in 2015, she has worked with victims of domestic abuse and trafficking in seven provinces across Cambodia. She would love to be a lawyer someday.

Yuth says working with VISIONS has been one of the most memorable and eye-opening parts of her life so far. And even as she helps VISIONS teens learn about leadership, she has developed into a strong leader herself.

But it’s not all serious business. As one participant said after his Cambodia program, “There was never a dull moment with Yuth around—she’s one of the funniest people I’ve met and kept me laughing the whole summer!”

Cambodia Blog Posts

Cambodia Service Projects

Cambodia Service Projects

Service Projects Focus on Schools VISIONS summer teen participants have completed some fantastic service projects over the years in Cambodia. See a few highlights below and read more about the program here. Education in English Broadens Future Opportunities Our teens...

Meet Your Director: Kenny Kruse

Meet Your Director: Kenny Kruse

In addition to living in Myanmar where he's gearing up for another VISIONS summer, Kenny has followed in the footsteps of our founding Asia programs director—Wesley Hedden—as a Princeton in Asia scholar. Kenny is a lifelong learner and traveler. As a high school...

Celebrating 30 Years