P H A T H C H I N D A , U N I V E R S I T Y O F C A M B O I A ENGLISH LITERATURE SCHOLARSHIP STUDENT

Phath Chinda, 17, one of the University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students, described her learning experience when she provided an interview to The Southeast Asia Weekly. Chinda is the oldest of four sisters and she now lives in Trapaing Raing village, Ang Romeas commune, Dang Tong district, Kampot province. She was born there on June 24, 1991. Her father is Director of Kraing Leav primary school.

Chinda is now studying English Literature with The University of Cambodia (UC) as well as Accounting at the Vanda Institute of Accounting in Phnom Penh. She passed the scholarship exams offered by UC in Phnom Penh on September 22, 2008.

The English Literature scholar student Chinda pointed out that she heard about the scholarship program via Southeast Asia Radio FM 106. Chinda continued to say that she decided to study English Literature with UC because she thought that this major would ensure employability in the future.

Chinda earned her Baccalaureate when she graduated from Oudom Vichea High School in Kampot province in 2008. She then moved on to study with UC.

Chinda is now also studying in the first year of her accounting program at the Vanda Institute of Accounting. She decided to study the Accounting major in addition to her language studies, as she wants to work as an accountant or Chief executive offi cer.
Chinda said that nowadays she is living with her friend who is also a student from the same province. She pays US$ 60 per month for her room.

Chinda appealed to Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC to build student accommodation for provincial students. Speaking with reference to female students in particular, she said it would make the whole task of graduating much easier.Pho Thea, Chinda’s father and Director of the Kraing Leav Primary School in Dang Tong district, Kampot province, was happy with his daughter’s academic record of accomplishment. He added that Chinda is the oldest daughter and to date the only one studying with UC. He added that his daughter showed early promise, having built a solid reputation for academic excellence in primary school.

“I am very proud as I have a good daughter and I wish her all success in future. I think that her scholarship will encourage her to study harder and to reach her goals. I will try my best to support her if she wants to continue and study a Master’s or Doctorate in future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

I am very proud as I have a good daughter and I wish her all success in future. I think that her scholarship will encourage her to study harder and to reach her goals. I will try my best to support her if she wants to continue and study a Master’s or Doctorate in future

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KEO BUNTHOEUN WANTS TO BE ENGLISH TEACHER

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008”students, Keo Bunthoeun, 22, was born in 1988 in Oudong district, Kampong Speu province. He is the second brother, alongside two brothers and one sister in the family and they are now living in Prey Phdao village, Prey Krasaing commune, Oudong district, Kampong Speu province.
He is studying English Literature with The University of Cambodia (UC) in Phnom Penh. Bunthoeun earned his Baccalaureate when he studied at Sokha-Phally High School in Kampong Speu province in 2008. Having thus prepared the ground, he later applied to study English Literature at UC. This move was made possible by the introduction of the “Samdech Techo Hun Sen Vision 100”scholarship and the “Samdech Hun Sen- Handa National Scholarships 2008”. He now takes the utmost advantage of this generosity and works hard to make a better life for himself and all who will come to depend on him.

“I am very pleased to have passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia and I love studying at one of the nation’s most prestigious seats of learning,” he said during an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly on June 10. Bunthoeun continued that he decided to study English Literature with UC because he thought that as English is currently the second offi cial language of Cambodia, knowledge of it would help open doors for him.

He also spoke of his desire to exercise his critical facilities on material that he enjoys reading. This rationale is in complete agreement with his long-term dream of opening a private language school. He said that since he started to study English with UC in 2008, his ability to communicate in English across all skill sets has improved dramatically.

“I appreciate the University for giving me this new sense of confi dence when communicating – be it in Khmer of English, he added.”

“I now feel as if there is no communicative environment in which I cannot operate. I can read, write and speak English well; and the lessons I have learned in critical thinking help me whatever language I communicate in,” he said. “I am pretty confi dent that I will leave UC with a brace of excellent qualifi cations and transferable skills. This is why I study here.” Bunthoeun emphasized that upon graduation from UC, he will apply to work with any private company or international organization for six months to one year to make some money. He will use this to support his family members as well as funding further study. Naturally, it will also provide him with some more practical experience prior to studying for a Master’s degree.

