Wednesday, November 4, 2009

“I Will Continue for Master’s Degree in International Relations”


One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships 2008” students, Ban Leakhena, 20, interviewed with The Southeast Asia Weekly on October 28, 2009. Ban Leakhena was born on February 16, 1989 in Phnom Penh. She is the oldest of three sisters in her family.

Ban Leakhena is now studying in the International Relations (IR) program at The University of Cambodia (UC). She also studies Accounting at the Cambodian Mekong University (CMU) in Phnom Penh. She passed the scholarship exams offered by the University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh in September 2008.

Before studying with UC and CMU, Leakhena studied at the Chea Sim-Samaky High School in Phnom Penh, and earned a Baccalaureate in 2008. She applied to study IR at UC following the introduction of the “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarships” in 2008.

“I decided to choose to major in International Relations at UC under the scholarship opportunity because I think that it is a very interesting major,” she said. “I think that International Relations is a new subject [in Cambodia] and also helps me to improve my English Literature and knowledge related to local, regional and international politic, too. International Relations can also help me understand about the history of Cambodia and other foreign countries, too.”

Leakhena learned about The University of Cambodia from The Southeast Asia Radio FM 106 and also from her friends who studied with her at Chey Thavy School in Phnom Penh. She decided to apply for study with The University of Cambodia because it is the best university in Phnom Penh and many of the majors focus International Relation.

“I heard before I studied with UC that it is the best university in Phnom Penh and most of the majors have interests in International Relations. I also heard that the major of the International Relations is offered at only few universities in Cambodia,” she said. “Since I studied with UC, I can understand a lot of things and can learn different kind of subjects; interesting subjects such as Cambodian history, Southeast Asian history, political science and Cambodian foreign policies.”

Regarding the UC’s curriculum, she said that the UC’s curriculum is very interesting and it is really good if compared to other universities in Cambodia because most of subjects relate to political science. Many of these subjects are not available at other universities.

She added that Cambodia’s universities just focus only on business majors but UC has many subjects related to political and other professional majors which can encourage its students to be qualified, young, future leaders in Cambodia as well as the world.

To complete her Bachelor Degree in International Law with UC, she has to study hard and study smart. She reads many Khmer and English books and also does research every day.
She pointed out that after the competition of Bachelor Degree in International Relations she plans to continue her study for a Master’s Degree.

“After I graduate... I want to be a diplomatic staff or diplomatic officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. I have already set my goal that after I graduate from UC with a Bachelor Degree in International Relations, I will continue to study for a Master’s Degree with UC on International Relations,” she said. “If I have a chance to get a scholarship to study abroad I will do so and I am now trying my best to learn more and to research more in order to acquire new knowledge, especially in English because getting a scholarship abroad is not easy.”

Leakhena said that besides studying International Relations with UC, she is now studying as a third year student of Accounting with the Cambodian Mekong University in Phnom Penh.

She decided to study Accounting because she knows that diplomatic staffs also need accountants. She wants to improve her knowledge and know the accounting systems in Cambodia.

Leakhena questioned: “Being an expert on Accounting and also having another major related to Accounting and International Relations is deeply important for me. If I become a diplomatic staff specializing in accounting and if I did not know any thing about International Relations, how can I improve my work?”

“If I become a diplomatic staff or ambassador in the future, I will work hard in promoting International Relations and cooperation, and to improve my Nation’s interests,” she said. “I will try my best to use my critical thinking skills to work to develop my Country and improve economic development through foreign donations and good cooperation,” she added.

Mak Ban, 49, Leakhena’s father, was happy with his daughter’s diligent studies and hard work. He has three children, all daughters, and all are currently schooling. He added that Leakhena is the oldest daughter and the only one of the sisters who studies at the University of Cambodia.

He emphasized that when his daughter was at primary and high school in Kampot Province, she studied very hard every day. As a result, she brought home letters of admiration and glowing reports from her instructors and school every month and year.

“As a father, I am very proud because I have a good daughter like Leakhena. I will try my best to support her to continue her Master’s degree in future. I wish her all success in future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly. ///

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