Nursing Placements/Electives in Cambodia - Global Medical Projects

Nursing Placements in Cambodia

Our nursing projects in Cambodia are based in the capital city Phnom Penh and the beautiful community of Siem Reap. Most of the hospitals suffer from a severe lack of funding. As a result, the hospitals will be unlike any that you will find at home. The programme will give you a real insight into the challenges faced by medical professionals when money isn’t available.

The hospitals lack much of the equipment that doctors and nurses take for granted at home. X-ray machines, ultra-sound scanners, ECG machines are all in limited supply because the hospital simply can’t afford them. Furthermore, medicine in Cambodia is operated on a pay as you go basis, if you can’t afford the medicine, you don’t get it, even if the drugs are available.

This programme is therefore, a unique opportunity for you to work with doctors and nurses, shadow them on ward rounds or observe them in theatre and see how they practice medicine when faced with these challenges. The standard of medical care really does differ to what we’re used to at home.

You will also witness the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that we just don’t see at home. Tropical diseases such as malaria and typhoid are common as are conditions relating to poor sanitation like dysentery and giardiasis.

Areas of nursing available:

Paediatric nursing
Adult nursing


Cost in £

2 weeks3 weeks4 weeks5 weeks6 weeks

Cost in Euros

2 weeks3 weeks4 weeks5 weeks6 weeks

Cost in US $

2 weeks3 weeks4 weeks5 weeks6 weeks

Cost in Auz $

2 weeks3 weeks4 weeks5 weeks6 weeks

Cost in £

Extra weeksExtra monthsLanguage courseOrphanage project
£250£995£100 (per wk)£100

Cost in Euros

Extra weeksExtra monthsLanguage courseOrphanage project
330€1,350€135€ (per wk)135€

Cost in US $

Extra weeksExtra monthsLanguage courseOrphanage project
$400$1,595$160 (per wk)$160

Cost in Auz $

Extra weeksExtra monthsLanguage courseOrphanage project
Au$500Au$1,990Au$200 (per wk)Au$200

Other Destination Information

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Our medical projects are based in Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh.

You will stay in guesthouse accommodation with others on the programme. Guesthouses in Cambodia are incredibly clean and good value and are of a similar standard to a bed and breakfast type hotel at home.

However, not all home comforts are available, most accommodation will have running water. It may not always be hot running water so cold showers may take some getting used to!

The water is not treated to the same standard that we’re used to at home so we would definitely not recommend drinking tap water. Bottled water will be supplied, but is abundant and cheap when you are away from the accommodation.

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Weekends are free so there will be plenty of time to travel and see the various sights. Cambodia has an extensive and affordable network of buses which make it easy to travel around.

Highlights – Cambodia

Most are based in Siem Reap which is ideally located to visit the amazing temple complex at Angkor.

The magnificent temple at Angkor Wat, thought to have been a temple dedicated to a former king, was given to Buddhist monks, who still care for it to this day, and it is the deep Buddhist culture of Cambodia that attracts many to this land.

In Phnom Penh most of the major sights are fairly central. Most can be visited by foot and are nearly located along the beautiful riverfront.

Standing on the site of the former citadel, the striking Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda rivals most palaces found in Asia. This is a must see for any visitor to Phnom Penh.

A slight distance away is the National Museum, home to a rare species of bats in it’s roof. Visit the museum at dusk to witness a spectacular fly past by the bats, but sadly you have to avoid their droppings when looking at the exhibits in the Museum!

Tuol Sleng Museum is a chilling testament to the barbarity of the Khmer Rouge and is a vital trip to understand this dark page in the history of Cambodia. The museum houses exhibits and chilling photographs of the many prisoners who passed through the building when it was known as Security Prison 21 (S-21), a converted school taken over by Pol Pot’s security forces.

But it’s not just the splendid man made attractions of Cambodia that make it such a rich place. Cambodia is also blessed with some of the most spectacular golden beaches and mystical rainforests, so when you become ‘templed out’ – or impervious to the charms of the temples – there’s always something to take your breath away.


Cambodia can be visited at any time of year, but the ideal time to visit is December and January. Humidity at this time of year is relatively low and the slight breeze and light rain tends to cool the air.

Temperatures begin to rise from early February peaking in April when it can be over 40 degrees centigrade. May or June will bring the Monsoon and rain and high humidity. This wet season lasts until October but can be a relief from the oppressive April heat. It usually only rains in short sharp bursts, which can actually be quite refreshing.


You will have weekends free to travel and visit the sights so do take some spending money for food, accommodation and souvenirs.

Exactly how much to take is a matter of great debate but most who have travelled to Cambodia recommend that you could probably get by allowing £20-35 per weekend spending money. If you can, take a little extra just in case to allow for emergencies or those ‘must have’ souvenirs.

You cannot get Cambodian currency outside of Cambodia so it’s best to take your spending money as travellers cheques or cash. Credit and debit cards are not widely accepted. You can usually draw money out on credit and debit cards from most banks or hotels in Phnom Penh but they will charge a commission, usually around 5 percent of the transaction.

