‘The leaf never falls far from its tree” is a common expression, especially when children go into the family businesses. In this vein, a Cambodian youth from Kampong Speu born to a family of farmers has put his efforts into studying to get a scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at Mahasarakham University in Thailand. This is among the most powerful investments for agricultural development in the family and in society in general.
“When I graduated from high school and continued to study in college, there was some information about scholarships to study abroad, and I felt interested in applying for it. Because I wanted to test my ability, I also applied for a scholarship to study in Thailand.”
Dina said that he is passionate about agriculture, which he considers essential to developing his country.
“I studied in this field because I see Cambodia as having potential in agriculture, and it also needs human resources. Moreover, agriculture is a good major for me because I like it.”
A second-year student in agriculture, Dina had to adjust to the Thai educational system, which is conducted in the Thai language. Dina said that in his first year, he was required to study some general subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, as well as English and Thai. For his second year, the study is deeper than the previous year and includes subjects such as microbiology, genetics, organic chemistry and more advanced language courses.
In addition to learning theory in the classroom, the school also provides opportunities for students to practise their training in the field.
“Other students and I are used to visiting the outside with lecturers, doing things such as tree planting and technical cultivation.” Furthermore, Dina said he also cooperates with other students to visit villages and clean pagodas.
Dina said studying away from his homeland in a foreign country has its challenges. He said that in year one, he faced some difficulties in his study due to his Thai language level. However, he said there are no longer any obstacles for his study because some Khmer and Thai students helped teach him.
“I have more understanding in basic Thai language skills for the second year.”
As a youth with a strong commitment to agriculture, Dina expressed his optimistic hopes for the future.
“I will take all my knowledge I have learned and work with experience and develop the agricultural sector for both my family and for my country.”