Bad impact and benefit of outgoing study exchange

By Lach Dalina

“…..leading a life in a whole new world without having given any assistance from family members will also help students develop personally in terms of their self awareness, maturity and confidence.”

WHAT is outgoing study exchange? Outgoing study exchange or study abroad is the programme that enables students to continue their study abroad in a set period of time. Why should students join outgoing study exchange? Students should join this program because it aims at providing exchange students with high quality educational experiences by exposing them to different cultures and learning environments overseas. It is also aimed at promoting international friendship and introducing them to other systems of higher learning that are competitive and challenging. Students can get lots of benefits from this program. However, students may simultaneously encounter difficulties during their study.

Studying abroad serves as a window to extend students’ cultural horizons, so as a door-opening for students to mingle with others, coming from different socio-cultural backgrounds. It will not only broaden students’ academic knowledge, but it will also endow students with new perspectives about the scope of their study. In other words, students’ academic sphere has been intensified, for they are able to explore different subjects within the same field of their study, as well as, experience a new classroom environment, teaching and learning environment in particular. Additionally, leading a life in a whole new world without having given any assistance from family members will also help students develop personally in terms of their self awareness, maturity and confidence.

More importantly, studying abroad will enhance student’s employability, giving them a more competitive edge and setting them apart from other graduates in the job market. A recent survey by i-Graduate, an independent research organization, showed that around 60% of the country’s top employers indicate that experience of international study enhances employability.

Of course, studying abroad will enable students to develop their language skills amongst native speakers. Again, research shows being able to speak a foreign language will not only help them being hired, but they generally get a higher salary, comparing to other local graduates.

Beside those benefits, students will also face some difficulties during their study. Culture shock is the most challenging issue for international students. In the west, greeting may be hugging, kissing, or hand shaking. But, such everyday greeting manner in the west may embarrass the Asian students, especially the females. In some Asian countries–Islamic-practiced countries specially– touching hands is taboo, let alone hugging and kissing in public. Aside from cultural differences, food and environment, especially weather are of challenge to the international students. For example, rice is a staple food for most Asian people. But, in the western countries like America, bread is. This consequently leads to a huge dietary adjustment to be made. Those students may need sometimes to adapt to those kinds of food, and also the cold weather if they were to come from tropical countries.

In conclusion, outgoing study exchange is both of beneficial and challenged to students. However, benefits outweigh the challenges, if compared. Personally, students are strongly encouraged to apply for an outgoing study exchange since they can improve their life in terms of language skill development, degree attainment, and some other aspects related to self improvement like gaining self awareness, maturation, and confidence.

Scholarship Fraud

By Lim Dara, year-four student from IFL

“It does not just happen in America, Australia, United Kingdom, but it can also happen in poor countries, such as Cambodia…..”


SCHOLARSHIP fraud is a kind of illegal act which is conducted to cheat anyone related to scholarship given in order to get money or goods in return. According to the website:, there are hundreds of parents and students in the United States become victims of such a crime that make them lose more than $100 million every year. It does not just happen in America, Australia, United Kingdom, but it can also happen in poor countries, such as Cambodia whenever those people involve in scholarship applying. Now that the trend is overarching, strategy possible to prevent is to first equip ourselves with the many different forms of scholarship scam and secondly ways to protect ourselves from becoming a victim of this sort of scholarship.

Scholarship scam exists in many characteristics which are very difficult to recognize. However, based on the website above, there are a few general characteristics that have happened so far. The above website mentions that one of the scam is a scholarship that never materialized. This means that the scholarship ask for payment from the students up front for some unimportant uses, but provides a little or no exchange at all. Usually, students think that they did not win the scholarship that is why they did not receive anything, such as result announcement, comment, feedback, and so on. Hence, the cheating goes on endlessly without receiving any recognition. Besides, the website continues that a scholarship for profits is also one of the scholarship scams. It is like a real scholarship, but this kind of scholarship asks you to pay from $5 to $35 to register or complete application. If the students win the scholarship, they will receive $1000 for their studying, for example. Additionally, advance-fee loan, based on the website, is another characteristic of scholarship fraud as well. The scholarship provides the students with an unusual loan which asks the students to pay money first before they receive the loan. Once the students spent their money, the promised loan never materialized. Furthermore, the website reveals that a scholarship prize should also be taken into account. Some scholarship scam sends the students a statement to tell them that they win scholarship prize. However, it will ask for some payment for taxes or anything before they could release the prize. When the students pay, nothing will they receive as exchange.

It is very annoyed and regretful if you were cheated by a scholarship scam. In order that you can avoid it successfully, you should learn some tips. Extracting from the website, there are some advices which are very useful for protecting yourself from becoming a victim of the scholarship scam. Firstly, you should remember that you will never spend much more than for a postage stamp to get the scholarship information. A legal scholarship never charges of application form or anything else. If you happen to involve in a scholarship that ask you to spend for application form or any related information, you should not continue your applying. Secondly, you should be aware of application form that asked about credit card number, bank account number, social security number, and so on. It is mistrustful because they can take the information to withdraw your money from your bank account easily. Thirdly, typing and spelling error in the information are also signs of scam. It lacks of professional appearance.

