This wat is a large, well-developed facility located in a rural, scenic setting about 45 minutes outside of Phnom Penh where you will go after spending the first few days of the first week of your program in orientation. This placement offers VPs opportunities for both contemplation and service while immersing themselves in the serenity and peaceful ways of a traditional Khmer wat. VPs teach English in the evenings and spend the day participating in the wat’s daily activities, including plenty of time for personal contemplation, reading and writing. VPs are hosted by a resident nun.
VP’s Role The VP’s role in the Buddhist Immersion – Teaching English Program at Wat K is to be part of a mutual relationship of observing, participating, learning, and teaching. VPs have opportunity to help prepare the noontime meal for the monks in the mornings. While the wat’s monks and nuns will share their practice of Buddhism and personal growth through example and in conversation when they are available, VPs will serve as they impart their knowledge of the English language. When the monks are available, VPs may facilitate a casual English round-table conversation, giving the monks an opportunity to hear and practice English while also discussing Buddhism. While VPs have free time for reflection, to interact with the monks and nuns, and to enjoy the serenity of monastery life, they will also be responsible for teaching English classes at a nearby school for a couple of hours in the evening. There will be time in the day to prepare for these evening classes.
The VP’s service role is to share their knowledge and expertise as a native English speaker. Prior teaching experience is not required. Your ability to provide cultural context and assist with Western pronunciation will prove helpful for students developing their use of the English language. The teaching English role requires flexibility, creativity, and adaptability. Students will range in age and English level, so VPs have the opportunity to work with different age groups. VPs are provided with a GSC Teaching English Manual with suggested lesson plans and participatory activities, along with the school’s curriculum. You will be encouraged to be creative utilizing the curriculum by sharing your own background and experiences. The greatest need of these students is to practice English with a native English speaker, so this should be the emphasis of the classroom activities. There will be opportunity to meet with monks when available to discuss and learn about Buddhism and to participate in the daily activities of the wat.
This placement has a two-week minimum commitment.
Housing and Meals
A stay at the wat will include a private or double room with air conditioning in the wat’s guesthouse. Meals will be prepared at the Wat and usually consist of simple, primarily vegetarian Khmer cuisine. While only two meals are served daily for the monks and nuns as they do not take food after noon, dinner will be prepared for VPs who wish to have an evening meal. The internet can be accessed through your smart phone with a Cambodian SIM card. Laundry can be done by hand or a washer can be hired.
While day-to-day activities are subject to change, a typical day at the wat might look like the following:
5:00 am VPs wake up and join monks in chanting (optional)
7:00 am – 8:00 am Breakfast
8:00 am – 9:00 am Free time to read, reflect, relax, observe and explore the wat
9:00 am – 11:00 am Help prepare the noontime meal for the monks
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 5:20 pm Prepare English lessons, observe wat life, English conversation round-table with monks when available, personal contemplation time
5:20 pm Leave to teach English at a nearby school
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Teach English classes
7:30 pm Return to wat, have dinner and enjoy a peaceful evening at the wat