CAMBODIA: Siem Reap
School for Field Studies (SFS)
Fall/Spring Semester Program
USD, in association with the School for Field Studies (SFS)
, offers semester programs at SFS sites in several locations for qualified students majoring in the sciences. Depending on the selected site, students have the opportunity to analyze such challenging problems as preserving ecosystems, balancing economic development and conservation, or managing and maintaining wildlife, agricultural, and marine resources. Each site offers its own diverse characteristics and experiences. Although some locations may appear to be somewhat isolated, all programs endeavor to facilitate participation in local life and promote contacts and exchanges with the local population. Science, policy, and resource management course work is integrated with practical field experience and directed research to address the environmental issues pertinent to the chosen location.
Students in this program learn about the complexity and fundamental importance of the Mekong River to the region’s ecosystems, livelihoods, and development. Through coursework, field excursions, and Directed Research, students focus on conservation, environmental ethics, and rural development.
Students study the interface between livelihoods and the environment, assess aquatic biodiversity and ecology, and gain an understanding of natural resource use and governance. The greater Siem Reap region provides countless riverine and terrestrial habitats to explore. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor serves as a backdrop for understanding Cambodian culture and religious pluralism, blending Buddhist, animist, and Hindu beliefs. Buddhism in Cambodia is not only a religion, but also a way of life that reflects the cultural beliefs of the community. Students explore the potential Buddhism has to direct societal norms and principles regarding environmental protection.
Students follow the Mekong River during a month of travel across rural and urban Cambodia. While on the road, students visit key conservation sites along the Mekong, gain appreciation for Cambodia’s recent history in Phnom Penh, and discover coastal ecosystems and development pressures in Kampot Province.
The program then travels overland to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, where students experience a contrasting political, social, and economic system from Cambodia. Students explore the environmental issues in the Mekong Delta including climate change, water resource use, and agricultural development.
Visit the SFS Mekong River site
USD student Angela Hessenius won Distinguished Student Researcher Award! Congratulations!
All courses have been reviewed for approval to transfer back to USD. To see how they will transfer back, See SFS Pre-Approved Course Equivalencies
NOTE: Core Curriculum designations on this list pertain to the OLD Core only
Semester students are registered in five academic courses:
SFS 3820 Environmental Ethics and Development (ENV) (4 credits)
SFS 3800 (ENV) / 3801 (BIO) Conservation Science and Practice (4 credits)
SFS 3810 Ecosystems and Livelihoods Along the Mekong (ENV) (4 credits)
SFS 4910 / 4920 Directed Research (ENV) (4 credits)
SFS 2080 Language and Culture of Cambodia and Vietnam (2 credits)
In Siem Reap, Cambodia, a local guesthouse will serve as our field station, and SFS students will have exclusive use of the facilities. Amenities include shared bedrooms and bathrooms, wireless internet, and an open-air classroom and common area for studying, dining, and relaxing. Nearby attractions include the day and night markets, and the famed Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site. The variety of hotels and restaurants in town often host traditional Apsara dance shows and other cultural demonstrations. Surrounding Siem Reap are silk farms and rice paddies, as well as stilted fishing villages and wildlife sanctuaries on the Tonle Sap Lake. Students will stay at various hotels during trips through the Mekong Delta including visits to Phnom Penh, Kratie, and the coast of Cambodia. In Vietnam, students will be housed in the international dormitory at Can Tho University. Tour the field station.
For a detailed description of program costs please see the Program Cost in the box at the top of this webpage. Students will be billed through USD for tuition, while program fees will be paid directly to School for Field Studies.
A valid passport is required for all international travel. All students must meet the SFS staff members at the airport in Siem Reap, Cambodia. You do not need to apply for any visas ahead of time – you will process your visas for both Cambodia and Vietnam while in-country. You will need to following items to take care of all visa processes for both countries:
EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES
- Electronic, scanned, color copy of your passport (biography and signature pages)
- No Xerox, no B&W, no photos
- This must be emailed to your Admissions Counselor as a JPEG OR PNG image file as part of your post-acceptance paperwork within 10 business days of acceptance to the program
- Passport valid for at least six (6) months after the last day of the program
- At least two (2) 4cm x 6cm passport photos – the Cambodian size passport photo is different from the standard US passport size of 2in x 2in, so most drugstore/pharmacy locations may not be able to take these photos for you. If that is the case, you should order your photos through this website and make sure you indicate that you need passport photos for Cambodia in the drop down menu on the homepage: www.epassportphoto.com/. Please make sure you have the right size photos before arriving.
- $465 in cash (US dollars) total – must be new, clean, unmarked, unwrinkled bills or else they will not be accepted!
Nearby attractions include the day and night markets, and the famed Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site. The variety of hotels and restaurants in town often host traditional Apsara dance shows and other cultural demonstrations. Surrounding Siem Reap are silk farms and rice paddies, as well as stilted fishing villages and wildlife sanctuaries on the Tonle Sap Lake. Students will stay at various hotels during trips through the Mekong Delta including visits to Phnom Penh, Kratie, and the coast of Cambodia.
A typical week in the field of Environmental Field Studies Abroad
Watch a video about the Cambodia/Vietnam program
View pictures and videos!