Gap year in Cambodia


My name is Pauline, I am a French 18 year old who is currently living in Lyon, France. I have two younger brothers and a sister and I have just completed high school and an international baccalaureate in an international school. I speak French and English fluently due to attending an American school in Rabat, Morocco from 7th to 10th grade and an international school in Lyon from 11th to 12th grade. 

I am a firm believer that little changes can make a difference and that there is more humanity in the world than people seem to think. I love travelling, meeting new people, learning and sharing . 


After graduating high school in June, I had two options: either attend university in London to study international relations or take a gap year and volunteer in order to take a break from school, expand my horizons and have a once in a lifetime experience. 

After months of unsuccessful searching, I gave up on taking a gap year as no program or organization truly engaged with me. 

This all changed after I attended a conference with my Mom about a French organization based in Cambodia called PSE: . PSE is an organization which aims to help children escape from destitution and lead them to decent, skilled and well remunerated jobs. 

They scholarize children who work in the street or on trash fields and offer them peace, safety, health and education. To this day, 10,000 lives have been changed by the work of PSE in their own center or in schools all around Cambodia. 


The dedication and love I witnessed during the conference brought me to their website and I quickly decided to contact them after noticing that they were looking for English teaching assistants. I sent a letter of motivation as well as my CV and obtained an interview with the English and Cambodian team. 

After speaking with them, I decided that teaching English in Cambodia for 8 months sounded like an eye opening and beautiful experience so I made up my mind and deferred my application in university. 

The opportunity to share my education, my knowledge and my life with children who have been through more than I ever will is truly inspiring to me and has always been a dream of mine. Although I will be there to help teach them English and hopefully make an impact in their education, I am sure I will learn more from them than they will from me. 


I will be starting at the PSE school in Phnom Penh in September and will be there for over 8 months. 

Where will the funds go? 

Half of the funds collected here will go towards creating a project which will involve PSE and will be a follow up to my work there. I am aware that this seems broad but I am truly incapable of knowing how I will be able to help on a long-term basis and I will only be able to determine it once I am in Cambodia. All I know is that I do not want to go there for 8 months, work with the kids and then leave never to look back. I want to keep a long-term project going with PSE or start a completely new and different one myself. This money would allow me to sponsor children in PSE and start my own organisation which I would continue and expand during university.

Although this is my dream and fully my choice, it is a very big life decision and not having my family near me will be very difficult. In addition, it is full volunteer job and I will recieve no remmuneration. Therefore, the funds collected on this page with also help me in being independent. 

I plan on taking advantage of this trip wether it is through travelling, meeting people or teaching. A portion of the money could therefore provide funds for my travels in Cambodia and hopefully Thailand, Laos, Vietnam... and would allow me to be independent. 

I plan on sharing the money equally (50/50)  between my personal account and my project funds.

I am looking to collect funds before the end of September 2017 as to have a safety net by the time I arrive in Cambodia and to start my project there.

If you are interested in following my journey more closely, I have started a blog and will keep posting throughout my mission. The link is down below:

Thank you so much for your interest and support. 

Love, Pauline
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Pauline Baratte