The US embassy has established its third EducationUSA Advising Centre in the Kingdom to provide information for students and parents about studying in the US.

US Ambassador Patrick Murphy presided over an inauguration ceremony at Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC) in Siem Reap province with PUC chancellor Chea San Chanthan on January 18.

An embassy press release said the centre will offer guidance on how to research universities and scholarship opportunities, provide information about US government-sponsored programmes and offer help with college applications and essays.

San Chanthan lauded the centre’s opening, describing it as an important resource for students graduating Grade 12. Students will have access to information about many colleges, universities and scholarships as well as daily counselling with experienced professors.

“We have mentors available every day to guide students at this new counselling centre. We are pleased to take this opportunity to invite teachers, parents and students from other schools to actively utilise the centre’s resources,” he said.

Two other centres are located in the capital – one at the embassy and another at PUC Phnom Penh.

“With US Department of State funding, EducationUSA advising centres offer accurate, unbiased, comprehensive, objective, and timely information about educational institutions in the United States, and guidance to qualified individuals on how best to access those opportunities,” the embassy’s statement read.

The embassy said it hopes to entice more Cambodian students to study in the US, especially those from outside the capital.

“The 2020 Open Doors report on International Education Exchange showed that 742 Cambodian students attended schools in the US in 2019-2020, an eight per cent increase over the previous year, continuing a positive trend over the past six years,” the embassy said.

It said the US is the top destination for international students, with more than one million studying there in 2019-2020.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, told The Post on January 19 that US-Cambodia relations have improved through many social aid programmes.

“I think the relationship is positive. The US has also helped Cambodia develop its education sector which is not a sensitive area, different from the political sector which seems to be a bit controversial,” he said.