Cambodia

Peace-Building & Conservation

A 4-week Summer Abroad Program

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Duration
31 Days
Description

Examine issues of human rights and international development: engage in the optimism of Cambodian youth, unpack the legacy of the Khmer Rouge and gain insight into Theravada Buddhism firsthand.

Dates

Jun 28 - Jul 28, 2021


Suggested Ages

16-18

Number of Participants

12


Availability

Open

Begins In

51 Weeks

Land Cost

$7,390


Estimated Flight Cost

$2,155

Siem Reap

Battambang

Phnom Penh

Kep

Program Overview

KNOWN FOR THE INCOMPARABLE RUINS OF ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA IS A COUNTRY THAT EVOKES IMAGES OF OVERGROWN JUNGLE TEMPLES, BRIGHT ORANGE ROBED MONKS, AND LUSH RICE FIELDS.


Our course begins in the overgrown temples of Angkor civilization which hold the secrets to the ecological and architectural wonders of a culture that ruled much of Southeast Asia for nearly a thousand years. Here we explore the storied ruins to discover the traditions that have endured throughout the centuries of changing power.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • Catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat before cycling around the temple complex with a guide contemplating ancient Angkorian history.
  • Speak with local and international NGO representatives in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to learn about contemporary issues ranging from: land rights abuses, women’s rights issues, the garment industry, access to education, WASH initiatives, LGBTQIA+ movement, harmful voluntourism, mega-dam developments and more.
  • Be welcomed into a lively rural homestay community and…

Our course begins in the overgrown temples of Angkor civilization which hold the secrets to the ecological and architectural wonders of a culture that ruled much of Southeast Asia for nearly a thousand years. Here we explore the storied ruins to discover the traditions that have endured throughout the centuries of changing power.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • Catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat before cycling around the temple complex with a guide contemplating ancient Angkorian history.
  • Speak with local and international NGO representatives in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to learn about contemporary issues ranging from: land rights abuses, women’s rights issues, the garment industry, access to education, WASH initiatives, LGBTQIA+ movement, harmful voluntourism, mega-dam developments and more.
  • Be welcomed into a lively rural homestay community and spend a week immersing yourself in the daily life and rhythm of your host family
  • Swim in the Andaman Sea while unpacking the grim realities of marine conservation in Southeast Asia.
  • Sit with a panel of monks in Battambang to understand the realities of Theravada Buddhism and learn simple insight meditation techniques to bring you to the present moment.

Continuing past the floating villages of Lake Tonle Sap, we gain insight into the effects of upriver dams on the ecology of Cambodia’s largest body of freshwater and discuss environmental issues that are critical to Cambodia’s food security. Our course continues on to the sleepy city of Battambang where we meet with dedicated NGO representatives working on education, child rights, and anti-orphanage tourism initiatives.

In Phnom Penh, we confront the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge genocide, build empathy with the Cambodian people, and gain context around Cambodia’s present day political landscape. We meet with activists and artists who call one of Asia’s hippest emerging cities home.

Finally we make our way to the coastal village of Kampot, where we engage in a community-run mangrove restoration project and celebrate the final days of our course reflecting with group members near the sea.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Program Components

4/5
Comparative Religion

Gain insight into the tenets of Theravada Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation. Visit temples, speak with monks, cultivate personal daily practice.

5/5
Development Studies

Learn about local human rights issues, political representation, international aid, sustainable development, foreign investment and local initiatives.

5/5
Focus Of Inquiry

Examine history, politics and peace and conflict studies in a country undergoing extreme transformation. Analyze orphanage tourism, human trafficking, ecological preservation, and political agency.

3/5
Homestay

Live with local Khmer families in a rural village in the northeast of the country. Experience what authentic Cambodia culture is really like.

2/5
Independent Study Project (ISP)

Conduct your own mentored study project in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Battambang. Projects often revolve around photojournalism, comparative analyses, personal experience and interviews.

2/5
Language Study

Study Khmer through classes and active language immersion with locals and instructors.

3/5
Learning Service

Examine service through a critical lens. Embrace community-led service projects in your homestay. Work with Cham muslim families on a mangrove restoration project near the coast.

4/5
Rugged Travel

Travel through Cambodia by bus, boat and tuk-tuk. Expect bumpy roads, unreliable a/c and simple living.

2/5
Trekking

Expect day hikes through national parks and conservation areas on moderately challenging paths in the jungle in search of freshwater waterfalls and scenic views.