PH EMBASSY HOSTS PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION FOR
CAMBODIAN AWARDEES OF PHILIPPINE SCHOLARSHIPS
The Philippine Embassy in Cambodia conducted a pre-departure orientation briefing for six (6) Cambodian students who have been awarded full scholarships in the fields of science and engineering by the Philippine government, through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“The Philippines is pleased to be able to contribute in some way to the economic development of Cambodia through its support of capacity building efforts in the fields of science and engineering,” Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Christopher B. Montero told the students in his welcome remarks.
Consul General Myca M. Fischer provided an orientation for the Cambodian scholars on the mechanics of the scholarship awards, as well as on Philippine geography, history, culture, and some “Do’s and Don’ts” when living in the Philippines.
Three (3) members of the Cambodia-Philippines Alumni Network (CPAN) shared their experiences and provided practical tips to the scholars on life as a student in the Philippines. The CPAN members who finished graduate and post-graduate degrees from De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University were Dr. Taing You, Mr. Sinn Kang, and Ms. Ann Sorita.
Dr. Youk Chhang, a former Cambodian refugee who stayed at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Bataan for more than one year in the 1980s before settling down in the United States, shared an inspirational message and encouraged the scholars to visit the former refugee camp in Morong, Bataan.
“While there are many beautiful places to visit in the Philippines, I highly recommend that you visit the camp where over 100,000 Cambodian refugees stayed and were taught English and other skills necessary for life in the U.S.,” Dr. Chhang enthused. “My stay in the Philippines changed my life forever. Filipinos are nurturing by nature so you should appreciate this opportunity given to you and be thankful to the Philippine government,” he added.
Dr. Chhang is the Executive Director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia and a leading figure in Cambodian society’s efforts to come to terms with its genocidal past. He was one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the World in 2007.
To give a foretaste of Filipino cuisine, the scholars were treated to a Filipino merienda of pansit, pandesal, and turon.
The six (6) Cambodian scholars are Dr. Keo Nariroth (Master of Science in Clinical Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology), Mr. Nam Samoun (Master of Science in Public Health- Environmental Health) and Mr. An Dayuth (Master of Science in Public Health-Nutrition), who have all chosen to enroll at the University of the Philippines-Manila, Mr. Hann Samedy who will enroll in UP Diliman (Environmental Engineering), and Mr. Lay Sovannmony and Ms. Ngan Sonleda, who will both take up Master of Science in Chemical Engineering at the De La Salle University.
When asked why he chose to study in the Philippines, Mr. Hann said “I applied for the DOST scholarship because of a few reasons. Firstly, I think studying in the Philippines will allow me to improve my English. The second reason is the recommendation of my lecturers at my school who mentioned the good quality of master’s study in the Philippines. Lastly, I think that after I get a master degree from UP Diliman, I can improve my research skill in the environmental field so that I can solve the environment problems that occur in Cambodia.”
Along with fifty (50) trainings on science and engineering, the ten (10) scholarships for Cambodians were announced by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his State Visit to Cambodia in December 2016, and part of initiatives of the Philippine Government to mark the 60th anniversary of Philippines-Cambodia diplomatic relations in 2017.
The scholarship award covers tuition fees, monthly stipend, book allowance, relocation allowance, health insurance, thesis and dissertation grants, and a round trip air fare every academic year.
These training and scholarships were supported through the Philippines’ commitment to the ASEAN Science-Technology-Innovation (STI) Partnership Contributions to further enhance STI collaboration and capacity in ASEAN, particularly through the ASEAN-help-ASEAN scheme for Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. END