A Beginner’s Guide to Teaching English in Cambodia

teaching english in cambodia

Southeast Asia is a popular destination not only for travelers, but also for people interested in teaching English abroad. Nestled between Thailand, Laos and Vietnam sits the culture-rich land of Cambodia. Teaching English in Cambodia is gaining popularity as more and more jobs enter the market, and its laid back lifestyle offers plenty for the teacher who wants to make a decent salary while living in paradise. 

If you are looking for a guide to everything Cambodia than you are in the right place! If you are like me, information is key to helping me make any decision including teaching abroad! 

Plus, taking time to learn about the country where you want to teach can give you the courage and knowledge to make your dreams of teaching abroad in Cambodia a success!

teaching english in cambodia

Climate

Cambodia is considered to have a tropical climate with two different seasons governed by monsoons. The rainy season occurs from mid-May to October and their drier season is typically November – March. The coolest month is January with average temperatures of 82-83 degrees Fahrenheit or 28 degrees Celsius. April tends to heat up with temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius. So it’s safe to say that you won’t be freezing in Cambodia, but due to their rainy season you will definitely need a raincoat of some kind! 

Language

The official language of Cambodia is Khmer. If you are interested in learning some basic words and phrases that can help you transition abroad, check out a language learning platform called Memrise. It is completely free and provides you access to learning a foreign language at your fingertips!

Simply create an account, choose the languages you want to learn, and begin learning how to communicate with others in Cambodia in a matter of minutes! You won’t be an expert by any means, but knowing how to say words like “car”, “school”, “food”, “hotel”, “bus”, and other basic key words for travel are definitely helpful.

Religion

Another component that is helpful to know about the country is their main religion. The faith practiced most in Cambodia is Buddhism.  Although this is the most common religion, it is good to know that Cambodia is religiously tolerant of other types of faith. 

With this in mind, one site that may be cool to add to your bucket list is the Angkor Wat. It is a beautiful religious monument that is known to attract over a million people per year. 


See how Cambodia compares to 59 other popular countries with our free Country Comparison Chart!

Compare salaries, cost of living, benefits, contract length and more for 60 of the most popular countries to teach English abroad.

Compare countries

teaching english in mexico

Regions of Cambodia

Cambodia is a beautiful country filled with many diverse landscapes that can be broken down into various regions. 

Phnom Penh

The capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh is a vibrant and bustling city in which many Cambodians work and live. The city is known for having authentic Khmer cuisine, along with other shops, and restaurants that could be fun to visit during your down time. 

Siem Reap:

Home to one of the most infamous and well-known sites of Cambodia, Siem Reap attracts many visitors for the chance of seeing the grand temple network called Angkor Wat. According to National Geographic, this historical jewel is said to be built in the twelfth century as a Hindu temple by King Suryavarman II for the religion’s “Lord Vishnu”. Later on the temple was converted to represent the nation’s current main religion, Buddhism. The temple includes beautiful stone carvings that tell amazing stories of significant faith such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Beyond Angkor Wat, you can try authentic Cambodian cuisine in Siem Reap  like kuthiew (traditional white noodle soup with your choice of pork or chicken). Yum!

South Coast:

The south coast of Cambodia is known for its beaches in places such as Sihanoukville, Takeo, or Kep. There are plenty of opportunities to try seafood local to their region and to get outside with activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, water sports, hiking, and more. Either way this area can give you the best of both worlds whether in the water or on land to help you get to know Cambodia even more than you did before. 

teaching english in cambodia

Northwestern:

This region of Cambodia is home to many beautiful historic temples such as Preah Vihear Province and Banteay Chhmar. Plus, how can we not mention that this region is home to floating villages! Yes…floating! How cool is that? You can take boat rides to view the floating villages all while enjoying the Sangker River. One of the biggest floating villages in Cambodia is located in Kompong Luong on the Tonle Sap lake. Not a bad thing to add to your bucketlist!

Eastern:

The eastern region of Cambodia is also very diverse with an array of wildlife ranging from dolphins in the sea at Kratie to elephants in the forest at Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri. This section of the nation also provides a culturally rich representation of ethnicities such as the Bunong people of Mondulkiri or the opportunity to view tribal cemeteries belonging to Ratanakiri. 

Why Cambodia is a great place to teach English abroad:

teaching english in cambodia

Beyond the stunning beauty that comes along with being in Southeast Asia, Cambodia will leave you with amazing memories for years to come. Teaching English abroad is a great opportunity for you to go out of your comfort zone (literally), experience a new culture, learn a new language, form new relationships, build your professional resume, become a global citizen, and to simply find a home away from home.=

Plus, you are sure to leave with a unique perspective on Cambodian culture. It is one thing to visit a country, but completely another to live, work, and interact with the people that represent the true essence of the place in which you are teaching abroad. Teaching in Cambodia gives you the chance to become a part of a global community that you can carry with you no matter where you go next! Also, you can look back and be proud of how much you have grown not only as a teacher abroad, but also as an individual!

Requirements for teaching English in Cambodia:

Teaching in Cambodia is not an impossible mission! In fact, it may be simpler than you think.

