Tuesday, August 25, 2009

UC Student: “I want to be part of the Cambodia’s Development”


Thoeun Mony Vicheka, 19, has just completed the first year of his study at the Friendship University 80 (FU) in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam and in currently back in Phnom Penh to spend his vacation with his family. In 2007 Mony Vicheka joined The University of Cambodia as a Samdech Hun Sen–Handa National Scholarship student. When his first year at UC was almost finished, he spotted an announcement from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport. They were offering a 7-year scholarship for a General Medicine study in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Jumping at this opportunity, Mony Vicheka entered the exam. After beating more than a 1,000 candidates in the exam, he embarked on his adventure in December 2008 when he moved to Vietnam.

During an interview with The Southeast Asia Weekly, Mony Vicheka stated that he applied for the Vietnamese Scholarship because he wants to contribute to Cambodia’s future. “First of all I want to be part of the rebuilding and development of Cambodia’s professional workforce, by being highly educated myself. But most important I want to be of service to the Cambodian people by working as a doctor in a public hospital.”

Mony Vicheka was born in 1991 in Phnom Penh as the only son and older brother to his one sister. His father is a teacher working at Boeung Trabaek High School and his mother is a housewife, both of them are still living in Phnom Penh. The first of his academic efforts were made at the Boeung Trabaek High School. He graduated there as part of their top ten student list. At the monthly and yearly classification he always finished between number 1 and 3. After graduating in 2007 he applied for the Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships to enable him to study English Literature at UC. After a successful year at the UC, during which he also finished the Fastrax English course at the University’s Center for English Studies he won the Vietnam scholarship.

Mok Thoeun, father of Mony Vicheka, is a teacher working at the Boeung Trabek High School in Phnom Penh. Thoeun told The Southeast Asia Weekly how happy he is with both his children. Thoeun Mony Morakot, his daughter is now studying at the grade 10 at the Boeung Trabek High School in Phnom Penh. “When Mony Vicheka went to primary and high school he always worked very hard, and he always managed to get great results. I am sure that because of his continues hard work he was able to get the scholarships to UC and to Vietnam.” Talking about the ambitious plan of his son, Thoeun said to The Southeast Asia Weekly: “I wish him all the best, success and good luck in the future. With his hard work, strong commitment and the efforts he puts in his studies, I feel confident that he will realize his dream.” Thoeun emphasized that he will support Mony Vicheka and encourages him to study for a Master and Doctoral Degree in the future.

“I’m overjoyed and very proud of myself for passing the scholarship exam. Now I can study for seven years free of charge in Vietnam. This scholarship will pave the way for me to apply for scholarships in European countries in the future,” Mony Vicheka stated. About his experiences in his first year at the FU, he is very positive: “Besides learning a lot from the curriculum, I also learn and discover so much new trough the different cultures of all my classmates.” At the FU there are hundreds of foreign student, originating from 15 different counties in Asia and Europe. “Because of the international atmosphere I have improved my English tremendously, and I even picked up some Vietnamese.”

Talking about why he choose Vietnam Mony Vicheka explains: “I decided to study in Vietnam because I think that currently Vietnamese medicine, surgeries and medical treatments are advanced and of a high quality if compared to Cambodia’s other neighboring countries. An additional advantage of Vietnam is that it’s close to Phnom Penh so that it is easy for me to spend my holidays with my family.” He further said that he has adapted to live in Vietnam, and finds himself happy to have created a network of international friends.

“After obtaining my General Medicine Bachelor, I will apply for scholarships in Europe. I want to continue studying until I gained a Master’s and Doctoral Degree. During my time in Vietnam I will study hard and do everything within my power to be one of the best students at the Friendship University 80,” Mony Vicheka said about his future plans. “My long-term objective is to become a doctor and health expert, so I can improve the daily lives of Cambodians. I hope that it will be possible for me to one day open my own clinic in Phnom Penh.”

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