What happens when I arrive?
We will arrange for a tuk-tuk to pick you up and transport you to your accommodation just let our Volunteer Manager your arrival details (e.g. flight number and arrival time or bus company and arrival time).
On your first day to Feeding Dreams Cambodia, you will be collected by one of our tuk-tuk drivers from your Hotel early morning (about 7.30am) or afternoon (about 1.30pm) and transported to our school. Upon arrival, you will be given an orientation tour of the center. Before your volunteering begins, you will be given an induction which will explain your role during your time with us. At this time we also request you sign an acknowledgment that you have read and understand our Child Protection Policy and Volunteer Code of Conduct.
You are now ready to begin your volunteering experience at Feeding Dreams Cambodia. On-ground support and contacts are available in and out of work hours.
Also, if you are a first-timer to Siem Reap, you will be taken on a complimentary orientation tour of Siem Reap Town by one of our tuk-tuk drivers. Your guide will also give you advice and tips which will make your stay more enjoyable.
What sort of qualifications or qualities should I have to volunteer?
No formal qualifications are required to volunteer for our programs, except for the First Aid and Medical Assistance program. If you do possess certain skills or specific abilities, these could be of benefit to our work. Please tell us about your specific skillset when submitting your application.
Desirable qualities for volunteering include characteristics such as kind-heartedness, sincerity, empathy, respect, diligence and patience. An ability to be flexible is important. At Feeding Dreams the daily routine can be altered or interrupted by priority situations, and to have the ability to adapt in changing circumstances is fundamental to your experience.
Upon completion of your volunteer experience, you will be presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for your kind donation, support and participation in Feeding Dreams volunteering program.
What about VISA’s for Cambodia?
To obtain your Tourist VISA prior to arrival via the official e-VISA website click here.
Otherwise you can purchase on upon arrival to either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh International Airport. You will be required to present:
- – A completed visa application form (provided at the Airport)
- – A Passport with at least 6 months validity
- – One recent photograph (4×6 cm)
- – Tourist visa fee (US$30)
This visa is valid for one month and can be easily extended through a travel agent once you are here for one further month.
If you intend to stay for more than 2 months, you need a Business VISA. This may also be purchased for US$35 at International Airports, and if you need assistance with this please ask our Volunteer Manager for advice.
Can I enter Cambodia overland from Thailand or Vietnam and still get a visa?
Yes, but only a Tourist visa can be issued upon arrival at the border checkpoints into Cambodia.
What about my accommodation in Siem Reap?
FDC has a close relationship with a couple of good standard hotels which are close to town, markets and all facilities and offer Feeding Dreams volunteers a special accommodation rate.
When you have confirmed your volunteering commitment, our Volunteer Manager can provide you with accommodation options, details and rates for your consideration.
Feeding Dreams is happy to make your accommodation bookings at no cost to you.
If you prefer alternate accommodation, we are also happy to book and confirm this for you.
What about money matters?
The currency used in Cambodia is US dollars. The local currency is Riel, which you will usually receive as change to the nearest US dollar. It’s better to bring smaller denominations of US dollars as most items and services here in Cambodia are very minimal in cost.
There are many Money Exchange Offices in Siem Reap, and ATM’s everywhere in town that dispense US$. Note that very few businesses here will accept payment by credit card.
What should I bring with me?
Don’t overload your bag with clothing – the shopping is terrific here and all part of the fun. Pack minimal and shop locally and support the Cambodian people.
Toiletries such as toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo / conditioner are readily available and very cheap in Cambodia. Most types of medication are available over the counter without scripts. Items such as paracetamol, Strepsils, Hydralyte, even Beroccas are easily and cheaply purchased from local pharmacies.
Alcohol is particularly cheap in Cambodia, so don’t bother buying any duty free on your way. For example a 1 litre bottle of Absolute Vodka costs US$10 – $12 at a local outlet.
A camera is a must – Cambodia is a panorama of images.
If you are bringing a lap top or phone device, a power adapter to recharge (the two prong version is used in Cambodia) will be necessary but you can purchase one here.
What sort of clothing should I pack and how should I dress in Cambodia?
