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SFS-Cambodia: Fisheries to Floating Villages

Program Location Siem Reap, Cambodia
Sponsor School for Field Studies
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 35010
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
Summer 2023 07/06/23 to 08/06/23

Page Links
Overview Purdue Credit
Eligibility Academics
Housing Program Costs
Financial Aid Deadline
Returnee Info Resources

Due to COVID-19, programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


Freshwater Cambodia: Fisheries to Floating Villages

This summer, Cambodia’s freshwater ecosystems become your classroom, from Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake to the mighty Mekong River. Travel across Cambodia, starting with the ancient Angkor Temples of Siem Reap and Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake – the Tonle Sap Great Lake. There, you’ll learn about the link between hydrological dynamics, biodiversity conservation, food security, and livelihood outcomes. Visit important ecological sites along the Mekong River and study endangered species, hydropower development, water governance, and discuss key conservation issues that impact freshwater ecosystems. End the program in the vibrant capital city of Phnom Penh. 

  • Homestay in a floating village of the Tonle Sap Lake: Practice species identification, monitor endangered species, interview local communities about their livelihoods, and participate in a rice growing activities with a rural farmer in Siem Reap. 
  • Take a week-long expedition to explore the Mekong Riverlearning about river ecology, visiting a hydropower dam, assessing environmental impacts, and discussing Irrawaddy river dolphin conservation
For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:School for Field Studies.


The program is open to Purdue students in good standing who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity, and a desire to experience another culture.

GPA Requirement: 2.6 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit
Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Agriculture][College of Liberal Arts]
Specifically from: All (AG) and Liberal Arts majors fulfilling their science requirement

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Cambodia. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Lake and river ecology
  • Freshwater species identification
  • Community-based natural resource management
  • Endangered species and conservation challenges
  • Rural livelihoods and food security
  • Hydropower development
  • Water governance

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include the Tonle Sap Lake and Mekong River, fishing villages, a Ramsar wetlands site, bird sanctuaries, a rice farm, a floating village, an Irrawaddy river dolphin pool, a hydropower dam near the Cambodia-Laos border, the bustling markets of Siem Reap, and historical and cultural sites in Phnom Penh.


Our most urban center, the SFS Cambodia Center lies on the outskirts of Siem Reap, near the famed temples of Angkor. The Center is a breezy, modern campus nestled in a quiet neighborhood minutes away from the bustling downtown area where you will find restaurants, artisan shops, markets, and many Cambodian cultural activities.

  • Dorm living with air-conditioned, four-person bunkrooms
  • Classroom building with library and balcony
  • Student lounge with open loft and beanbag chairs
  • Expansive open-air dining area, and on-site cooking staff
  • Gyms and running routes in surrounding neighborhood
  • Swimming pool, badminton court, and hammock bungalow

Estimated Program Costs
Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss. 

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

Financial Aid

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline.  To insure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Summer Programs Mar 1

Returnees Information

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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