“I will study hard for a postgraduate qualifi cation as a Master’s degree from UC will illustrate my commitment to excellence as certainly as it illustrates the University ,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. To achieve the goal, Bunthoeun said he takes lectures very seriously. However, he said that success for him relied just as much on what he did outside the lecture theater. He has developed a daily reading habit, the value of this demonstrated by the string of A grades included in his academic records. Besides his studies at UC, he is also studying Japanese Literature and Computer Skills at another private school in Phnom Penh. He added that he decided to study Japanese Literature, in addition to English Literature, as he has not ruled out the possibility of applying for scholarships from Japan. If successful, he will pursue a Doctorate in English Literature. In addition, he said that he would apply for study in Japan because he wants to learn about development and modernization and apply the lessons learned to the Cambodian context. Regarding his stay in Phnom Penh, Bunthoeun said that up to now, he is living with a Buddhist monk at the Moha Montrey Pagoda in Phnom Penh.

Keo Sopheakdey, 22, is a fi rst- year Finance and Banking student of Build Bright University (BBU) in Phnom Penh. He is also a friend of Keo Buntthoeun.

Sopheakdey said that he admired Bunthoeun’s capacity for hard work. “I have known Keo Bunthoeun since 2005 when he was studying with me at the Bun Rany Hun Sen Chan Thnal Secondary School in Kampong Speu province. He is a hard worker, but a gentle person. I recall his academic record was excellent at school,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. He continued, “I am very proud to be Buthoeun’s friend and I wish him the best of luck and all success in future.”

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O U K D A R O A T H D E S C R I B E S HIS WISHES AND EXPERIENCE

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students, Ouk Daroath, 27, is working towards a qualifi cation in Information Technology (IT) with The University of Cambodia (UC). Daroath revealed his plans while providing an interview to The Southeast Asia Weekly on June 15.

Ouk Daroath has three brothers and three sisters, he being the youngest in the family. He comes from a farming background, his parents cultivating land around Koh Veng village, Boeung Sala Khang Tbong commune in Kampong Trach district, Kampot province.

“I became a Buddhist monk in 1999, as I wanted to study the teachings of Buddha, Dharma, and general education. I believed and still do that this would be the best way for me to promote the Buddhist religion, social morality and peace in Cambodia,” he said. “I passed the scholarship exams offered by UC in 2008 and I am certain that an IT qualifi cation from this source will help me advance these ideals.”

Daroath stayed at Samrong pagoda in Sihanouk province and in 2002, he moved to Chum Kriel Pagoda, located in Kampot province. There he studied at Chum Kriel High School. He earned his Baccalaureate in 2008 and then applied to study IT at UC. This was made possible by the introduction of the Samdech Techo Hun Sen “Vision 100”scholarship and “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarship” in 2008.

“I am happy as I passed the UC scholarship exams. I think that if I had failed them, I would probably not be able to study with UC – the most prestigious university in Cambodia,” Daroath said.

In Daroath’s opinion, the best way to thank the owners of scholarship, especially Samdech Hun Sen, Dr. Handa and Dr Kao, will be to make a successful course of study. He also wishes to take the study of IT as far as he can, with a Master’s degree in the subject, studies at UC, forming part of his plans.

Daroath decided to apply to study IT at The University of Cambodia because of the excellent reputation the University has acquired over a short period. She is known for her fully qualifi ed lecturers, well-equipped classrooms and modern, relevant Curricular.

“I note there are few home-grown IT programmers working for Cambodian organizations. I decided to study Information Technology because I wanted to become an expert in future. I also sense this will be a vibrant sector of the economy once it picks up again with plenty of jobs for properly qualifi ed applicants,” he said.

He is now looking for volunteer or part-time work with national and international Non-Governmental Organizations. He said he wanted work experience to learn about working and other offi ce skills and to gain useful experience prior to graduation.

Nao Sovann, 30, student at the Suramrith Buddhist High School in Phnom Penh, and close friend to Ouk Daroath, said he appreciated Daroath’s capacity for hard work.

Sovann, a Buddhist monk, said that he got to know Ouk Daroath when he was studying with him at Chum Kriel High School in Kampot province in 2002. He said that Daroath was a hard worker and was one of the most outstanding students in his class.

He continued to say that during his study with Daroath in high school, Daroath gained a reputation as both a Khmer Literature expert and Electrician.

“It is my pleasure and honor to have a good friend like Daroath, and I hope with his study and hard work, he will become an IT expert,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly by telephone on June 16. “I hope that he will realize his dreams as he deserves all success in life.”

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SOVANNKA ON COURSE FOR LEADERSHIP POSITION

Chheng Sovannka, 20, one of The University of Cambodia’s Samdech Techo Hun Sen Vision- 100 Scholarship 2007 students, has described her wishes and life as a student.

Chheng Sovannka was born in 1989 in Phnom Penh and she is the oldest of three sisters. Her father is an officer working with the National Authority for Combating Drugs in the Ministry of Interior and her mother is a house-maker.

