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Phnom Penh - SE Asia's premiere teaching destination?

 
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1002

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Phnom Penh - SE Asia's premiere teaching destination? Reply with quote

It's curious that there is not more discussion regarding teaching in Phnom Penh.

There are plenty of schools, motivated students, a low cost of living, lovely people, rocking nightlife, good weather, not much traffic, great dining, etc. All in all, a good scene.

Is PP the new "secret" for TEFLers these days?
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jprimm



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just returned from Cambodia and the second post is right on the money. The first is fantasy....
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Skyblue2



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an acquired taste. I spent most of a decade there when I was a wee lad.

It was better back then, even with all the problems it had.

Here's the downside:

1. Prices (rent, food, transport) are soaring

2. Wages have been stagnant for over a decade

3. You get paid hourly for the most part (meaning lots of unpaid weeks off)

4. You get no visa, no health insurance, no flights, no housing, nothing

5. Contracts are worthless, and you are at the mercy of your employer

6. You can't save any money

7. The city is dusty, with chaotic streets, and no good transportation system

8. The local food is dubious at best (very, very low standards of hygiene, unless you have the money to dine at nice places, which you won't if you're a teacher)
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timmy69



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyblue2 wrote:
It's an acquired taste. I spent most of a decade there when I was a wee lad.

It was better back then, even with all the problems it had.


All a matter of perspective. I know people who have been there who share your opinion; I know others who would vehemently disagree. It's good to get various opinions but ultimately one can only make that judgement once they take the plunge and experience the country and all it has to offer for themselves.
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speedo



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my experience I'd agree with the motivated students, low cost of living, lovely people and great dining, and when you've driven in other Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, the traffic really isn't that bad in comparison..
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flyingcolours



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it ok there for a family of three?
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SahanRiddhi



Joined: 18 Sep 2010
Posts: 267

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, if you don't love your kid.
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flyingcolours



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please explain.
I was thinking about teaching at an international school where my child would attend.

Thanks a bunch.
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SahanRiddhi



Joined: 18 Sep 2010
Posts: 267

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key question: If my kid needs medical care, then what? Not the sniffles, not strep throat, but truly ill, or perhaps injured in an accident. In Cambodia, you have to wonder, will an ambulance come? If I forget my cash and credit card, will treatment even be provided? Will the care be adequate?

Royal Angkor International Hospital is supposed to be good, but in the grand scheme, it is a tiny hospital, maybe 50 beds. Take some average American city like Indianapolis. Do you know how many beds its main children's hospital has? More than 450. If the worst of the worst happens, nothing in Cambodia can handle it. You are going to be evacuating your kids to Bangkok. Not what I'd want in an emergency.
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PattyFlipper



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SahanRiddhi wrote:
Key question: If my kid needs medical care, then what? Not the sniffles, not strep throat, but truly ill, or perhaps injured in an accident. In Cambodia, you have to wonder, will an ambulance come? If I forget my cash and credit card, will treatment even be provided? Will the care be adequate?

Royal Angkor International Hospital is supposed to be good, but in the grand scheme, it is a tiny hospital, maybe 50 beds. Take some average American city like Indianapolis. Do you know how many beds its main children's hospital has? More than 450. If the worst of the worst happens, nothing in Cambodia can handle it. You are going to be evacuating your kids to Bangkok. Not what I'd want in an emergency.


Precisely.

Although medical care has improved somewhat over the last few years, it is still fairly dire, and can be very hit and miss. An ambulance from the Phnom Penh municipal service may or may not turn up eventually, if summoned (incidentally this is sometimes the case in Bangkok too, which is why accident victims are often thrown in the back of a pick-up or tuk-tuk and taken to the nearest hospital). Many of the private hospitals and clinics also have ambulances, but I would be reluctant to put them to the test in a real emergency.

Royal Angkor Hospital in Siem Reap appears to be reasonably competent for minor issues and stabilization prior to evacuation, but they gouge foreigners ($140 for a consultation - and that may well be with a locally-trained Khmer or a Thai intern), so ensure you have adequate insurance. Their sister hospital, Royal Rattanak in Phnom Penh (both supposedly part of the Bangkok Hospital group) is cheaper, but gets mixed reviews. I personally had a bad experience there, and one of the Western doctors practising in the capital has expressed serious concerns about the standard of care. Primary, non-critical issues can usually be adequately treated in Phnom Penh, if one uses the clinics which have foreign or foreign-trained doctors. Outside Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, you can forget it.

Places like SOS, Royal Rattanak, and Naga Clinic will treat you without pre-payment or confirmation from insurers, but they are obviously going to require settlement almost immediately. Additionally, many of the doctors in Phnom Penh - and pretty well all the competent ones - work 9.00 to 5.00, or 9.00 - 11.30 then 2.00 - 5.00, Monday to Friday. If you require treatment outside these hours, this will necessitate an emergency call-out, which will be charged accordingly and you may not get the facility's best or most experienced staff. Medical care in Cambodia is considerably more expensive than in neighbouring Thailand or Vietnam.

Most expats take the view that if it requires more than a band-aid and you are at all ambulatory, get the h*ll out to Bangkok or Singapore. Even the locals go to Thailand if they can possibly afford it.
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