By San Boromeichan
Nara Sokhema, a Term VIII student majoring in economics at the University of Cambodia (UC), was recently selected as a recipient of the Erasmus Mundus Mobility with Asia (EMMA) program, which allows her to study in France for one semester. EMMA is an exchange program between universities in the European Union (EU) and Asia, and is sponsored by the EU Commission in partnership with Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
Khema will attend the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in Nice, France, for six months starting in September 2011. She plans to take courses in economics, and all of her courses will be conducted in French.
She said she is very excited to have an opportunity to study in France because it has always been her dream to study in Europe, but she also expressed some concern. She said that some of her family members are very conservative and do not believe daughters should travel far away from home, even if they are pursuing higher education. Seeing this as an important opportunity to grow and develop, Khema reasoned with her family to convince them to let her go, and after much discussion, her family finally approved.
“I am so thrilled and look forward to learning about education, lifestyles, and development in France, as well as customizing the lessons learned and applying these new ideas to help develop Cambodia” said Khema. “I also feel a bit scared because I have to be a good representative of my country to compete with students in the developed world.”
Driven by motivation, she is committed to overcoming any difficulties that may arise and hopes to raise awareness about Cambodia and its people when she is there. If possible, she said, she also wants to “wake them up about the potential of Cambodians, especially Cambodian women.”
Nara Sokhema is a bright and talented Cambodian youth who has earned a number of academic distinctions and recognition for her volunteer work. She is active in university activities and has volunteered in social and community activities since high school. She also writes for the UC Bulletin and plans to write about her experiences in France in the next edition.
Source: UC Bulletin June 2011, Page 2