Sovannka is now studying English Literature at The University of Cambodia as well as Accounting at the Royal University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. She passed the scholarship exams offered by The University of Cambodia in 2007.

“I passed the scholarship exams with grade B. I now enjoy the benefits of study for free, thanks to the generosity of the University authorities,” she told the Southeast Asia Weekly on April 24.

Sovannka pointed out that she studied at Preah Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh, earning a Baccalaureate in 2007. She applied to study English Literature at UC following the introduction of the scholarships.

“After completion of my studies, I will apply for work with private companies or international organizations and will use my knowledge to work for the interests of people across the world,” she added.

She continued that she decided tostudy English Literature with UC because she wishes to be an English Lecturer. Alternatively, she sees herself as a future leader in Cambodia. She told The Southeast Asia Weekly that since she has been studying English with UC, her linguistic abilities have improved dramatically and she is able to read, write and speak well, as she must in her capacity of President of The University of Cambodia student Senate.

She added that when she completes her graduation with UC, she plans to apply for a Master’s degree in English Literature or Accounting in Japan. Sovannka said that besides her study at UC, she is also studying Accounting. As a second string to her bow, this will open up the possibility of work for foreign companies or NGO’s. Sovannka said that besides her studies she is the current President of The University of Cambodia Student Senate. She was elected to this position in early 2009.

“I am happy that I am working towards success. Nevertheless, to reach my goal, I have to study harder to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature in the next two years. I will then apply for foreign scholarships to study for a Master’s
or Doctoral Degree in Japan,” she said. Sovannka said that since she was elected President in early 2009, she has been working hard organizing UC Student Senate events. These provide opportunities for UC students to build up confi dence and individual talent. They create goodwill via promotion of the culture of Cambodia. Active senate members also learn the benefi ts of collaboration, tolerance and teamwork.

“Although I am now very busy and working hard, I really enjoy with my work. I am learning a lot from them and these lessons will be relevant in future. In addition, I am also able to work for my classmates and UC students in general. Most importantly, this position gives me a chance to help the less well-to-do and promote progress in Cambodia,” she said. She said that her dream is to be an activist fi ghting for women’s rights, raising their profi le, encouraging self-confi dence and self reliance. Lieutenant Colonel Chin Samon, Chief of the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Containments Control Office is Sovannka’s father and he is very happy with his daughter’s efforts.

He also said that Sovannka is the only one of his three daughters studying at The University of Cambodia and that she has been attending schools since the age of fi ve. He said that when his daughter was at primary and high school, she studied very hard every day and as a result, she was always one of the top ten students in her schools. He pointed out that in 2007, Sovannka passed three scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia, the Institute of Foreign Language and the Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences.

He continued that he ordered his daughter to cancel her studies at the Institute of Foreign Languages and concentrate on The University of Cambodia. He added that to do her schoolwork as well as serve as UC Student Senate President Sovannka studies very hard every night. Sometimes, she has to work until 1 or 2 am at the morning.

“I pity my daughter very much because she works very hard everyday and night. However, I am very honored and proud as I have a good daughter. I think that she will eventually reach her goals,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly during a telephone interview on June 24. “I will encourage and support her to obtain a higher degree in future and I wish her all the best of luck and success,” he added.

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AM POV ON COURSE TO BECOME IT EXPERT

One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen- Handa National Scholarship 2007” students, Am Pov, 29, has provided an interview to The Southeast Asia Weekly on June 30. He is the third in a family of fi ve brothers and two sisters. The family lives in Baseth district, Kampong Speu province, where he born in 1980.

Am Pov is a Buddhist monk staying at the Svay Porpea pagoda in Phnom Penh. In addition, he studies Information Technology (IT) with The University of Cambodia. To claim his position, he passed scholarship exams offered by The University of Cambodia in August 2007.

“I became a Buddhist monk in 1997 when I was living in Korng Pisey district in Kampong Speu province. I decided to join the Pagoda because it offered me the chance to study both Dharma and gain a foundation in general education. My aim was – and still is – to support my family and help develop my nation,” he said.

Am Pov said that as a monk, he stayed at the Chottenaram pagoda located in Korng Pisey district and later, he moved to the Sothanavong pagoda, also known as the Phar Daek pagoda in Oudong district in Kampong Speu province. Whilst there, he continued his studies at the Buddhist Secondary School.

In 2000, he moved to the Thamikaram pagoda to study the Pali language at a Buddhist Pali School in Battambang province. The next stop on his list was the Svay Porpea pagoda, with further study at the Preah Sangkhareach Bou Kry Buddhist High School in Phnom Penh. He earned his Baccalaureate there in 2007. Consequently, he applied to study IT at UC following introduction of the “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” in 2007.

