If you crave adventure and a lifestyle that’s out of the ordinary, Phnom Penh, Cambodia is the perfect location to launch your ‘teach English abroad’ journey. The transformation of Cambodia over the past three decades from a country characterised by occupation and trouble, to a Southeast Asian powerhouse, is phenomenal. There’s an insatiable demand for English language skills in Cambodia - and a chronic shortage of TEFL qualified people to teach English. What does this mean for people just like you? Simple! It means opportunities galore.
Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia and the nation’s international gateway. With a population of around 2.5 million people and a relatively confined central business district, it has a noticeably slower pace of life than you’ll find in the capital cities of neighbouring countries like Vietnam and Thailand.
From 1863 through to 1949, Cambodia was a French Protectorate. The French influence on Cambodia, especially on Phnom Penh, remains noticeable today. In Phnom Penh there are stunning old colonial buildings dotted around the central business district and elsewhere across the country. Many of these old French buildings are in a state of decay, but there’s a good number that have been restored to their former glory. The Central Post Office in Phnom Penh is brilliant example of French colonial architecture that has been given a new lease on life.
There’s plenty to see and do in Phnom Penh and with cheap TUK TUKs on every street corner (about US$1 per kilometre) getting around is a breeze. As confronting as it is, no visit to Phnom Penh would be complete without taking in what the infamous Khmer Rouge left behind in the late 1970s. If you’re keen to travel a bit further, Angkor Wat, Kep and Koh Rong Island are all highly recommended.
The Riverside precinct in Phnom Penh is the epicentre of nightlife and entertainment. You’ll find small, family-owned restaurants, street food vendors, western fast-food outlets, more bars than you’ll have time to visit, wall-to-wall coffee shops, pop-up shops of all sorts and street markets. Taking a walk along the Tonle Sap Boardwalk in Phnom Penh, which abuts the Riverside entertainment area, is a popular activity for both local people and expats – and it’s free!
For those folks who find they’re missing some of the comforts of home, there are western style malls within a kilometre or two of the central business district in Phnom Penh. Pretty much everything you’d find in a large mall in your home country, you’ll find in a mall in Phnom Penh – movie cinemas, bowling alleys, video games, popular brands, supermarkets and the like.Register now & get certified to teach english abroad!
Our TEFL training facilities in Phnom Penh are located within easy walking distance of the downtown area. The TEFL school has three campuses and 1300+ students - young learners through to adults - in Phnom Penh. Over the years, they have employed a sizable number of their TESOL graduates.
The opportunity to complete your TEFL training in an actual school environment from day one is a distinguishing factor between what is offered in Phnom Penh and what’s available elsewhere. You’ll be surrounded by Cambodian students of all ages, local teachers and experienced foreign, EFL teachers, all going about their business. It gives you a crystal-clear picture of what life will be like once you starting working a professional EFL teacher.
Your TEFL trainer in Phnom Penh is a seasoned, professional educator who holds specialist, vocational training qualifications. He’s ably supported by a Location Manager, who speaks fluent Khmer and English. Among other responsibilities, our Location Manager in Phnom Penh is directly involved with job support immediately after you’ve completed the course requirements.
Accommodation costs in Phnom Penh start at US$8 to US$9 per night in a four to eight-bed shared room. Alternatively we suggest a nearby hotel located within easy walking distance of restaurants, pubs, pharmacies, banks, laundry services, the Central Market, medical facilities – and most importantly, the TEFL training centre where your course will take place.
Each TEFL trainee is allocated their own room with an ensuite bathroom at the Best Central Point Hotel. The fixtures and fittings in each room are what you’d expect to find in a basic hotel in a developing country – a double bed, desk, chair, small fridge, television, air conditioner, place to hang your clothes and the like.
- 15 October 2023 - 9 November
- 12 November 2023 - 7 December
- 10 December 2023 - 4 January
The total price is divided into: deposit and balance.
