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His recent appointment by the US embassy to be one of the nine candidates for the 2010 Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) will mark the fourth time in the last two years that 22-year-old Tha Sanhchivorn packs his suitcase to further his studies overseas.
A graduate from Russey Keo High School in 2006, Tha Sanhchivorn is presently a third-year student in business administration at Pa??asastra University of Cambodia (PUC) and a senior in law at the Royal University of Law and Economics. Besides the packed schedule that comes with being a double major, Tha Sanhchivorn is also serving as the vice president of talent management in AIESEC Phnom Penh, a local committee of AIESEC Cambodia based at PUC.
In a few months, Tha Sanhchivorn will be flying to the United States to study for a semester. Last week, he was in Kuala Lumpur participating in the Malaysia International Youth Program “Crime Free Generation 2010”. In November last year, he was also in Kuala Lumpur joining 500 Southeast Asian representatives in the Youth Engagement Summit (YES) for Change. Just a month prior to YES, he was in Taiwan for an AIESEC international conference known as the HEROES Conference, focusing on HIV/AIDS, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. With his continuous efforts to gain academic and professional experience abroad, Tha Sanhchivorn is on his way to a bright future.
“I would say that because of my self-discipline, effort, academic achievement, social participation and community service, I have been granted the opportunity to participate on an international stage so many times,” he said. Tha Sanhchivorn added, however, that no one can succeed in every single plan. He failed in his application to a number of scholarship programmes, including ones in Singapore and Japan, before receiving four invitations to study abroad.
“Failing once, twice or even more does not mean the end of everything. You ought to maintain your self-belief, spot your weak points and improve for another opportunity. Failing to achieve is not a failure, but losing your hope and motivation is a true failure,” he said.
Chhim Chantha, Tha Sanhchivorn’s father, said he was so proud of his son. “To me, Chivorn has always been an exceptional child since he was young. As a father, I cannot find words to define my excitement to see what my own son has accomplished in his life,” he said.
In the future, Tha Sanhchivorn said he would like to be a social entrepreneur so that he can devote his efforts to improving his society.