Bring comfortable cool and casual clothing to wear. It is important to remember and respect that you are coming to a country where women dress discreetly and are generally well covered. It is acceptable to dress in sleeveless tops (as it is VERY warm and humid) however plunging necklines or bare midriffs are not appropriate. And no short shorts or short skirts while teaching please. Similarly for men, t-shirts or short sleeved shirts are most appropriate.
What can I bring in the way of donations?
Items such as books, pens and crayons are very cheap and readily available in Siem Reap. However, imported educational resources such as blocks and felt pens, are very expensive. Feeding Dreams would greatly appreciate any donations in kind for our very poor students and their families.
Click here to discover our most useful donation items on our current Wishlist.
Getting around in Siem Reap?
Feeding Dream’s tuk-tuks are available to transport you to and from school from your accommodation. Your first days’ transport to school is free, but following days will cost US$2.50 each way or US$5.00 return. A tuk-tuk which will carry up to 4 people and you can often share this cost with other volunteers.
Some volunteers choose to purchase a bicycle (around US$45) to use during their visit, which can later be donated to a child in need at departure. Bike helmets are readily available in Cambodia at a cost of around US$10. Our staff will help organize the purchase of your bicycle, and you can be peddling away in no time and you will soon become comfortable and familiar in Siem Reap’s diverse traffic. It might look chaotic but it all works!
Another form of transport is a public moto (motorbike). Public motos which carry 1 person cost around US$1.50 each way from our recommended hotels to Feeding Dreams.
Getting around the Siem Reap township, walking is possible or you can use a local tuk-tuk for a couple of dollars.Siem Reap town sits poised at the doorway of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor Archaeological Park featuring the majestic Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Should you wish to explore and experience all that Siem Reap has to offer, our Volunteer Manager can help you with information and transport options.
What vaccinations do I need?
Please seek guidance from your local Doctor on the vaccinations required for Cambodia or follow your country’s Government Travel and Health Advisory Service.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
Feeding Dreams strongly recommends you purchase Travel Insurance. It’s sensible when travelling to be protected against belongings being lost or stolen, changes of travel itinerary and medically related incidents.
Cambodia is a developing country and quality health care is limited. If a serious illness or accident occurs, Siem Reap has its own International hospital but air evacuation to a neighbouring equipped hospital may be required.
Feeding Dreams Cambodia is not liable for any loss, damage, health issues or injuries you may incur during your volunteer period.
What about internet access and mobile phones?
Free Wifi is everywhere in Cambodia so if you wish to bring your laptop you’ll be easily able to access the internet in restaurants, cafe’s or bars.
There are also many Internet Cafe’s where you can use a computer at a very low cost. Long distance phone calls can also be made from these internet centres for reasonable rates.
It is possible to buy a local phone SIM card for around US$5 and buy credit to make calls on your phone.
What can I expect from visiting Cambodia?
Cambodia is a developing third-world country, still rebuilding itself from years of genocide and atrocity. The people of Cambodia are incredibly resilient and welcoming. Despite their daily struggles and level of poverty, they smile widely and often.
It is however very important to respect the way of life here. Not everything happens quickly and efficiently and sometimes the response in this environment needs some patience, understanding and a positive attitude.
What is the climate like in Cambodia?
It’s relatively warm all year round. April and May are usually the hottest and the most humid. The most popular time to visit is in November through to February when it is cool and dry but keep in mind it can be busy for sightseeing, restaurants etc.
The wet season is traditionally from about mid -May through to October and although there are frequent afternoon downpours, it can be a delightful time to visit and lesser crowds. The regular thunderstorms and showers cool things down and it becomes less dusty, clearer and greener.
What about the language barriers in Cambodia?
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer. Phrasebooks and dictionaries can be purchased from book stores but simple greetings and responses can all be easily learnt with practice and repetition and despite how you pronounce the words, your attempts to speak Khmer will be richly rewarded – they will love you for trying!
Our Khmer staff members at Feeding Dreams are always available if you need anything translated in detail. Most speak very good English and always value the chance to have a chat.
If you have any further questions or would like to know something specific, please feel welcome to Contact Us – We are always here to help.