Tips to Overcome Culture Shock While Teaching English in Cambodia

By Kate John

When I first stepped off the airplane to teach English in Cambodia, I was terrified. I had no idea what I’d just gotten myself into, and I felt adrift in a sea of foreign water. I’d read about experiencing culture shock, but never really thought much of it. After all, I’d travelled abroad before. It wasn’t as if I was fresh off the boat with a brand new passport and wide eyes.

How to Get Around Phnom Penh, Cambodia

By Kate John

Teaching English in Cambodia will be an adventure you tell you friends for the rest of your life. The sights, smells, and methods of travel will be something right out of a thriller movie. The first time I hopped onto a scooter with two other grown adults, I knew I was in a different class of travel. Getting to school everyday is almost as much of an adventure as teaching the kids themselves. There are always common practices to keep in mind though, like keep anything you don't want someone to take inside your pockets or bags at all times and the first quote from your tuk-tuk driver is always going to be too high.

Establishing a Home Away From Home While Teaching English in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

By Kate John

Moving to Cambodia was an experience I always thought I was ready for. Countless days of research, reading every blog and book on Cambodia I could find, mix that with online shopping for apartments; I was ready to live abroad. Needless to say, I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. It took awhile for me to feel like Cambodia was really a home away from home. Here are a few things that made my adjustment go smoothly.

But I Don't Speak Khmer... Teaching English in Cambodia

By Kate John

A big part of life is communication. It can be intimidating to move somewhere you don’t speak the language. In Cambodia they speak a language called Khmer (pronounced kuh-my). I hardly speak any of it, and yet here I am in Cambodia. I definitely understand the language barrier dissuading someone from moving abroad. It makes small tasks much larger due to challenges that you normally just don’t have to navigate.

Classrooms Around the World: Phnom Penh, Cambodia


By Kate John

Classrooms around the world are both the same and greatly different. Kids are kids everywhere. They’re always the same in many ways, especially if you stick with a similar age group. That said, culture definitely comes into play in the classroom. Here’s a little bit about what it’s like in my classroom here, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Classrooms Around the World - Teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

By Laura Nalin

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I took on a job as a public school teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It’s no surprise that classrooms around the world are varying; some come equipped with high-end technology, whereas others may not even have a chalkboard. After spending over two years teaching in South Korea’s ritzy Gangnam neighborhood, I was certain no classroom would ever be as well-equipped as my previous one. However, I have been pleasantly surprised this past school year. I teach in three different classrooms; there’s a benefit to having a variety, but there are definitely pros and cons to each different space.