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Going abroad for the experience of a lifetime

Because of a shortage of jobs in Cambodia, more than 50,000 Cambodian workers have travelled abroad since the country began to encourage workers to go to work in places like Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan as housekeepers, construction workers, factory laborers, fishermen, fish cutters, shrimp peelers, and a variety of other manual-labor jobs.

Although the majority of Cambodians who step on a plane to work in a foreign country will be employed as low-skilled laborers, there is a growing number of Cambodians who have gone abroad to hone their professional skills in highly skilled jobs such as marketing, development and public relations. There are only a small number of Cambodians who have found professional success abroad; however, they prove that hard-working Cambodian students can develop the ability to work on an international stage.

“Whatever other people can do we can do,” said Chiv Sunheng, a graduate of the MBA program at Pa??asastra University of Cambodia and Junior Riparian Professional of the Mekong River Commission based in Laos. “When we study something must work hard to make sure that we understand and remember it. If we are not sure about our ability we will feel reluctant to look for a job and sit for interview,” he said.

As Cambodia becomes part of a globalized world, it is nessesary that Cambodians have the skills to perform and communicate on a internationally competitive level, and Cambodians have begun to bring their skills abroad and show their skill to the outside world.

Touch Yin Mony, a graduate from Royal University of Phnom Penh and a former intern at the European Parliament at the office of German representatives in the public relations section, stated that the experience he gained from his working environment abroad has given him priceless knowledge.

“I observed how powerful and influential work and tried to learn from their actions. I also built more personal networks worldwide, and I learned social and negotiation skills,” said Touch Yin Mony. He added that he was able to hone his negotiation skills when he had to handle difficult people in a professionallism and respectful manner.

Thoughworking abroad is a fantastic learning experience, the cultural diversity and high expectations are challenging to many Cambodians working abroad.

“You may have to face some challenges while working internationally, especially problems with languages, culture, different policies and competitiveness,” said Kim Sambath, a 21-year-old student in Limkokwing University’s Creative Technology program and a creative designer for Alvade and Creata project for McDonalds. “You need to get accustomed with the situation so that you can break all your obstacles,” he said.

In order to perform well in an international organization, Cambodian students have to be well- prepared academically and also socially. “We should be more social so that we can get to know many people around and share out ideas and comments, he said. “Ask yourself what is the job of your dreams and then start to improve yourself to fit the requirements of international companies in that field. Do not miss a chance to grab the opportunities in front of you. If you fail, try it again. Believe in your dreams and always say, ‘Yes, we can,’” he exclaimed.

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