Information for AHC volunteers
We are excited to have you join the team at Angkor Hospital for Children. Here is some information on how you can prepare for volunteering at AHC and what to expect. We have hosted volunteers for many years and consider everyone to be part of the AHC family, so welcome to the family!
Look at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/ and also consult with your doctor before traveling. Make sure you start vaccination series 6-8 weeks before departure, as some require a course of treatments.
The type of visa you will require depends on your length of stay. Most volunteers purchase a 1-month tourist visa (US$20) upon arrival in Siem Reap. This visa can be extended for one additional month. For those staying for more than two months, a business visa (US$25) can be purchased upon arrival. This can be extended multiple times. One passport size photo is required for either visa. Many passports (including US and UK) must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your planned return home. Alternatively, to save time at the airport, you can apply for an e-visa in advance through this website: http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh/
Background Check Information
For child protection purposes, all AHC volunteers are required to provide a background check before arrival. Make the necessary arrangements within plenty of time to submit the report to AHC prior to your start date. For information on the process in your country click here.
All volunteers are recommended to have travel/health insurance while working at AHC. While AHC may be able to help with some health issues, AHC is not liable for providing health care services; so you will be responsible for your own health while here. If you do opt for travel health insurance then please email to us a scan/photograph of your insurance card before you arrive. A popular choice for international volunteers is World Nomads, but the specific company is up to you.
In Cambodia two currencies are used, the Cambodian riel and the US dollar (4000 riel = US$1). ATMs which give US$ are widely available.
There are many hotels in Siem Reap, and where you choose to stay depends on your budget. The Volunteer Coordinator will send confirmed volunteers a list of hotels & guesthouses which have special rates for AHC volunteers. You can also check out hotel-booking websites such as Agoda.
Medical supplies or equipment are appreciated, but AHC’s guidelines must be followed. AHC cannot accept expired medications or supplies. Medications must have at least a six month expiration date from the date of arrival into Cambodia. Supplies should be suitable for a pediatric hospital, and all equipment must be in good working order. Please check with [email protected] (as per AHC’s guidelines) for approval before bringing any medication or supply. Also, we often have medical supplies stored in the US. If you are able to assist with bringing these over, please contact [email protected]
Transportation from airport
Many hotels can arrange a transfer from the airport to their facilities. As a tourist town, there are also pre-paid flat-rate airport taxis with English-speaking drivers available. You can also request the Volunteer Coordinator for an AHC vehicle to pick you up in which case please also send your flight and accommodation details. Please note that AHC may not be able to arrange an AHC vehicle pick-up at all times, especially if late night or holidays.
Dress code is business casual. We ask that you respect the local culture and dress conservatively – vests/tank tops and short skirts/shorts are not acceptable, even though it is hot! Sandals/open shoes are appropriate footwear however. Medical volunteers can also bring their own scrubs if they wish.
Regular hospital hours are 7am-5pm Mon-Fri and 7am-12noon Saturday, though of course patient units are open and staffed 24 hours. But volunteers usually work from around 8am-ish to 5pm Mon-Fri with a two hour lunch break. This can change depending on the volunteer’s specific role/unit.
What to expect
With a population of 175,000 it is a small and friendly city, though still the third largest in Cambodia. Siem Reap hosts nearly 2 million tourists a year and has many hotels, restaurants, and shops, as well as a large ex-pat community. There are many NGOs and businesses catering to tourists that are in the center of town, close to AHC.
Cambodia has three seasons. The rainy season, May/June-October/November, can see temperatures of around 30°C (mid 80s°F) and rainfalls nearly every day usually lasting half hour to 2 hours each day. The cool-dry season lasts from November-February with temperatures around 25°C -30°C (75°F-85°F) – this is also the peak tourist season. The hot-dry season lasts from February/March-May with temperatures around 30°C-40°C (85°F-105°F).
Most places are within walking distance but you can travel by bicycle, motorbike, or tuk tuk. You can rent a bicycle from many places in town for US$1 per day.
There are many restaurants close to AHC serving Khmer, Asian and Western food. Prices usually range from US$2-10 depending on where you choose to eat, but more expensive “five-star dining” is available as well. Eating is generally cheaper in a Khmer restaurant, than in a Western restaurant.
Laws and Rules
As a foreign volunteer and AHC team member your actions reflect our organization from both a personal and a legal perspective. You are required to follow the laws of Cambodia.
If you have any questions that are not addressed here, please do not hesitate to contact the AHC Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]