June 23 to July 12, 2017
Los Angeles, California
The service work will then begin with visits to non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of impoverished women and vulnerable children. After these experiences, students will get their first exposure to rural Cambodian life as they travel by minibus to the town of Kratie in order to connect with our primary non-profit partner, the Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT). After spending a day exploring Kratie and learning more about the work and mission of CRDT, the group will travel to the village of Koh Dambang, where they will live with villagers in traditional homes for over a week. While in Koh Dambang, the group will experience firsthand how CRDT supports local projects aimed at improving the living standards of poor rural communities with a particular focus on sustainable environmental practices.
SStS students will spend a majority of their time in Koh Dambang constructing a model farm intended to teach villagers how to increase food security by developing production systems that are resilient to climate change. Additionally, they will be immersed in the daily routines of this rural village. Evenings will be spent listening to stories told by village elders and participating in cultural presentations and ceremonies. In order to get a feel for the adjacent countryside, the group will travel by boat to swim in the storied Mekong River and, ideally, catch a glimpse of endangered freshwater dolphins. Upon completion of the project, the group will take the scenic route down the Mekong to Kratie. From there, they will travel to Siem Reap in order to spend a few days reflecting on what they have learned about global citizenship and touring Angkor Wat, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is the largest Hindu temple in the world.
While in the village of Koh Dambang, the students will spend much of their time doing construction work on a model farm. They will also visit other non-profits in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in order learn more about development work in Cambodia.
Prior to their travels, students complete a series of online activities (30 minutes each). While traveling, they also read engaging articles, participate in cultural experiences, and create presentations in small groups.
Because the project occurs in a small village, the students will primarily walk to any sites in Koh Dambang. While touring Angkor Wat, they will also spend a couple days exploring numerous temples on foot.
While at the rural project site, the students will live, in pairs, with Cambodian families in traditional homes. While in Phnom Penh, Kratie, and Siem Reap, they will stay in simple hotels.
After a few days in Phnom Penh, the group will drive several hours to Kratie. The next day, they will travel by mini-bus and boat to Koh Preah. After completing the project, a day is spent driving to Siem Reap to explore Angkor Wat. There is another bus trip back to Phnom Penh at the end of the course.
Students have the unique opportunity to spend over a week living, in pairs, as the guests of Cambodian families in the island village of Koh Dambang.
For a majority of the days, the group will be in the remote rural village of Koh Dambang. However, time is also spent in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, as well as the smaller cities of Kratie and Siem Reap.
During the travel phase of each SStS course, students spend time reflecting about the learning that occurs through their immersion and service experiences. These posts capture the impact of our programs on individual students. Explore the posts below to learn about the SStS Cambodia program from the important viewpoint of our students.