Program Overview

Cambodia has recorded impressive economic growth in the last decade. The country has emerged from its violent recent history and moved from an isolated subsistence economy to a market-based one led by garment manufacturing and tourism. However, while jobs have been created at all levels of society, the wage gap is widening and the United Nations indicates that over 30 percent of the population remains below the national poverty line.

One of the most effective tools to create opportunity for the poorest is to extend credit to poor entrepreneurs. When carried out as part of a well-planned campaign, microfinance can be the difference between an unstable temporary job and sustainable self-employment.

Program Description:

  • Work five (5) to seven (7) hours a day assisting a local community organization as an internal consultant.
  • Interns: 
    • edit and write reports, 
    • provide workshops to the local staff
    • work with entrepreneurs on growing their business.
  • Businesses range widely from food stalls to textile shops
  • Depending on local needs, interns partake in multiple facets of the income generation process:
    • evaluating loan applications
    • monitoring projects
    • overseeing repayment
  • Interns are also often involved on operational duties including:
    • marketing
    • translating into English
    • grant proposal writing
  • Some of the organizations have community schools and , if needed, volunteers can also teach English there a few hours a week.


  • Eager to contribute.
  • The flexibility to participate in many different tasks depending on the ever-changing needs of the project.
  • The creativity and initiative to work in an environment with limited resources.
  • The cultural sensitivity to engage clients in a professional manner.
  • Education and/or professional experience in a relevant field like business or finance.


  • It is each intern's role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes an international internship so special.

This internship is self-directed. Participants must be able to work independently and contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities you were not expecting to work in.

This service learning internship opportunity is made possible through a partnership with UBELONG, the world's leading social organization for high-impact volunteering and learning opportunities abroad. UBELONG's mission is to bring people together across borders to share their humanity and take action for positive change.

Internship Details

Students must intern for a minimum of 30 hours per week, for a total of at least 240 hours for an 8-week internship.  This will earn 8 internship credits.

In addition to 8 internship credits, students will enroll in a 1-4 credit Intercultural Communication online course.  This course is designed to provide ongoing support to students who do internships abroad.  Students will observe, explore and investigate the core cultural values in their host country during the service learning internship, conduct comparison in the differences between their host and home country, and develop critical thinking skills and culture learning strategies. Some of the topics discussed in this course include: attitudes toward time, space, age, gender and authority, different views on self/others, conflict styles and culture shock. 

A weekly assignment for the online course includes: reading assignments, group discussions and/or a weekly journal.  The number of enrolled credits will determine the course workload.  It will begin one week before your internship begins and end one week after completion.

Eligible applicants will be considered automatically for a Freeman Fellowship for up to $6,000 in funding toward internships in East and Southeast Asia.

Housing Description

The Intern House is part of a lively hostel located in the city center near restaurants and shops. Staff is available 24/7 at the house to assist interns with any needs. Interns generally share a room with one to three other interns.

Additional requirements

  • Prior to arrival, participants must provide a police background check.
  • Must be 21 years or older.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.