Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thay Sokun Earns Scholarship to Continue Study in China


Fresh back from his year in China Thay Sokun, 20, is enjoying a well deserved vacation with his family in Phnom Penh. The past year he spent in China, he studied Civil Engineering at the Tianjin University (TU). With one year of education at The University of Cambodia behind him, he was able to beat 500 candidates for the scholarship, in the exam set by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport in early July of 2008. While studying at UC he passed a scholarship exam that has opened the door to another five years of study in China.

After being a very successful Samdech Hun Sen–Handa scholarship student at The University of Cambodia (UC) in 2007, he jumped at the chance to study abroad. “I decided to apply for this scholarship because I want to make a valuable contribution to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Armed with Chinese education I felt I would be able to improve social developments, infrastructures and engineering in Cambodia’s future,” Sokun stated.

Since he embarked on his great adventure on August 28, 2008 he has come across a lot of new and interesting experiences. These learning experiences are not only of an academic nature, at TU there are students from 29 different countries in Asia and Europe. Because of the multicultural atmosphere at TU he has had the opportunity to meet a great variety of people from different cultures. “Besides being very valuable and interesting on its own, the diver’s people I’ve been in contact with on a daily basis have also improved my English skills a lot,” Sokun said in an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly. “I feel so fortunate for the chance to develop myself and to study with and befriend people from all over the world,” he continued.

You Sokhoeun, 49, father of Sokun, is very proud of his son’s efforts. Sokun has three sisters, him being the only son of the family. The family is still residing in the village of Trapaing Kraloeung, in Kampong Speu province where Sokun was born in 1989. Sokhoeun said that when Sokun studied at primary school in Kampong Speu province and his high school in Phnom Penh, he always studied very hard. “As a result, every month he brought home glowing reports from his teachers. Because my son has always worked hard he was able to acquire these scholarships. I am very proud since I have a good son and I wish him all the best and a lot of success in the future. As a father, I will give him strong support and encouragement to study for Master’s or Doctor’s Degree abroad in the future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly on August 11.

While Sokun talks about his future plans it becomes apparent that he hasn’t finished his academic path. “My dream is to become a civil engineering Doctor so I can become part of an international company or organization in Cambodia. I want to have the knowledge and the skills to be a contribution to my future employer, so I can not only improve the future of my family but also of my country.” To achieve this goal, Sokun stated that he has plans to apply for a scholarship for a Doctor Degree in Europe after he finishes his Master studies in China.
In preparation for his next scholarship Sokun said that he will be studying hard and will be aiming to be part of the top 10 of his class.

Sokun started his academic career at Santhormuk High School in Phnom Penh. He graduated here before he was granted a Samdech Hun Sen-Handa scholarship to study English Literature at UC. Besides his English Literature studies he also completed the Fastrax English courses with the University’s Center for English Studies (CES) in 2007. At UC his English language skills improved a great deal, certainly to the point where he feels confidence in any given academic situation.

Sokun talks about how he feels UC has made his current path possible: “The UC is at the root of my skills which enabled me to study abroad and took me a few steps closer to fulfilling my dream. Although I have left the UC as a student, it is impossible for me to forget the organization which has enabled me to pursue my dream. I am especially grateful to Prime Minister Hun Sen and Dr. Haruhisa Handa, who made it possible for me to start studying at UC. I will study hard in China, so that when I come back I can show my gratitude to UC by teaching the next generation of students,” Sokun concludes.

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