In conclusion, receiving a scholarship award is an honor. However, being a victim of scholarship scam is shameful. Thus, as an eager learner who wishes to study abroad on a scholarship, you should be aware of scholarship fraud. Being protected can be easily obtained by just following the above mentioned tips.

Personal Statement

By Iv Chan Ratanak, year-four student at IFL

“… it reflects your personality and self-image.” And, “……the admission tutors are looking for a potential, understanding, independent and contributive candidate who sees his study really useful and meaningful,” said by Iv Chan Rattank.

PERSONAL statement refers to the statement you use to introduce yourself to the university you are applying for; it reflects your personality and self-image. Unlike writing an essay, producing a good personal statement is not an easy task. Without some useful tips, writing a good personal statement would be somehow a total difficulty. In order to produce, say, a good personal statement, a careful consideration should be paid on a number of things: what to do before writing, what to be included in the writing, tips for good writing and what to do after writing.

Before you start to write your personal statement, you should consider doing a bit of research about the university you are planning to apply whether on website or with prospectuses of the university. You should also spend some time reading entry profiles for the course you are choosing and keep asking yourself following questions. Who are the admission tutors? What kind of students are they looking for? What kind of knowledge does the course require? And what are the transferable skills needed to complete the course? Generally speaking, the admission tutors are looking for a potential, understanding, independent and contributive candidate who sees his study really useful and meaningful.

Knowing what to be included in your personal statement is simply another key to success in writing a good personal statement. It’s really convincing if you could prove that you are really committed, hardworking and tolerant when you happen to be selected. The university tutors are not looking for a person who is likely to drop his study after one or two years. An ability to work under pressure, to cope with the demand required for completing the course and to adjust to very new environment should also be taken into deep consideration.

Also, you should remember to include all reasons related to major choosing, your impression about the university, and especially your high level of potentiality and uniqueness. Additionally, qualification, personal experience or skills attained in relations to the field you are applying for, achievements or prizes you have won so far, your academic record and past performances are backbone of a good personal statement. Especially you should be ready to tell them how long you have been interested in the field, what really stimulates your interest, and remember to list supportive references.

Putting the right things into your statement alone doesn’t mean it would make a complete sense. Some tips would function as a guide for a meaningful personal statement. There should be a clear cut between what you should and should not do with your personal statement. A good writing should be started strong and interesting because the tutors will only continue reading your paper when the first one or two sentences hook their attention. Keep in mind to always entertain reader until the last sentence. Starting the sentence with “I” is not recommended since it looks boring and too personal. Besides, one should also be noticed that the university doesn’t need a liar, so you must avoid plagiarizing or including unreliable information.

Being enthusiastic and positive is also an advantage. You should write something to show that you are really pleased to take the course and have a positive opinion towards the subjects you are taking. Especially, you should also be selective. This means you are supposed to write whatever information which is relevant. In other words, try not to introduce too much detail. A variety of sentence structure can also make your personal statement look more colorful – use it. If possible, you should not make jokes with your statement, and any political viewpoints should be omitted. A good personal statement writer should bear in mind that he is writing to introduce who he is to the university. Hence, he should make it personal and specific – do not just list the points, but explain them clearly.

Ending your personal statement strong and meaningful is somehow important. A good conclusion should summarize what you have said and talk positively about the course you are willing to take. Once you have completed the first draft of your personal statement, so what you have to do now is to read, edit and have someone check your personal statement repeatedly.

For the last word, you must not keep your personal statement until the last moment and use your last minute to write it because it would be really useless. A good personal statement can give you half a chance to win the scholarship so you must use your best to produce it.

Heroscope on newspaper

By Sun Narin

Horoscope on Tuesday January, 11th, 2010 I am in the year of dragon;

I am now 22 years old

Raksmey Kampuchea:

You have a fairly good luck. Every work you are doing today is up and down, not stable. Therefore, you have to be careful and strongly surmountable with everything to succeed. For those who are business people are able to earn money as normal without any impediment. For love those who have love, the love partners understand each other and there is no argument at all.

Kampuchea Thmey:

Your today luck is down. You work very hard without free time to rest but you have no specific job goal. Business is not making profit at all. You will care about money, making you upset and sad. For love, it is intimate without any problem at all.

Phnom Penh Post: Your luck is declining. When you go somewhere near or distant to work, you will meet failure and obstacles, which makes you depressed. Your speaking is not acceptable to other people. For love, the partners do not understand and forgive each other, which can lead to the separation or break-up.

Reality: Study: I am really happy with my study on that day since I can finish my assignment on time and am appreciated by my friends since I am able to finish the work on time with good result. In conclusion, my study from morning till evening is good for me. For family, I do not have argument with each other and everybody is fine but a bit problem with money. I ask my sister for more money, but she says she has no more money for me.

In conclusion: I think that horoscope for Tuesday on these 3 newspapers is not correct to me as a university student.

