Student life in Phnom Penh

student life
Updated 2019-11-04 08:51

Adjusting to life as a student can be difficult. Even more so if you are trying to do it in a new country, but with some prior knowledge, it is an exciting and unique time in your life. Here is all that you need to know about student life in Phnom Penh.

Student accommodation in Phnom Penh

When coming to a new country or city as a student, the first thing you need to think about is how to find accommodation. Unlike most Western cities, there aren't many dormitories or student housing available in the city. The ones that are available are usually of low quality and are reserved for locals who are low income or come from more rural parts of the country.

Thankfully, accommodation is still easy to find in the city. Apartments are available throughout the city and are relatively cheap. Depending on your needs, you can expect to pay USD100-400 for a one-bedroom apartment in most parts of Phnom Penh.

The cost of living in Phnom Penh

Apart from your living expenses, you will also need to factor in the cost of food as a major expense. Most food items are very cheap. If you need produce or meat, the best and cheapest place to get it is at the local markets. It is always very fresh compared to many grocery stores. Meat is left unrefrigerated, which can be intimidating to many foreigners but is fresher and safe to eat as long as you get to it early in the day. You might have to do some bartering, but not nearly as much as you would for a tuk-tuk ride. If you shop local, your weekly grocery costs could be as low USD20 per week.

If you need Western or non-local items, you're in luck. Grocery stores in Phnom Penh are stocked with more Western items than almost any other country in Southeast Asia. These things will make your spending much higher. Expect to pay nearly twice what they cost in your home country.

Getting around Phnom Penh

It's also important to know how to get around a new city. Phnom Penh is not very pedestrian-friendly, and the roads are hectic, making driving difficult. Despite this, there are still many ways to get around Phnom Penh, the most convenient being by tuk-tuk, a type of motorcycle taxi with an attached seating area that can be found all over the city at any time of the day.

Leisure in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is a lively city with something to do that will interest everyone. Even on a school day, you can find great things to keep you busy after school. Regardless of your interests, you can find great things to do in the city.

There are many public holidays where you can take a quick holiday to explore the nearby region. There is a fantastic train that runs from Phnom Penh to Kampot and Sihanoukville. In just a few hours, you can escape the concrete jungle of Phnom Penh and arrive in the laid back riverside town of Kampot, which feels like a world away. Phnom Penh is also very near to Vietnam, and there are many buses that can take you to Ho Chi Minh City. Just make sure to arrange your visa beforehand as most countries are not allowed visa on arrival when coming by land.

Phnom Penh is a dynamic city that is changing faster than you can imagine. It is incredibly fun to live in, and studying here will provide a unique experience that you couldn't have elsewhere.

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