Travellers cheques, although sometimes difficult to change in banks, are the safest way to carry your spending money to Cambodia as they can be easily replaced if lost or stolen. In our experience we’ve found that American Express travellers cheques offer the best service but most travellers cheques are accepted. It’s probably best to avoid ‘Thomas Cook’ travellers cheques as some banks do not accept them.

However, do take a debit or credit card (preferably a Visa card) and some cash with you as travellers cheques are difficult to change (often requiring hours of queuing in banks).

You can take cash as sterling, Euros or US dollars. All are easy to change in Cambodia. Money can easily be exchanged in banks, travel agents or in the markets of Phnom Penh.


You should arrange your flights to arrive at Siem Reap or Phnom Penh International Airports, depending on the location of your project. A number of international carriers fly to these airports, including Singapore, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific. Low cost carrier Air Asia also flies to these airports via the major international airport hubs in neighbouring locations

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Medical Director – Dr Gunther Hintz

Dr Gunther Hintz is the dean of medicine at Phnom Penh university and is the director of a local Cambodian Medical NGO. Dr Hintz supervises our placements in Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap.

[/accordion-item][/accordion] Photos from our projects in Cambodia (on Facebook, opens in new tab)

Our Costs Include:

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Accommodation on your project will be with either local families or in group accommodation. You exact accommodation depends on the number of volunteers and your project.

All accommodation is checked by our overseas staff and host families vetted. If you don’t feel comfortable in your accommodation, do please let us know as soon as possible and our overseas staff will do their best to make you more comfortable.

However, please keep in mind that you will be living in lesser economically developed countries so please don’t expect the same standards as home. Access to running water, electricity and other things that we take for granted WILL be limited but we’ll do our best to make sure you have the best that’s possible.

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Our UK team is on hand to answer any questions that may pop up before you go. Please don’t hesitate to call or email to chat about anything that may be concerning you. You should especially not worry about asking any questions you may consider that we’ll think is stupid. The chances are that we probably asked exactly the same questions before we headed off on our travels!

You will receive pre-departure information that will tell you more about your accommodation and placement. This will arrive about 4 weeks before you depart. We can’t send you this immediately as exactly where you stay depends on the numbers that join us. However, by 4 weeks before you depart we will have a good idea of how many people are joining us and we’ll finalise the details of your accommodation.

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Arriving in a new country for the first time can be quite daunting so our overseas team will be there to meet you with a big sign and even bigger welcome!

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We think that it’s important to give you a thorough introduction to your new home for the next few months therefore, our overseas team will give you an induction and orientation covering everything you need to know from basic customs to where to change money.

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Our overseas team are not just there to meet you at the airport. They’re also not there to molly cuddle you either. Our overseas team is on hand during office hours to do anything they can to help you get the most out of your experience. You will also be given out of office contact details to be used in the event of emergencies, so please rest assured that in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong, our overseas team will be there to help in whatever way they can.

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We have worked carefully to develop links with medical staff at hospitals and clinics in all our partner countries. It takes time for our overseas teams to develop and maintain these links so that we can continue to offer you the best medical experience possible.

We think it’s fair that the hospital should receive something in return for supporting you and Global Medical Projects so part of the project cost includes a donation to your host hospital.

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During your time with us we will make sure that your food is provided. Please note that sometimes this will be provided by your host family and sometimes by your host organisation. Where this is the case it is extremely likely that this food will be local food. Most of the time this will not quite be what we’re used to and can take some time to get used to. Rest assured it will be hygienically prepared and nutritious but it will be difficult for them to prepare foods which you are used to at home.

We’re sure that for most of you, eating the local food is part of the experience. If you don’t like the food, we urge you to try to persevere. Ultimately, if you are just not enjoying the experience we will do our best to make alternative arrangements. Please keep in mind however, that the availability of western foods maybe extremely limited and/or expensive so it may not always be possible to change things that much!

Most people elect to go travelling at weekends, so food isn’t always available at this time, particularly in those locations where we have our own accommodation as we often give the cooks the weekend off.


Not Included:

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We’re not a travel company, and as such we do not arrange flights. However, we can help you to make the necessary arrangements and suggest people to speak to.

Additionally, many people join us as part of a world trip so it’s often easier for you to arrange your travel as part of a round the world ticket.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like help arranging your flights.

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As many people join us as part of a world trip, we do not include insurance as part of the projects. However, we are happy to introduce good companies that can provide you with excellent and affordable cover.

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You will need additional spending money for travel to work, weekend excursions and gifts. Exactly how much to take is a matter of great debate but contact us and we’ll be happy to give you a rough guideline on how much you will need.

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Many of the destinations require you to purchase a visa. We can arrange the visas for you but this will be an additional cost of up to £100.

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Most of our countries will require you to be inoculated against diseases that have been eradicated at home. We can advise on which inoculations you will need but will encourage you to visit your doctor or a local travel clinic where they will discuss the best vaccinations for you.

Some of these vaccinations will incur costs so budget accordingly.

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We’re happy to provide food when you are on a projects with us or staying in our accommodation but when travelling you will need to buy your own food. In most countries good local food is incredibly cheap. Western food is a luxury and is priced accordingly!


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