We believe that travel should always be a learning experience, and this is especially true for young people. Through discussion, debate, experience, and adventure our facilitated educational trips enable both students and faculty members to discover hidden corners of this charismatic Kingdom, while exploring new ideas, perspectives, and beliefs. Our goal is to provide experiential learning adventures that leave young people (and their teachers!) excited, intrigued, and wanting to learn even more.
Let us make Cambodia your classroom.
Below is a one week sample itinerary for a student study adventure. For more details, please get in touch!
Siem Reap – Arrive, explore, settle in
Learning topics – Cultural orientation, comfort zones
Banteay Chhmar – A chance to experience Cambodian family life in a rural homestay
Learning topics – Cross-cultural communication and perspectives on poverty
Banteay Chhmar – Exploring a Cambodian rural community
Learning topics – International aid, giving money, and begging
Siem Reap – Readjusting to city life, sunset bike ride
Learning topics – Responsible tourism, travelers as ambassadors
Siem Reap – Temples of Angkor
Learning topics – Cambodian history and the Khmer Rouge
Siem Reap – Ecological conservation on the Tonlé Sap Lake OR Jungle trek to a hill-top temple followed by Landmine Museum
Learning topics – Voluntourism or the Khmer Rouge Trials
Siem Reap – Meet with local NGO, learn traditional crafts
Learning topics – Reflections on the week
Siem Reap – Departure and fond farewells
We have the resources and trip-leaders to transform a trip to Cambodia into a rich learning experience. Here are some of the topics we can cover on a PEPY Tours educational adventure:
- CAMBODIAN HISTORY
From the glories of the ancient empire to the torments of the 21st century
- KHMER ROGUE TRIALS
Debating the consequences for both Cambodia and international human rights
- THE BASICS OF BUDDHISM
Practices, festivals, beliefs, and religion vs. culture
- RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
The implications of our travel choices and our roles as ambassadors
The difference between ‘service learning’ and ‘learning service’
- RESPONSIBLE GIVING
Reflections on how and why we should be discerning with donations
- INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Debating the good, the bad, and the ugly
Understanding the causes, confronting our ‘guilt’, and evaluating the options
The challenges of making this basic human right accessible to all, and reflections on what it is that makes a ‘school’
- COMFORT ZONES
How facing challenges can lead to learning
- OVER TO YOU
We can provide a Cambodia-general or subject-specific curriculum – you choose!
There is much to learn in Cambodia, but there’s also so much to see and do! Here’s a taste of the adventures to be had on a PEPY Tours student study trip:
- A FALLEN EMPIRE
Explore the mighty ancient temple cities and remote jungle ruins
- DEVELOPMENT & AID
Meet with NGOs to learn about sustainable development projects, including education and environment programs
- THE BIG CITY
Phnom Penh is a vibrant city alive with contrasts – dive into the hustle and bustle or find tranquility in the pagodas or palace grounds
- PEDAL POWER
Cycling in Cambodia is a great way to explore at the local speed. This could be an afternoon ride or a multiday excursion
- COUNTRY LIVING
A rural home stay is the best way to experience Cambodian family life: friendly communities, traditional hospitality, and Khmer cuisine
- THE MIGHTY MEKONG
The lifeblood of Asia, dotted with serene islands and fishermen’s boats. Learn about the preservation of the Irrawaddi Dolphin and other environmental issues
- COOKING CLASSES
Learn to whip up your own delicious Khmer dishes
Barter at the markets, ride the bamboo train, practice meditating, pick up basic Khmer, learn local crafts – the possibilities are endless!
- STUDENT TYPES
We have an experienced educator team able to facilitate a range of educational adventures for students and teachers, including:
- Middle and high school groups looking for a general overview of Cambodian culture and history, along with an introduction to concepts of development, international aid, critical thinking, and global citizenship
- University groups focusing on specific topics, such as social entrepreneurship, community development, or international aid
- GROUP SIZE
We are able to accommodate small groups of 8 students and 2 teachers, through to large groups of 40 students and 6 teachers (though we would recommend keeping groups smaller for a more interactive learning experience)
- DEPARTURE DATES
All trips are customized to fit with your schedule
- TRIP LENGTH
Educational adventures usually last between six days and three weeks
- TRIP LEADERS
There will always be a minimum of two English-speaking trip leaders accompanying every educational adventure
We aim to provide the most responsible accommodation options in each place, including homestays, locally owned accommodation, or guest houses which have well respected non-profit arms and work to be environmentally sustainable. As all trips are tailor-made, we can work to fit your budget.
Most educational adventures include a variety of walking, cycling, tuk-tuks, private vans, boats, and ‘bamboo trains’.
We are the only educational travel organization working exclusively in Cambodia, and are leaders in our field.
As well as taking care of all the logistics, our trained trip leaders also create and deliver an experiential curriculum on every study adventure. This means accompanying teachers need not worry about how and when their students are learning – we’ve got it covered.
- GIVING BACK
We have coined the term ‘Learning Service’, which describes our belief that it’s important to learn before we can help. Our tours introduce students to concepts of international aid, community development, and voluntourism, so that they can learn about these issues before they perhaps one day decide to volunteer in Cambodia or elsewhere.