The deposit may be paid via a) credit card b) Paypal c) wire transfer d) Western Union.
The balance of the course fee must be paid by cash, PayPal or bank transfer directly to the training center on the first day of the course.
The accommodation fees are not part of the course price and you are free to choose whichever accommodation option you prefer.
If you choose to use our accommodation, it should be paid for either by cash, PayPal or bank transfer directly to the school at the start of the course.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a background (police) check?Expand
- If you’re an American citizen – it’s best to obtain a background check from the FBI:
- If you’re a citizen of the United Kingdom – the basic background check is what you need to obtain:
- If you’re an Australian citizen – you need a background check from the Australian Federal Police:
- If you’re a South African citizen – you need a Police Clearance Certificate issued by the South African Police Service:
- If you’re Canadian citizen – you need a background check from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/criminal-record-and-vulnerable-sector-checks
- Citizens of countries not listed above should check with the Department of Justice in their capital city.
- If you’re an American citizen – it’s best to obtain a background check from the FBI:
Where will I meet your representative at the airport?Expand
Airport collection is an optional extra (US $30.00).
If you have booked airport collection from the International Terminal in Phnom Penh, when you exit the airport building, look for the Park Cafe on the right-hand-side. You will see our representative standing in front of the ‘Park Cafe’ holding a sign with your name on it. If you have any issues at the airport or if you get lost, please call our duty officer on cell-phone number: +855 16242202 (international), 016242202 (local).
How will I be assessed?Expand
This is an intensive, government-regulated TESOL programme that involves a time commitment of approximately 150 hours over a 4-week period. It deliberately involves a lot of work - and comes with high expectations. You will be assessed from the first day of the TESOL course – punctuality, attitude and input are really important in the teaching profession. In weeks one and two, the emphasis is on ‘theory’. Most of the practical teaching component will take place in weeks three and four. There is no formal examination as such.
You’re required to upload completed assessment tasks to a Learning Platform, which is relatively easy to use. The Learning Platform will allow you to repeat an assessment task up to three times without penalty. Allowing more than three attempts is at the discretion of our local partners - and may result in a reassessment fee. The best way to avoid having to repeat an assessment task and potentially incur a reassessment fee, is to: 1. carefully read and follow the instructions for each task, 2. don't cut corners, and 3. conduct a 'self-audit' process before you hit the submit tab.
With our TESOL course in Phnom Penh, each task will be assessed as 'competent' or 'not yet competent'. You must achieve a 'competent' grade in all Modules to be eligible for government-regulated TESOL certification.
What does hands-on’ job help mean?Expand
As soon as you have submitted the assessment tasks associated with the course (due in week 4), our partners in Phnom Penh will help you put together a quality CV and then start the process of referring you to schools in our extensive network. Moreover, the team on the ground are always happy to offer ‘mock’ interviews, advice on employment agreements and background information on prospective employers.
You can be assured that there are many more English teaching positions available in Cambodia than there are qualified people to fill the positions. Most graduates of the TESOL programme in Phnom Penh start a paid teaching job within 7 days of completing the course.
What’s the street address of the training centre?Expand
Should I be concerned about my personal safety?Expand
These days Phnom Penh is no more dangerous than New York, London, Sydney and most other large cities. Having said this, it pays to be vigilant especially when carrying a bag or using a cellphone in a public place. Placing your wallet in your back pocket is another ‘no, no’.
I've heard horror stories about the traffic congestion. What can you tell me?Expand
There’s no doubt about it, the traffic in Phnom Penh is chaotic. Believe it or not, you do get used to it. They key is to allow plenty of time to get from point A to Point B.
How can I keep in touch with home?Expand
Our partners will help you to buy a new SIM card so you can easily make local and international phone calls. The internet is cheap and readily available in Southeast Asia, so options like Skype and Zoom are viable.
