Angkor Wat may be the symbol of Cambodia, but this kingdom in Southeast Asia is so much more than ancient temples. As you delve into the layers of Cambodia’s past, you’ll learn how Buddhism, French colonialism, and the Khmer Rouge regime have all played a part in shaping its landscape and its people.
Today, the country is nurturing a growing tourism economy, and learning English is a necessity for many of its residents. Whether you’re an experienced ESL teacher looking for a challenge, or you want to get your TEFL certificate and work in a new environment, teaching English in Cambodia is a great way to explore a small country with a big ❤️.
FAQs on teaching English in Cambodia
The idea of moving abroad to work can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to teaching. If the very thought of relocating to Cambodia brings up a ton of questions, you’re in the right place! We’ve got the inside scoop on everything you need to know to decide which—if any—teach English in Cambodia jobs are right for you.
Why teach English in Cambodia?
The better question, perhaps, is why not? If you’ve already decided that you want to teach English and need the perfect destination, Cambodia checks all the boxes:
Location. Situated in Southeast Asia, it’s easy to explore the region during Cambodia’s plentiful school breaks and holidays. Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand are only a short (and affordable) plane ride away, which gives you tons of options for when you need a break from lesson planning.
Cost of Living. It’s fairly easy to live comfortably in Cambodia on a small salary, and the cost of living is lower than other countries in the region. While you’ll still need to budget if you want to travel or eat out every night, most teachers are able to enjoy life and splurge a little, too.
Job Availability. Tourism is becoming a big part of the Cambodian economy, and with that comes a lot of people who want to learn English. From language schools to primary schools, ESL teachers are needed everywhere. Additionally, the requirements to teach English in Cambodia aren’t very strict and obtaining a visa isn’t difficult for most travelers.
How much can I expect my teaching English in Cambodia salary to be?
Teaching salaries are always relative to the cost of living, and this is something to keep in mind when thinking about a Cambodia teacher salary. While most teachers won’t be making the big bucks, it’s possible to maintain a comfortable lifestyle on a lot less than you may be used to.
Most English teachers are either paid hourly or monthly. Average hourly rates range from $10 to $12 while monthly salaries range from $900 to $1,300. Experienced teachers who work at international or private schools can occasionally earn even more, but don’t expect to arrive and immediately be rolling in riel.
While some positions include room and board, it’s more common for teachers to arrange housing on their own. Rent prices can vary widely, from $100 a month for a room in a shared house to $600 or more for a luxury apartment. Most teachers travel around town on foot, by bicycle, or tuktuk and usually live fairly close to their place of employment.
In the end, what might sound like a small income can go a long way in Cambodia, and most expats find a teaching English in Cambodia salary allows them to live comfortably and put some money aside for traveling, too.
Can you teach English in Cambodia without a degree?
Yes! While it’s not required for teachers to have obtained a degree in order to teach English in Cambodia, jobs are easier to come by for those who have earned degrees. In some cases, your education can earn you a higher salary. Additionally, some schools are looking for teachers who can teach multiple subjects, so that biology degree or music minor just might come in handy!
What are the teaching English in Cambodia requirements?
Cambodia is a great country for all sorts of ESL teachers, from beginner to experienced. There are no specific requirements for teaching English here, but there are some things you can do to give you a leg up on the competition.
Most schools prefer to hire teachers who have obtained a TEFL certificate. This can be earned in person or online, and the number of hours you spend training will vary depending on the specific type of certificate. If you don’t already have an ESL certificate, be sure to check out GoAbroad’s Ultimate Guide to TEFL Certification. Getting certified to teach English will not only better prepare you for your time in the classroom, it’ll also show potential employers you’re serious about the job.
Ultimately, your employer wants a teacher who is committed to his or her students and works hard to ensure they are learning. Think about how to convey your strengths and experiences to your potential employer during an interview. Having prior teaching experience is a big bonus, but if you’re motivated to learn and willing to work hard, you can still succeed.
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What are the types of ESL jobs in Cambodia?
When looking for ESL jobs, Cambodia offers opportunities to teach students of all ages and abilities. Many Cambodians are interested in learning English, from primary school children to street vendors in tourist-heavy areas. Whether you enjoy teaching verb conjugations to young minds or practicing conversation with adult learners, there’s a school in Cambodia that’s a perfect fit.
Most teaching jobs in Cambodia for expats are found in private schools, as public institutions generally employ native Cambodians. There are two types of private schools: international schools and private language schools. International schools generally teach students all day and every subject is taught in English. These schools generally prefer hiring experienced teachers and those who can teach more than one subject.
Private language schools cater to a variety of students, from high school students wanting extra English practice to adult students who want to learn English for business reasons. Classes often take place in the evening as well as during the day and can include a variety of learners at all levels.
