Student of the week: Hok Chan Makara

Student of the week: Hok Chan Makara

Our student of the week will receive a $50 voucher from Boston Books. If you want to nominate a student or friend, email [email protected]

In his first two years at university, Hok Chan Makara had no idea what he wanted to do in the future. He was studying just to please his friends and parents, his marks in class were unimpressive and he hesitated to share his exam scores with his friends.

Today, as a fourth-year student in English education at the Institute of Foreign Languages and a fifth-year electrical major at Preak Kossamak Polytechnic Institute, he has moved on from his uninspired past to establish himself as a successful and hard-working student. As a testament to his newfound work ethic, he recently received a fellowship to go to Hong Kong to discuss politics and economics with youth from Asia and America through a programme funded by The Fund for American Studies (TFAS), in cooperation with the Asia Institute Political Economy (AIPE) in Hong Kong (for more info, visit

“I never expected to be able to attend this programme,” said the winner of a three-week trip to Hong Kong, adding that he plans to put his best stuff forward to represent Cambodia at the international conference.

The 22-year-old is one of eight Cambodian youths who won the fellowship for the political economics discussion this year, and one of 65 youths from 15 nations who will be meeting to share ideas about how to solve the problems plaguing the world’s economy today.

Despite his slow start in higher education, Hok Chan Makara is now confident and committed to putting forward the effort to overcome more challenges. Besides having strong scores in school in recent years, he also says that his social activism helped him get the invitation to Hong Kong.

Hok Chan Makara has been involved in many volunteer projects as a translator at Habitat for Humanity and Black T-shirt Volunteer at the CamTESOL workshop. “My (volunteering) have only lasted a short time, but I have gained more knowledge and experience from them,” he explained.

“Setting the right goals is very important for me,” said Hok Chan Makara, who wants to be a professional English teacher in the future. “Do not lose hope in your efforts. Do everything you can before you give up. Stick to your goals and reach them even if you see 10 tigers in front of you.”

He added: “Students who get the chance to study abroad have well-planned strategies to win fellowships or scholarships while the others just have the idea in their mind.”


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman