There is a growing trend amongst young Cambodians to travel overseas to study and complete part of their educational studies at schools or universities abroad.
Some go for secondary schooling, others for undergraduate or post graduate study and still others to focus on vocational training.
The reasons are many and varied. But in general these include a common conviction that an international education received from a developed country is far superior to that on offer in Cambodia. Those heading overseas also believe that an overseas education provides a competitive edge on return to Cambodia and will reap many benefits in terms of future employment options, speedy career progression and higher income.
Another key reason tostudy abroad is that the qualification has international recognition and acceptance and can open doors to further overseas study, greater regional employment prospects or foreign migration.
Study destinations popular with Cambodians include the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America, Japan and Singapore.
“Having the opportunity to study in Australia has changed my life” says Bolin, a young woman from Phnom Penh who completed secondary school in Australia and who is now in her third year of a double degree at Monash University in Melbourne Australia studying Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Commerce. “As well as achieving an internationally recognised qualification, the most important thing I have learnt so far is how important it is to be aware of the cultural and lifestyle differences between countries and that it is essential to be open to those differences” she added.
Bolin’s father, Mr Nhek Sophen endorsed his daughter’s comments. “After doing some research, I was convinced that an Australian education would not only provide my daughter with an internationally respected qualification but also give her excellent English language skills, both valuable assets for her intended career”. There are two key avenues for Cambodians to achieve overseas study- either through being awarded a scholarship or by funding the study themselves.
No matter what route you take to go, there are basic requirements which students need to meet to be accepted into an educational institution abroad and to qualify for a student visa. Each country may have it own unique requirements but there are key criteria common to all.
These include that the student has the appropriate academic qualifications and/or work experience to support the intended study program, that the student satisfies the relevant authorities that they have sufficient funds to cover their stay in that country and that they possess adequate English language proficiency to ensure successful completion of their studies. The English language competency is measured by an IELTS or TOEFL score.
Any student wanting to find out more about this exciting option guaranteed to change the course of your life can research any of the relevant scholarship websites or visit the IDP Education Study Resource Centre at both ACE campuses (Santhor Mok and Samdech Pan) where information, and guidance on every aspect related to overseas study is available.