It’s also possible to teach English as a volunteer in Cambodia. While you won’t receive payment for your time, volunteering can offer you more flexibility in the duration you teach as well as the location. Volunteers are needed for varying lengths of time, from two weeks to a year, and can be placed not only in schools but also orphanages, after-school programs, and community centers. Most often you don’t need quite as much experience to teach English as a volunteer, but your time and effort does make a difference.
Where can I find ESL jobs in Cambodia?
Teaching jobs in Cambodia for expats aren’t especially difficult to find, but that doesn’t mean they’re all fantastic opportunities. It’s important to be selective and thoughtful when looking for a teaching position; this will help ensure you end up in a good working environment with a fair salary.
One way to find ESL jobs in Cambodia is to look for openings before you arrive. A few simple google searches will likely lead you to direct postings on ESL and expat teacher websites as well as placement agencies, where a provider will help you find a position and assist in negotiating pay and benefits. Both of these methods can yield good results, but it’s really important to vet the organization and the employer before accepting an offer.
If you’re already on the ground in Cambodia, or have sufficient savings to spend a month or two living there without a paycheck, you can also look for ESL jobs when you arrive. Many teaching positions aren’t posted, so visiting schools you’d like to teach at and inquiring about positions is a great way to look at options. This will also give you a firsthand look at the school and its working conditions before committing to a contract.
What are the best cities for teaching English in Cambodia?
Living in Cambodia as an expat is easier than you might think. The cost of living is fairly low, the pace of life is relaxed, and a tight-knit expat community is there for when you feel homesick. While there are teaching positions available all over the country, they’re mainly concentrated in Cambodia’s larger cities and tourist centers.
Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s largest city and also where the majority of teaching jobs are located. With over two million inhabitants, the country’s capital is filled with the sound of motorbikes, street vendors, and near-constant festivals. Whether you spend your free time hunting down the best bowl of Ka tieu (rice noodle soup) or admiring the traditional Khmer and colonial French architecture, there is always a new facet of Cambodian life to discover in the capital.
In the north of Cambodia lies Siem Reap, a tourist hotspot and home to the country’s famous Angkor Wat temples. While not as large as Phnom Penh, the city is filled with restaurants, markets, and museums, ensuring you’ll never be bored once you’re done grading assignments. On the weekend, explore the region’s many temples or check out Kompong Khleang, a nearby floating village.
For the more adventurous teacher, positions can be found all around Cambodia, even in remote rural areas. While these locations may not offer all of the comforts of home, it’s a great way to gain insight into the Khmer culture and language.
The best jobs and programs for teaching English in Cambodia
You don’t need to be an experienced ESL teacher in order to teach in Cambodia, but having a TEFL certificate and some classroom practice can go a long way in making you successful in the classroom. A lot of programs offer teacher training before placing you in a school, so you know your stuff before you’re standing in front of a dozen excitable ten-year-olds.
If you already have an ESL certificate or other teaching experience, you can still find programs that will help you obtain a position in Cambodia, or you can apply to schools directly. Here are a few programs to help you get started:
Earn your TEFL certification and get classroom-based practice while spending ten weeks in Phnom Penh with Premier TEFL. All housing and meals are included in the program cost, as well as a small stipend. For those who are interested in continuing to teach in Cambodia after the program, the organization can help you find a teaching position to continue using your newly-acquired skills.
This program allows you to obtain a TEFL certification in just four weeks, setting you up for a successful teaching career in Cambodia or elsewhere. Small class sizes and an intense schedule guarantee you’ll get a lot of practice, and once you’re certified, you’ll receive help finding a full-time ESL teaching position as well.
Experienced teachers can find a teaching position in Cambodia with the help of Teaching Nomad, a placement agency focused on connecting teachers and schools all over Asia. The agency provides assistance finding the right placement and takes you through every step of the process so you can focus on teaching, not paperwork.
Whether you’re looking for ESL training or want to volunteer in rural or underserved communities, LanguageCorps offers training as well as placement in schools around Cambodia. All of their programs offer optional excursions to sites around the country, and in some cases you can receive academic credit for completing TEFL training.
Now’s your chance to find ESL jobs in Cambodia!
If you’ve made it through this article, chances are your interest has been piqued. Maybe you’ve already googled how much a ticket to Phnom Penh costs, and we don’t blame you! When looking for ESL jobs, Cambodia is a great location for teachers of all experience levels. Not only will you be able to teach eager young minds the intricacies of phrasal verbs, but you’ll also get a glimpse into this complex country’s challenges and achievements. The time to start brushing up on your conversational Khmer is now!