Saturday, July 23, 2011

Students Win SUSI Scholarships to Study Environmental Issues in the US

By Nara Sokhema

Two of UC’s outstanding students won scholarships to study in the United States. Eng Ramin, an International Relations major, and Pheng Meas Sak, an Economics major, were selected to attend a five-week Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders Program (SUSI) at the University of Montana from July to August 2011. This program is supported by the U.S. Embassy of Cambodia and focuses on global environmental issues and leadership development. The students were selected after a rigorous application and interview process.

Ramin and Sak will soon find themselves in different parts of the U.S. and are very excited to be a part of the SUSI program.
Eng Ramin
They said it is their chance to learn about environmental issues, policies, responses, and the best ways to apply lessons learned to help Cambodia’s environment.

“I’m so excited, as I’m going to the place that people want to go, but am also very nervous about how to best prepare myself. . .[to represent Cambodia well] when I’m there”, said Sak. Ramin said that he believes he was successful in winning the scholarship because of his strong English performance, as represented by a high TOELF score; solid extra-curricular activities; and clear personal statement.

According to Sak, his strong willingness to contribute to society through volunteer and community work, as well as extracurricular activities, helped him win the scholarship opportunity. He has volunteered extensively with various NGOs, youth groups, public campaigns, debate clubs, and other projects.

Pheng Meas Sak
In addition, he said that his hard work, commitment and enthusiasm were equally important.
Both students have some useful tips for other youth to be competitive for the scholarship.

Ramin recommends that students need to have good academic performance, a high TOEFL score, strong extracurricular activities, and an exceptional and distinct personal statement.

Sak said he believes that students need to make their applications stand out. Students need to demonstrate that they are serious about winning and know the objectives of the program. They also need to allow themselves sufficient time to complete the application and critically assess their skills and experiences with the requirements of the program, according to Sak. He also recommends that students emphasize why they are good candidates for the program.

Every year, the U.S. Embassy of Cambodia sponsors several educational and cultural exchange programs for Cambodian students, including SUSI, the Fulbright Program, Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD Program), and Undergraduate Intensive English Language Study Program (UIELSP). For more information about the programs and application requirements, please visit their website.

Source: UC Bulletin June 2011, Page 22

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