Cambodia FAQs

Planning to teach in Cambodia? This FAQs has all the answers you need. From visas and salaries to cultural norms and teaching opportunities, we’ve got you covered. 


How do I get a work permit?

Once you secure a job, your new employer will provide your
work permit. It costs approximately $150-300 USD for one year,
and you will need to show it when you extend your visa.

Can I teach as a non-native English speaker in Cambodia?

Most employers in Cambodia prefer native English speakers but there
is a possibility to find a teaching job if you are a qualified non-native
speaker with an accredited TEFL course and a BA degree of at least
three years.

How much will I get taxed?

Tax is generally around 15%. Most of the schools will pay the tax or at least half of it. For example, if you earn $1,200 per month you will usually get $1,100 after tax.

Will I get paid holiday, health insurance, accommodation costs?
Because most schools pay hourly, teachers in Cambodia don’t often receive benefits like paid holiday, health insurance, accommodation costs or flight reimbursements. However, the low cost of living makes these things affordable nonetheless, and leaves plenty over for exploring the country. Cambodia has a large number of public holidays, giving you plenty of time to travel.
What visa do I need in order to teach English in Cambodia?

Ordinary Visa (TypeE):To teach English in Cambodia, you
need the Ordinary Visa (that’s the official name, although it also
goes by ‘Business Visa’).This can be obtained on arrival or in
advance via your nearest embassy. The visa can be extended by 3,
6, or 12 months for a fee while you’re in the country. You’ll need
your work permit for the extension (and so you’ll also need an
employer), plus up to $300 USD for the fee, but it could be as low
as $150 US.

Please note ,this is not the same as a tourist visa and
you won’t be able to get the work permit or extend your visa if
on a tourist visa so make sure you enter on the right one.

Teacher’s Friend will make sure you come in on the right visa, at
the right price, and will pay 50% of the work permit fee for you.


Where can I teach English in Cambodia and what types of English teaching jobs are there?
Most of the TEFL jobs in Cambodia are in PhnomPenh and SiemReap, but you can find jobs in other are as too. Most of the jobs are either in private primary and secondary schools, or at private language schools teaching kids and business professionals.
When coming with Teacher’s Friend we will listen to your requirements and preferences and arrange a number of interviews with you, so that you are able to work at the school which best suits you. Most of our schools and centres are also in Phnom Penh.
How much can I earn teaching English in Cambodia?
The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in Cambodia of $ 900 – $1,300 per month, and slightly higher for native English speakers.
When does the school year start? Do you have year round intake?
The school year runs from August/ September to June. There are 180 instructional days each year. However, we can offer year round placement.
Are their jobs close to the city centre? (Phnom Penh) How much will I need to travel?

Most schools in Phnom Penh are in the city and there may be a few ones that are situated on the out skirts. It takes around 10-15minsto drive from one part of the town to another.

What is the basic cost of living as an English teacher in Cambodia?
You can expect to pay between $200 and $ 300 USD for a basic apartment
(or up to $500 USD for a less basic one) and another $100 – $150 USD for bills. Food is very cheap with basic street food at $1 or $4 to eat at a restaurant or you can cook at home and buy local ingredients very cheap.
Teacher’s Friend can vouch for the low cost of living, cheap accommodation and tasty food! Check out our cost of living chart for Cambodia!
What are the hours?
It depends on the school but usually in primary and secondary schools, students usually attend 4 hours a day with two fifteen minute breaks. You will usually work from7am- 11amand then again 1pm-5pm.If you work in the language centres, it will be evening and weekend work, and usually 20-25 hours per week, mostly over Saturday and Sunday. Lesson planning is done in the teacher’s own time.
If you’d like more hours, Teacher’s Friend can help you get private tuition which pays by the hour.
Should I buy or rent a motorbike in Cambodia?
It is likely a better investment to buy a motorbike, rather than rent one but many people rent for the first few months to see if they like it, or while they save up to buy one. Renting a bike will cost $50-60 US per month.

Expat Life

How much can an expat enjoy Cambodia?
Cambodia is a beautiful country and has a lot of things to offer. An expat can enjoy Cambodia thoroughly especially with so many days off. There’s plenty of sightseeing to
do with islands ,mountains, all the temples, motorbike tours, boat trips-the list is endless!
Some examples include the incredible Angkor Wat, the beautiful small city of Siem Reap, the bustling city of Phnom Penh (monkeys and all!), the must-see although very sobering killing fields and security prison 21, numerous boat trips to see fireflies and amazing sunsets, the sleepy riverside town of Kampot and of course the amazing local islands.
Am I at risk from any animals in Cambodia?

The King Cobra is by far and away the most dangerous animal in Cambodia. With the ability to kill 20 people. However, you are not likely to come across this unless trekking in the jungle. In general, Cambodia is a very safe country to live in terms of its wild animals.

What is public transportlike in Cambodia?

A popular way to get around is by TukTuk. This is basically like a mini horse and carriage but the carriage only ha stwo wheels and the horse is replaced with a motorbike at the front! You can find tuktuks all over the streets, especially in the big cities. Often, you need to negotiate the price. Make sure you do this before getting in and make sure you have
small change- exact change is even better. The drivers rarely have any. If you’re not a fan of bargaining, then you can download the pass app to order a tuktuk, which is like the Uber of Cambodia.

If you want to get out of Phnom Penh, there are mini buses that can take you to all places in Cambodia. However ,Cambodian roads are very dangerous and many of the buses are unsafe and the drivers are terrible. I recommend paying extra and reading reviews on book-me-bus. Here, you can book mini bus transportation across Cambodia and see the reviews for all the different companies. You get what you pay for
Should I get insurance?
Yes, I always recommend insurance although personally I don’t bother with travel insurance. If a flight is actually cancelled, the airline has a duty to reimburse you or get you on another flight. In general, in the unlikely event that you suffer from many of the problems which may occur when travelling such as loss of luggage, loss of passport ,flight delays etc then I would just deal with these issues as they arise and have some “spare cash” to deal with them.
However, I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend medical insurance if you plan to travel for a year or more abroad. This will cover you for the big five which includes serious
accidents(highly likely on Asian roads), cancer, strokes, heart attacks and serious diseases (such as Covid). This means should you have any issues with these, if you wanted to continue travelling, you would be able to- without it being classed as a pre-existing condition which means you’ll never be able to get cover for it and will have to pay all future expenses when abroad.
You will also want international evacuation cover to get you to a hospital that can provide treatment for you, if you can’t get it in Cambodia (again, this is quite likely). We recommend having at least $500, 000 worth of insurance.


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