Child Trafficking: A Case Study in Cambodia (next offered: 2021)



Summer programs offer students an opportunity to study abroad outside of the academic year. All offer credit, however each program is structured differently and planned by individual faculty members.  The Cambodia summer program is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia and is accompanied by a WU faculty member.  Utilizing a case-study approach and in cooperation with Green Leaf, a non-profit partner, students in the program will grapple with the issues of child trafficking and exploitation from historical, political, and structural perspectives.

The Cambodia summer program will take place in Siem Reap, a small city in northwestern Cambodia. Students will spend approximately two weeks living in Siem Reap, where they will use field experiences to enhance their understanding of child trafficking, or the movement of children for the purposes of exploitation.

The course will take a case-study approach, focusing on readings and field experiences in Cambodia to examine the complex factors involved in both the perpetuation of, and attempts to reduce or eradicate, child trafficking. The course will address several forms of child trafficking, including sexual exploitation, forced labor, and child begging. Particular attention will be paid to specific historical, political, and structural features within the field country that enable or exacerbate child trafficking, as well as the relationship between governmental and non-governmental (including faith-based) responses to child trafficking.

Both students and the faculty leader will stay at the same non-profit hotel, located approximately a 10-minute walk from the center of town (“Pub Street”). Class sessions will take place at the hotel, with field excursions augmenting course content. It is expected that the course will include a three-day, mid-program excursion to the capital city of Phnom Penh (included in program cost) to visit the Genocide Museum and Killing Fields.

Students applying for this summer program should understand that the topic covered (child trafficking) will be emotionally challenging. As well, our location (Siem Reap, Cambodia) will include physical challenges of being in a hot, humid climate. The number one priority during the program is the safety of the participants. Participants should anticipate a great deal of walking each day as part of the excursions.

  • Sensitive course material: Students should carefully consider, prior to applying, whether they are personally prepared to engage the sensitive course content. Students will read about, and hear personal stories from, individuals affected by child trafficking. Participants will also learn about and visit museums documenting the genocide in Cambodia. Students should consider their personal preparedness to discuss a range of sensitive topics, e.g. genocide, sexual exploitation, physical abuse, and emotional abuse.
  • Heat and sun, weather extremes: Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate. During the program dates, students should expect high heat and humidity, with occasional heavy showers. Dehydration can occur easily, so students will need to carry bottled water at all times (tap water is not safe for drinking, see next note). Students should bring sunscreen and an umbrella that can be used for rain or shine. At the pre-departure sessions, students will be given more specific instructions about clothing including items that work well in the unique climate of Cambodia and also that satisfy rules related to appropriate attire at temples and other holy sites.
  • Bottled water: The tap water in Cambodia is not safe for drinking. Students will need to drink bottled water and are encouraged to use bottled water for rinsing toothbrushes, etc. The hotel will provide students with approximately two liters of bottled water per day as part of program participation. Students can purchase additional water inexpensively at any convenience store (approximately 50 cents per bottle) and can store bottled water in their hotel room refrigerators.
  • Program interviews: This program may require in-person interviews with OIE staff and the course program faculty leader as part of the selection process. If you are selected for an interview, these will occur in December (prior to the last day of finals) and/or across the first weeks of spring term.
  • Required Pre-departure meetings in spring: In addition to Office of International Education pre-departure preparation requirements, you will also be required to participate in two mandatory pre-program class sessions (approximately 6 hours total time) during spring semester as a condition of your acceptance into this program. Every effort will be made to schedule these courses to accommodate your spring class schedule but these sessions are required of all students selected for the program. Failure to attend these pre-courses will result in dismissal from the summer program.

Past Program Details:

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

2018 Professor: Mark Stewart, Professor of Psychology 

2018 Special Program Note:  Limited to 9 participants

Credit: Earn 1.0 WU credit: IDS-212 (EV) Child Trafficking. For sociology majors/minors, this course can be counted as a 100-level SOC elective.

  • Satisfies Examining Values (EV) MOI in previous General Education requirements
  • Still being determined for new (from 2019-20) General Education requirements

Grading:  The is a credit/no credit (CR/NC) course.

2018 Dates: May 18-June 4, 2018 (but subject to change until finalized), including classes and planned activities on weekends. Students will need to travel on specific dates but will be given instructions after acceptance. If you book incorrectly, you will be required to rebook your flight at your expense.

2018 Costs: Based on a minimum of 8 students: estimated $3,400 for WU students and $3,600 for non-WU students.  Program cost includes tuition, onsite instruction and facilities, visa application fee, shared rooms at the hotel, most meals, program excursions, transfer to/from airport in Siem Reap and local hotel, onsite support, and study abroad health insurance. Graduating seniors are also eligible to participate. Items NOT included in program price include:

  • Airfare to and from Siem Reap IS NOT included in the program cost. We do not book group flights so that you can take advantage of any options you may have (miles, family travel benefits, etc.) BUT you still must book to arrive as instructed.
  • Course books are also NOT included in the program cost. Students will be directed about course readings / textbooks after selection in the program. Total textbook cost is expected to be under $100.
  • For safety and navigation needs, participants are also strongly encouraged to purchase and use a local cell phone ($40-$50) while on the program in Cambodia.
  • While most meals will be covered by the program, students should bring about $50 in cash for meals not covered by the program, as well as any spending money they may wish use. Most areas of Cambodia accept US dollars (small bills only) and ATMs are available in Siem Reap. Credit cards are generally not accepted in Cambodia.

Scholarships: There are no financial scholarships available for the Cambodia post-session.

Non-Willamette Students

Non-Willamette students of all majors are welcome to apply.  Send an email to to initiate an application.  In addition to completing the online application, if you are a non-WU student, please have your home university (and any other universities you've attended) send an official transcript to: International Education, Willamette University, 900 State Street, Salem, OR 97301. Transcripts must arrive by the application deadline for full consideration.  

Information Session: Please see for list of study abroad information sessions.

For more information, email

TukTuk in Cambodia

Green Leaf Boutique Hotel: First and Only Non-Profit Hotel in Cambodia

Study Abroad Application

Offered every other summer. PLEASE APPLY IN FALL 2020 FOR SUMMER 2021!


Traveling via tuk-tuk

Upcoming Information Sessions

Visiting a temple

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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