PEPY Tours is passionate about responsible tourism, and even deliver responsible tourism training to other organizations and industry professionals. We follow our own strict responsible tourism guidelines to ensure our tours have a minimal impact on both Cambodian culture and environment.
Over 7 years experience in running educational adventures means we understand the specific needs of student groups in both formal environments and informal experiential settings. We understand how to work with young people, and make sure they have a Cambodian adventure which is educational, safe, and adventurous.
- LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
We are based in Cambodia, and have on-the-ground knowledge that allows us to select the most suitable activities and itineraries for student groups.
We have created a unique collection of educational resources to use on study adventures, including a printed version of the PEPY Reader. These are used in correspondence with facilitated discussions, debates, and activities lead by our experienced trip leaders.
Not only should travelling always be lots of fun, but fun is also a key part of experiential education. We understand that learning is easy in a fun and dynamic environment, and our trip-leaders are experts at creating this for students.
All accommodation, transport, and activities have been tried and tested to ensure their suitability for student groups. We also provide Child Protection training for our tuk-tuk drivers, tour guides, and trip leaders.
While key sights of interest are always included in our itineraries, we specialize in introducing students to people, places, and experience that many travelers in Cambodia miss. A PEPY Tours study adventure is a chance to take the road less travelled.
- LOCAL STAFF
All educational adventures are accompanied by at least one Khmer trip-leader, giving students the chance to learn about Cambodia from its people, and gain a genuine insight into Khmer history and culture.
Our unique two-part payment structure funds education and community development programs in rural Siem Reap. So far over $500,000 has been raised directly from our tours to date.
We are proud to operate an innovative two-part payment structure that means every one of our study adventures helps to financially support education and community development projects in rural Siem Reap. This is how it works:
1) TRIP FEE: This covers the cost of your Cambodian adventure. The fee is proportional to the itinerary, length of the trip, size of the group, and style of travel. If you would like a quote, please contact us on [email protected].
INCLUSIONS: The trip fee includes all accommodation, entrance tickets, guides, in-country transport, and most meals. We usually include a couple of ‘free’ meal times for groups to explore the culinary delights of Cambodia for themselves.
EXCLUSIONS: International flights, travel insurance, and entry visas, which are available on arrival for $20.
2) FUNDRAISING: We ask each group of students to fundraise a minimum amount (dependent on group size), all of which goes directly to our sister NGO, PEPY, or is split between PEPY and our other partner NGOs. Each group will be matched with a fundraising mentor from PEPY, who will provide lots of fundraising ideas and resources, and help you reach your fundraising targets.
During their trip students will have a chance to visit the PEPY office, meet the staff, ask questions, and learn more about how the money they raised is being used to provide educational opportunities to Cambodian students of the often similar age.
In 2015 PEPY Tours hosted three groups of third year students studying International Development Studies at Australian Catholic University. The students were undertaking an educational 4-week field trip in Cambodia designed to expose them to the many facets of development they had previously learned about in the classroom, as well as immerse them in Cambodian culture. After their trip, the students showed significant academic and personal growth and were so excited about what they had learned and experienced. What a success! All of the staff of PEPY Tours were fantastic to work with. They were professional, knowledgeable and great communicators. Their experience and skill in organising and hosting students in Cambodia was evident to both the students and ACU. For all of these reasons, ACU are looking forward to working with PEPY Tours again in 2016 and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other institutions and organisations!
- I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend one month in Cambodia ... It has given me more of an insight into development than my degree in development has, and all that have learned and experienced in that month is incomparable to anything else. I am beyond grateful... to my guides, Claire and Yut, whose knowledge and love for Cambodia has inspired me....I fell in love with the country, the people and the culture... this organisation has provided me endless inspiration and an idea onto the sort of career path and life I will live.
I learnt so many new things about myself, Cambodia, and the world around me
From the introductory skype call, through to meeting us at the airport, moving us through educational and cultural experience, to our follow-up skype call back in America, the PEPY Tours team was inspiring, knowledgeable, organized, gracious, and receptive. They are without doubt experts in this field and at the top of their game
I found that the learning aspect of the trip created the most impact. We had daily discussions while we were staying on the island. We talked about charity versus community development, as well as the consequences of giving the street kids money. What I loved about the discussions was that it was never one sided. Our tour guides provided us with perspectives and realizations that I personally would never have come to. There were learning opportunities around every corner. The trip overall was life changing.
It is so true that you cannot go through the things that we did, see what we did, have some of the experiences that we had and not just pull together like one of the most beautiful families you have ever seen. There is so much you go into this just not knowing, there is so much you will leave still not knowing. That is the whole part of the journey, part of your job as being an ambassador; to continue being an ambassador for your families’ and not to forget everything you saw and learned
PEPY Tours not only shared the beauty, history, and culture of Cambodia, but they helped fill a major gap in our understanding of the impact we make, the need to learn responsible service, and the importance of education and empowerment. It was a remarkable journey for me and my students and I couldn’t recommend anyone a better experience or a better team with which to share the journey