“I was relieved to pass the 2007 scholarship exams offered by the University of Cambodia. Without the scholarship, I doubt I would be able to enjoy the benefi ts of higher education with UC. I will work hard to demonstrate my gratitude to the University authorities. If possible, I would like to take the course all the way to post graduate level. Yes, it is a pipe-dream at the moment, but the scholarship providers have given me the potential to realize it,” he said

He decided to study Information Technology at The University of Cambodia because of the University’s excellent reputation. “I decided to study IT because when I take all the advantages into account – the fully equipped IT labs, the credit system and the English language policy – UC offers the best chance for me to achieve my goals,” he said.

Am Pov said that besides his studies at UC, he is now studying a short course on Administration and Accounting Skills offered by the Save the Poor Organization in Phnom Penh. This will provide him with an additional set of skills essential to survival in the professional world.

“I will be graduating in two years,” he said. “And I want to equip myself with the full range of transferable skills well before this.”
Peanh Rony, a Buddhist Monk living at Svay Porpea pagoda and friend to Am Pov, said he appreciated Pov’s capacity for hard work. Rony said that he has known Am Pov since 2001, when they studied together at the Preah Sangkhareach Bou Kry Buddhist High School in Phnom Penh.

He said that in the pagoda where he stayed, Am Pov developed a reputation for being gentle, friendly, honest and helpful. “I am pleased to know Am Pov. He has a well defi ned dream and the drive necessary to achieve it,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

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S C H O L A R S H I P S T U D E N T A I M S F O R DOCTORAL DEGREE IN ECONOMICS

Kong Vong Seih Sothy, 18, one of The University of Cambodia’s Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarship studentshas described his wishes at an interview with The Cambodia Weekly on May 11, 2009. Vong Seih Sothy has one brother and one sister in his family – he is the oldest, and they are now staying in Phnom Penh. His father is an offi cer, working with the Cambodian Red Cross in Phnom Penh and his mother is a home-maker. He is now studying Economics at The University of Cambodia (UC) in Phnom Penh, having passed the scholarship exams in September 2008. Before graduation with The University of Cambodia, Vong Seih Sothy studied at Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh, earning a Baccalaureate in 2008. He then applied to study Economics at UC following the introduction of the “Samdech Hun Sen- Handa National Scholarships” in 2008. “I am overjoyed to have passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia,” he said. “I am also very happy because I am now able to write and speak English with something approaching fl uency, following my time with UC. This has been a by-product of the University’s insistence on English as the medium of instruction.” Vong Seih Sothy continued to say that he decided to apply for study with UC because he received the highest impression of the organization’s quality following visits to the University and recommendations from friends. As he discovered, this reputation is well founded; the University of Cambodia employs only the best instructors and incorporates the fl exibility afforded by the modular system, as practiced in the United States education sector. He decided to study Economics with UC because he wants to use the qualifi cation to help generate jobs for Cambodians and contribute to the development of human resources in the nation. “My dream is to work as an economist or economic analyst, preferably with the Royal Government of Cambodia, an international organization or foreign NGO in future,” he said. “I have to study hard to reach my fi nal goal and take it step-by-step. First I will earn a Bachelor’s Degree and then move on to postgraduate study with UC.” He realizes he has set himself quite a challenge. He studies very hard, completes all homework and assignments by the deadlines and reads around his subject. “I believe that the sacrifi ces I make now will be well worth it when I can show future employers my qualifi cations. With a little extra ap-I am overjoyed to passed the scholarship exams from The University of Cambodia. I am also very happy because I am now able to write speak English with something approaching fl uency, following my time with UC. This has a by-product of the University’s insistence on English as the medium of instruction plication, a little extra reading, there is no limit to what a truly committed student can achieve.” With a work ethic this strong, he should have little diffi culty reaching his goals. Korm Vannary, 18, a fi rst-year Finance and Banking Student of the Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences (RULES) in Phnom Penh, and personal friend to Kong Vong Seih Sothy, said she understood Vong Seih Sothy’s drive for success. Vannary said she has known Kong Vong Seih Sothy since 2006 when she was studying with him in grade 11, at the Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh. She said that Vong Seih Sothy was a gentle, helpful and honest student and a hard worker. “I am inspired by Kong Vong Seih Sothy’s vision for himself and his desire to work for the nation. I hope that he will realize this dream and I wish him all the best of luck and success in future,” she told The Cambodia Weekly.

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