What you need is:

  • To be a fluent speaker of the English language
  • To have at least a High School Diploma
  • To have a TEFL Certificate (try our course with job placement
  • To have a genuine interest in living and teaching the English language in Cambodia

Salary

During your time teaching abroad in Cambodia, you can earn a monthly salary ranging anywhere from $700-$1000 USD. Plus, there’s ample opportunity to make extra cash by private tutoring or teaching English online

Teaching online allows you the flexibility you need all while earning some extra cash to support your bucket list (or pay off those student loans). Not to mention, depending on your company you can earn anywhere from $18-$24 USD per hour. Not too bad for a side hustle! 

Another way to make additional income is through private tutoring to members in the area which you will be teaching. This gives you the ability to set your own rates, interact with different age groups, as well as further immersing yourself in a new culture and create community.

teaching english in cambodia

Types of Teaching Jobs

There are many potential teaching sites where you can teach English in Cambodia. Here are some of the different types to help you become aware of what your new job may look like.

Private Language Institutes:

Private language institutes allow you the opportunity to teach English to students of all ages and beyond the normal school week. You’ll have the chance to design a more varied teaching experience with some classes being held during the evenings and weekends. Not to mention, private language institutes stay open throughout the year which means you can pick up more classes during your time abroad! For those of you looking for an experience outside of the traditional school work week, than this may be a wonderful teaching site for you.

Public and Private Schools:

Teaching in a public or private school can offer you the ability to teach children along with the time table of a traditional school week, Monday through Friday with holidays and school breaks off. Be sure to be flexible and open to public and private schools as they will not always have the highest salary when compared to other teaching sites.

Companies/Businesses:

Many companies and businesses can benefit from supporting their employees in learning English. This means companies often hire teachers to hold English language classes (focused on business English primarily). Your schedule would most likely correlate to the business hours of the business you are teaching. This can be a great opportunity for those of you who are wanting to teach English to adults and enjoy teaching English designed for business professionals in mind.


See how Cambodia compares to 59 other popular countries with our free Country Comparison Chart!

Compare countries

Compare salaries, cost of living, benefits, contract length and more for 60 of the most popular countries to teach English abroad.


Getting a visa/work permit to teach abroad

To teach English in Cambodia you will need a visa. Specifically, most people can stay and work here for a long period of time if they enter the country with an E-visa. This is inexpensive and will only cost $35 USD. 

For countries unable to obtain an E-visa when arriving to Cambodia, a tourist visa is the best option. In this case, you’ll have 60 days to find employment before having to leave. Once you obtain employment you can then begin the process of applying for an E-visa that will let you stay for one year.

Great apps to use for communication during your time abroad

Some tools you can use to communicate with friends and loved ones during your time abroad is through communications apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Email, Postcards, FaceTime, and other various communication methods.

So if Cambodia is still on your radar, then go for it! You are sure to make an impact through your time abroad while making memories you will never forget.

Happy travels!


Words by Melody Lipford.

7 Best Places for Teaching Abroad in Retirement

teach english abroad in retirement

Are you retired and looking to teach English abroad? If so, that’s amazing! Teaching English abroad is a great experience no matter when, what, or where, and it’s never too late. The over 50 crowd often asks the same question first, “Am I too old to teach abroad?” and the answer is always no!

The second question we hear is, “Will everyone else be young and spry?” And to this, the answer is that people of all ages and all walks of life choose to teach English abroad, so it’s likely you’ll meet lots of others around your age.

Lastly, many worry that some countries don’t accept teachers over a certain age, and it’s true. Namely, East Asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan make it rather difficult if not impossible to teach English in your retirement years, but the rest of the world is a lot less ageist. So to make it a bit easier, here is a list compiled of the best places for teaching abroad in retirement.

Teach English in Vietnam

best places for teaching abroad in retirement

For starters, one country that proves to be wonderful for those teaching abroad in retirement is Vietnam. The country hires English teachers all year ’round with a typical contract of 12 months, though it’s possible to find shorter contracts. Like some countries in Asia, Vietnam does have some age restrictions with retirement, but it’s possible to teach here in your retirement years.

Salary: $1,100- $1,700 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Vietnam — a nation diverse in history, adventure, and culture — is also in high demand for English teachers. Not only is it relatively easy to find a teaching job here, but it comes with the highest salaries in Southeast Asia, a low cost of living, a relaxed lifestyle and, culturally, both retirees and teachers are very well respected.

Teach English in Cambodia

best places for teaching abroad in retirement

Another country worth considering is Cambodia. Just south of Vietnam, the capital city of Phnom Penh, where most EFL jobs are found, is a tropical metropolitan with a very rich history. A few hours to the north lies the famed ancient temple city of Angkor Wat, and a couple hours to the south are some of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Cambodia hires teachers all year, with little restrictions for education, experience or age, making it a great place to be at any time!

Salary: $700-$1,000 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Like other countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is in high demand for English teachers. It’s relatively new to the scene in comparison to its wealthier neighbors (Thailand and Vietnam), so the industry isn’t as developed, making it perfect for the real adventurous among us. Not to mention, the cultural exploration and living history can provide you with memories to cherish long after your time abroad!

