It was only a hop, skip and a jump to Cambodia for Australian Darcy when she joined our unique 12 week TEFL internship in Phnom Penh alongside some other teaching interns from around the world. Read on to discover Darcy’s highlights from teaching English in Cambodia.
Hello Darcy! Tell us about yourself. We would love to know more about your background, what attracted you to teaching abroad and more!
I am 23 years old from Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia. After spending three years at university and one year back in the Northern Territory working for the public service, I decided I wanted to work and travel. This is pretty perfect for teaching abroad and teaching English in Cambodia!
What is your favorite age-group to work with and why? Would you consider teaching any other age groups?
I have only taught one age group during my TEFL internship in Cambodia which was young adults ranging in ages from 15-35 years old. Most of them were in their early twenties. I really enjoyed being able to relate to them on a lot of different levels and the conversations we had were better for it. I would definitely be open to teaching more age groups though.
Tell us three things about your experience teaching English in Cambodia that you did not expect.
I did not expect the English language to be so wanted. Every time I spoke to a Cambodian and told them what I was doing there, their faces almost always lit up. The hunger to learn English there is strong.
I was also surprised by the levels of security. Stores are guarded and a lot of apartments have barbed wire on the railings. Yet I never heard or saw anything that would indicate that break-ins were common.
Overall though, I didn’t really have a lot of expectations, which meant that the entire experience felt different and interesting.
What is one thing about the life of teaching abroad that you were not prepared for?
The students absolutely love humility. Being able to make fun of myself in class is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. Lesson planning quality is sometimes hard to maintain. A well planned, structured lesson was a lot of work, but more rewarding in the end. It was easy for me, however, to have laid back, conversational classes.
What has been your most rewarding experience when teaching English in Cambodia?
For sure, the people! This includes both Cambodian people as well as expats. So I love the nature of the Cambodian people and the type of people who are drawn to a country like Cambodia are really awesome.
What advice would you have for someone ‘on the fence’ about whether to teach abroad or not?
I probably would have lost my job back at home if I had stayed thanks to coronavirus, so I’m very glad I went. I absolutely now have friends for life in more countries than I have been to, including Grace from Namibia.
How great to hear about Darcy’s wonderful experiences. Thank you for sharing your experience in Cambodia with us. We can’t wait to see what you get up to in the future.