What’s the weather like in Hanoi?Expand
Phnom Penh is hot and humid 12 months of the year. The ‘wet season’ in Phnom Penh is characterised by short bursts of heavy rain. Flooding in Phnom Penh is commonplace.
How soon after the course will I receive my certificate?Expand
Certificates typically arrive at the location where you did your training within a matter of days after you have successfully completed all of the assessment tasks and related documentation. Why can’t I get my certificate immediately? The independent assessment process (and the issuing of certificates) takes place outside of Cambodia. This external process is central to your certificate having international recognition. You will be notified by email when your certificate is available for collection.
What happens if I choose to move before my certificate is available for collection at my training centre?Expand
There isn’t a postage fee built into the cost of the TESOL package. Why? Conservatively, 90% of certificates are collected at the training location. It would be unfair to bill all customers for a service that the vast majority will not use.
If a student wants their certificate posted somewhere, we can certainly do that for the cost of the postage after receiving a written request. The postal fee is set by the local Post Office, with no mark up from our local partners.
How many hours of teaching practice will I have during the course?Expand
Our TESOL course includes a minimum of 14 hours practical teaching experience with ‘actual’ ESL students. The first 6 hours are all about observing and getting a feel for what it is like working as an ESL teacher. We pair you with an experienced teacher and you participate in his or her classes. Once you have finished the 6 hours of class observation, you then move on to complete a minimum of 8 hours of critical assessed teaching practice – with ‘actual’ students involved in ongoing classes.
How long will I have access to the Student Learning Portal?Expand
TESOL students have access to the portal from when they start the TESOL course in Phnom Penh to when they finish the course. The content on the portal is intellectual property that’s protected by Copyright. We’re required by our insurers to have strategies in place to protect our intellectual property and limiting access to current students (only) is one of a number of ways that we seek to meet our obligations
Do I need to bring a laptop with me?Expand
You will definitely need a laptop during the TESOL course. If you don’t own a laptop, it might be possible to hire one from our local partners for your personal use
How many students are there in each TESOL course group?Expand
On average there are 12 students in each TESOL course in Phnom Penh. Students who enrol in our TESOL programme come from all corners of the world with around 30% being non-native English speakers.
Do I need travel Insurance?Expand
Travel insurance – with decent medical coverage – is always a smart move.
What are my accommodation options?Expand
You will have received a separate PDF document that identifies accommodation options in Phnom Penh for your consideration. There is no obligation to choose one of the suggested options. We encourage all TESOL students to research on the internet - Agoda, Airbnb and similar - for the best possible deal located within reasonable travel distance of the training location.
What’s the dress code for the course?Expand
You must wear professional and culturally appropriate attire when observing or teaching English language classes in Cambodia. Here is a general guide:
For males, professional attire includes, but isn’t limited to: suit type pants, a belt, a business shirt with a collar, lace up black or brown shoes and socks. While most schools require male teachers to wear a tie, this isn’t the case during your TESOL programme.
For females, professional attire includes, but isn’t limited to: slacks, a belt, a business type shirt, sensible shoes for standing on your feet for an extended period, a dress of appropriate length - keep in mind your teaching work may on occasions require you to sit or crawl around on the floor.
While observing or teaching English language classes jeans, shorts, tee shirts, polo tops, sandals and alike - casual clothes - are definitely out.
Outside of observation and teaching practice classes, TESOL students are free to wear casual clothes to class.
What vaccinations should I have before I arrive in Vietnam?Expand
Almost certainly, schools in Cambodia will expect that you have completed a full ‘course’ of covid vaccinations.
Vaccination advice related to Covid and other diseases can change rapidly and often without formal notice. With this in mind, it’s best to consult your family doctor before travelling abroad.
What documents should I bring with me?Expand
On top of your visa and passport, it’s very important that you bring the following key documentation with you:
- the original version of any qualification you hold (degree / diploma); and
- background (police) check – must be no more than 6 months old when presented