Teach English in the Czech Republic

reasons teach english in prague

Also on the list for best places to teach abroad in retirement: the Czech Republic, Europe. This country is filled with stunning medieval castles and other incredible architecture, with narrow cobbled streets and muted color against a beautiful countryside. The peak hiring seasons for EFL teachers are in September and January with a typical contract length ranging from 6-12 months. Plus, the Czech Republic doesn’t have age limit restrictions when it comes to working in retirement.

Salary: $700-1,000 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

The Czech Republic is an opportunity for you to teach abroad in Europe while also being able to cover living costs. With Prague being listed as one of the most affordable European cities, it’s no wonder so many foreign teachers call it home. Not to mention, European transit makes it possible for you to visit numerous countries during your time abroad without even buying another plane ticket. Not too shabby!

Teach English in Mexico

best places for teaching abroad in retirement

If you are in retirement and are looking to teach English abroad, then it is also a great idea to consider some countries in Latin America such as Mexico. Teaching English in Mexico will allow you to cover your costs of living with a monthly salary ranging from $500-$800 USD. It’s possible to find work all year ’round, and since Mexico is such a large, varied country, there’s really something to suit every desire. Plus, teaching in Mexico may be easier to maneuver considering it does not have age restrictions when it comes to teaching in retirement.

Salary: $500-$800 USD per month

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree & TEFL certification preferred.

Why should you go?

Mexico is in high demand for English teachers, and it’s one of the only countries in Latin America that provides working visas to EFL teachers. Plus, let’s not forget the beautiful landscapes, mesmerizing art from legends such as Frida Kahlo, delicious queso, and wonderful people you will meet if you choose to teach abroad here!

Teach English in Guatemala

best places teach abroad retirement

Another great option if you are interested in teaching in Latin America is Guatemala. While teaching English in Guatemala won’t make you rich, it will allow you to cover your cost of living. Jobs can be found year ’round with a typical contract length ranging from 6-12 months. Guatemala also does not have age restrictions when it comes to teaching in retirement.

Salary: $500-$600 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Besides the opportunity to see the infamous Antigua, hang around Lake Atitlan, or visit ancient Mayan Ruins, Guatemala is in high demand for English teachers. Guatemala has a rich culture, fascinating history, and is one of the cheapest places in the world to take Spanish classes, should you wish to learn the local language.

Teach English in Costa Rica

teach english in costa rica

Costa Rica’s pura vida/laidback lifestyle may just suit your fancy if teaching in retirement is the right choice for you. Beyond being a popular choice for many choosing to travel to Central America, this country will allow you to teach English abroad while also covering your living costs. Hiring is all year and typical contract length range rom 6-12 months. Again, there are no age restrictions.

Salary: $700-$900 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Costa Rica is sure to impress with it’s numerous adventure opportunities from stunning beaches, swoon-worthy volcano peaks, mesmerizing jungles, and vibrant tropical rainforests! Plus, who can say no to some of the best coffee in the world?

Teach English in Peru

best places to visit peru

Aside from beautiful landscapes and historical landmarks, Peru provides many people in retirement a promising chance of teaching English as a foreign language. Typical contract lengths for teaching English in Peru range from 3, 6 and 12 months and there are no age restrictions.

Salary: $500-$1,000 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

If llamas and magic speak to you, Peru is a wonderful place to consider. Famous for its Incan citadel, Machu Picchu, but also home to the Andes mountains, wonderful sand hills, the Sacred Valley (where magic is believed to be found), and a world-class cuisine, there’s pretty much nothing not to love about Peru.

Overall, any of these countries would make for a wonderful experience if you are interested in teaching abroad in retirement. No matter what continent, country, or place you choose to teach in, you can make a positive impact during your time abroad. Not to mention, you are sure to make great memories, change a student’s life through the knowledge of learning a foreign language, all while immersing yourself in a foreign culture and land.


Words by Melody Lipford.

How to Find a Job Teaching English in Cambodia

teaching english in cambodia

From the various awe-inspiring ruins of Angkor Wat just outside Siem Reap to the hustle and bustle of the capital city, Phnom Penh, Cambodia has much to offer aspiring EFL teachers. If you’re wondering how to find a job teaching English in Cambodia, you’ll be delighted to know that obtaining English teaching jobs here is not as challenging as some of its Asian counterparts.

Cambodia is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and English teaching jobs are on the rise along with it. It’s the perfect destination for any aspiring English teacher who wants to pioneer a special type of experience; one where you can be a backbone of an expat community and a role model figure in a country that will surely see its EFL teacher population begin to grow rapidly in the coming years. 

Continue reading

The 7 Best Countries for Teaching English in Asia

teaching english in cambodia

Once your adventurous spirit draws your attention to Asia, there are many countries you could teach in. Whether you’re attracted to the beaches of Thailand or the rich history of China, your new home is waiting for you across the world. As you look into a TEFL certification course and plan your departure from home, check out the top five countries for teaching English in Asia. Continue reading