Schools & Universities
Experiential educational adventures in Cambodia for high schools & universities
We specialize in development education, and facilitating learning journeys for student groups especially interested in development work. Our trips explore concepts of global citizenship and encourage travellers to be positive change-makers of the future.
At Ayana Journeys, we offer our own learning journeys, as well as facilitate study trips for like-minded travel partners as a Cambodian ground-operator.
Our learning journeys allow students to experience Cambodia through new experiences, educational activities, adventure, and of course fun! We aim to give students greater understanding of and interest in Cambodian history and Khmer culture and traditions, as well as love for this beautiful country and its people. We also aim to give you a chance to learn more about various development issues in Cambodia, and the variety of ways in which those are being addressed.
“Culturally immersive learning journeys, connecting young travellers to inspiring initiatives and locations.”
Our style of travel
All of our student learning journeys are crafted around three key focus-areas, which we believe together create a rounded exploration of Cambodia and transformative learning experience…
SELF – Personal Development –
Facing the unfamiliar offers incredible potential for growth, which we seek to maximise by supporting young explorers in their individual journeys. By carefully framing experiences and facilitating powerful reflection activities, students are encouraged to step bravely outside of their comfort zones, challenging themselves to explore new ideas, consider new perspectives, adopt a critical mind-set, question preconceptions, and most of all reflect on their own values, beliefs, strengths, and goals. As Marie Curie so concisely stated: “You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.”
- Critical thinking
COMMUNITY – Cultural Immersion & Historical Context –
Cultivating the humility to fully immerse in a new culture and community can be a humbling, life changing experience, irreversibly altering the way we see both ourselves and the world around us. We help students get excited about stepping off the well-trodden path, delving beneath Cambodia’s surface to gain a richer understanding of the Kingdom’s cultural heritage and complex history. There is unknown joy (and learning) to be found in even the smallest moments of cross-cultural exchange, as students’ focus shifts from the obvious cultural differences to the shared human experiences that connect us.
WORLD – Development Education & Global Citizenship –
Exploring the intricacies of Cambodia’s unique development journey allows students to gain valuable insights into the complexities of development on a wider scale, and ask ‘big’ questions on broader themes. Everything from charity, sustainability, sovereignty, and globalisation to equality, social justice, privilege and power are up for debate, as students work through critical issues to form their own opinions. While our learning journeys may take place in Cambodia, students are encouraged to use their experience as an opportunity to reflect on themselves as travellers, change-makers, and global citizens, considering their role in an increasingly interconnected world.
- Global citizenship
Our team are based in Cambodia, and are made up of locals and expats with thorough local knowledge. We have been running educational adventures for many years, and have a deep connection to the country. To our knowledge, we are the only Cambodian registered educational travel specialist.
Education is at the core of all our tours. Study trips have carefully thought out curriculums and learning objectives based on your group’s interests and goals. Experienced facilitators deliver eye-opening educational experiences through a range of engaging and interactive activities. Unlike typical service trips, rather than diving in and trying to help, we engage guests in meaningful interactions with leaders in the field to learn first.
We aim to help travellers to feel more connected to and empathetic towards a global community. We seek to break stereotypes , and change attitudes and perspectives. Our trips are eye-opening, and have been described as life-changing.
Responsible and ethical
Socially responsible travel is at the core of everything we do. We have even received global recognition for our social responsibility initiatives in educational travel. We have a range of strict policies to ensure we tread lightly, and create maximum positive impacts to the people and places we visit. Our trips are small and customized, and we like it that way!
Your trip costs includes generous donations to organisations we visit and meet, funding much needed development work. As well as partnering with NGOs through our tours, we also support social enterprises and community initiatives. We carefully select our NGO partners that are aligned with our values, and have an on-going dialogue with them to ensure our trips benefit their cause in some way.
Offbeat and culturally immersive
We believe in getting off the beaten path and are proud to support destinations in the heart of rural Cambodia. By travelling with us to quieter locations, we connect you to authentic and culturally immersive experiences, as well as spreading economic benefits.
Safety is priority and all locations are thoroughly researched in advance. Our leaders are first aid qualified, and follow stringent safety and emergency policies and procedures.
We are committed to following legislation and investing in the Cambodian economy. By using us as a destination based partner, you can rest assured that all necessary legal requirements are fulfilled by our compliance. This includes necessary compulsory tourism license, tax systems and recruitment procedures, including a commitment to ethical HRM.
We work all over the country – from the buzzing capital, to the sleepy seaside, and from the heart of the countryside, to the most hidden corners of the Kingdom. Trips usually start and/or finish in Siem Reap and/or Phnom Penh, and where possible we encourage groups to get out of the hustle and bustle, and take you off the beaten track.
As a ‘developing’ country, Cambodia is the perfect place to explore concepts of global citizenship. We have a rich and complicated history, fascinating spiritual beliefs, and a colourful culture. We also believe it is one of the friendliest places on earth!
No two itineraries are the same, as we don’t believe one size fits all when it comes to transformative travel. We customise every tour to meet your group’s needs, learning goals, and timeframe. Tell us more about who your group is, and we’ll design an educational adventure just for you.
As every trip is different we have no fixed prices. We will work hard to meet your groups’ budget, but ask you to remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch! We pay our staff, partners and hosts fairly, as well as being a committed law-abiding tax payer! We usually prepare a budget on an all-inclusive basis, and can spread chaperones or teachers costs across paying students.
As well as being fun and educational, we firmly believe that travel has the potential to positively impact host communities. With careful planning and consideration we are able to maximize the benefits of our adventures to the local economy, and support inspiring development initiatives.
In designing our itineraries and selecting our partners and suppliers, we prioritize locally-run and/or social enterprise accommodation, restaurants, service providers, and transport options. In doing this we can ensure that your money is flowing directly into the local economy, and benefitting the people whose country you are exploring. Donations are made to all development projects and social enterprises visited throughout the journey.
For some of our trips, we also set aside a portion of our fee and channel it directly to an official partner NGO. An example is through our partnership with PEPY Tours, with fundraising going directly to PEPY Empowering Youth.
We believe this contributes to positive long-term impacts that will last far beyond the duration of your trip, and simultaneously encourages students to recognize their ability to effect positive change.
Every learning journey is carefully handcrafted to your group’s needs and learning goals. Whilst most trips have an underlying thread, every adventure is unique and designed especially for you.
Themes & topics
Culture & cultural differences
Ancient & modern Cambodian history
Foreign aid & development
Service & responsible giving
Education & development
Natural & heritage conservation
“This trip was enriching in every way possible. It changed the way I looked at development work, taught me how to question and analyse my surroundings, and most of all it taught me awareness, of myself, of others, and of the world” – Sara, March 2015