Studying abroad is what many students in Cambodia wish to do because they believe that it helps them get a better education that will lead to well-paid jobs. But leaving the house, hometown, and country is not easy, and moving to a new country provides a lot of new challenges.
Huy Ratanak, who is a scholarship student at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, is seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. He shared his experiences about his life in Sichuan, China.
Most of you probably know Sichuan as the site of two earthquakes, with one killing more than 10,000 people in 2008 and another killing at least 192 people this April.
“When I got a scholarship to study in Sichuan, I felt hesitant because I was not sure whether I should go or not because of the earthquake in 2008, and my parents also felt worried about that,” said Ratanak.
“But finally I decided to go there, and in April this year, an earthquake happened again in Sichuan, but it was not in the place I stayed, so I no longer felt worried about that.”
Recently, there has been news of a big flood that may worry those who live in China, but Ratanak said that it is not a big deal for him.
“I felt a bit worried about that, but luckily the heavy rain and the flood didn’t come to Sichuan, so it is no long a concern for me now.”
Besides the problem of natural disasters, there are a few things Ratanak has to deal with, such as the language barrier.
Ratanak, who knows more English than Chinese, first found it difficult to make conversation with his new foreign friends.
“As a matter of fact, when I first arrived in China, it was a little bit hard to communicate because my Chinese level was low at that time, so I found it difficult to study because all the courses there are taught in Chinese. But, now I think language is not a barrier for me.”
Ratanak’s Chinese language keeps improving because he tried hard to study and got help from his Chinese friends. He said that no one discriminates against him, even if he didn’t know Chinese very well when he first arrived in China.
Ratanak also said he finds it difficult to study because the education system in China is different from the one in Cambodia.
“It is really different from Cambodia because they update the book every year, so the book is always up-to-date. What’s more, it is deeper than Cambodia’s book.”
Furthermore, Ratanak said that adapting to a new climate was not a major issue, even if it is colder in Sichuan.
All the students who study abroad face many difficulties in the country they move to. Even though they have a long way to go while they are in the foreign country, they still keep working to finish their university life and to come back to develop their own country.