Advantages of Mekong River in Phnom Penh

By SUN Narin and LAY Rattana

Cambodia has two large rivers including Tonle Sap and Mekong river which are the two main water source. Cambodia’s 500-meter Mekong flows passing five provinces such as Kratie, Stung Treng, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and Kandal, so it can benefit a lot people living along the river. Moreover, people living in Phnom Penh and Kandal can make use of water for their daily consumption and business.

Every day, canoes and ships always take the guests to enjoy seeing the view of Tonle Sap in front of the Royal Palace to Bassac and Mekong River. Fresh air, slight wind with beautiful songs and the nice scenery of Phnom Penh at night attract the local and international tourists to take boat to see the view on the river. Besides tourism and giving pleasure to the tourists, Mekong River is beneficial to people living in Kandal province including every day uses, crop and farm watering and fishing.

Sim Mith, 39 years old, is a resident living adjacent to the river in Svay Chruom village, said that she has been living here for nearly 10 years and makes use of water every day. “The river is advantageous to me. I can take it for cooking rice, drinking, washing and watering my crop,” she said.

Lim Sokha, 39, living about 100 meter distance from the river in the same village said that he takes water for treating and selling to the villagers of some 400 families. “It really benefits me a lot. I pump 400 to 500 cubic meter every day. The water is clear, and the ministry says that it is quality,” he said.

He adds that due to the fact that the water is clear, so he finds it easy to treat, but he says that the water this year is declining comparing to previous year, which can impact people’s fishing.

Reung Meun, 58 years old living near the river in a hut consists of 20 people, says that he has been doing fishing for more than 10 years, adding that it can ease his living condition, but complaining that this year fishing is down since the water goes down unusually. “I take it to plant my crop. Last year I can fish up to 1 ton a day, but now the water is declining, so there is lack of fish. I can fish only 200 to 300 kilogram fish,” he said.

In addition, the river is full of sand which businesspeople in Phnom Penh can pump it for selling. But what is more important that this Mekong River is the source for water consumption throughout the city.

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority PPWSA pumps water from 3 rivers including Tonle Sap, Bassac and Mekong for treatment. The total amount of water is 30, 0000 cubic meter and 13, 0000 cubic meters of which is from Mekong River.

Ek Sonn Chan, the secretary General of PPWSA says that Mekong River is better in term of water quality. “Mekong river is the early and original river which brings water to Tonle Sap and Bassac so it has better quality. It has less dust,” he said. However, people and critics the quantity of water of water is down and the quality is changing because of dams.

But PPWSA Secretary General Ek Sonn Chan says that the increase of the water quality with dust is seasonal, adding that there is no problem for us, but it is beneficial. According to the recent report from Mekong commission, approximately 300,000 tons of fish was estimated to lose per year due to the dam construction. Cambodia’s government is allowing China to study the feasibility of other 4 dams which people and critics say that it can affect the river, but Prime Minister Hun Sen said in November last year that it did affect.

Blood Donation at RUPP

By SUN Narin

National Blood Transfusion Center (CBTC) is conducting blood donation at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), voluntarily blood provided by the students.

Blood Donation at Royal University of Phnom Penh/Photo by Sok Eng

Mr. OU Sokleang, senior blood donor recruiter of CBTC, said that blood donation is the ” privilege” of the students who want to help the country.

He added that people who want to donate the blood should be:

-age from 17 to 60 years old

– Weight: from 45 kilograms

– Have good health

– volunteer

The amount of blood per person:

– amount of weight x 66ml for female= the amount of blood

– amount of weight x 77ml for male = the amount of blood

Sok Chan, student of the Department of Media and Communication, is donating blood/ Photo by Sok Eng

Mr. Ou Sokleang said that  voluntary blood donation student can change the blood flow and can check his or her health including blood speed, hemoglobin, and type of blood, adding that it was a kind of deed saving people’s lives in the society.

He had a speech to hundreds of students in the hall and answered some critical questions from students.

Dozens of students are registering, donating their blood. (Additional Reporting by Noy Kimhong)

Can Cambodian TV news be trusted?

By Dara Saoyuth and Sun Narin

According to a census taken of Cambodia’s population in 2008, 58.41 percent of households own at least one television set. News programmes are what every station cannot do without. Cambodia’s television stations present a variety of both national and international news to their audiences and also produce some other programmes including live reports and news analysis.

Huot Kheangveng, the deputy general director of the Bayon station which is owned by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s daughter, said his station tries to cater to its audience’s needs, adding that the audience likes news which impacts their lives and is a bridge between the government and the people.

Pen Samithy, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists and editor of the Raksmey Kampuchea newspaper, said that developing a variety of news for television was good for the people and the country as a whole since people can learn what’s happening around them.

He said, however, there were not very many local television programmes and they were not updated. Information Minister and Government Spokesman Khieu Kanharith said making shows for TV is a big expense, and added that just to get a good camera like the ones being used at TVK costs about $30,000 to $40,000.

He said that privately-owned television stations have to make money, so they are not able to have lots of people capturing the news from all over the country. “Most of the news focuses on the government’s achievements and is positive,” said Pen Samithy. “I just want all the news that impacts the people.” Lift conducted a survey of 100 university students in Phnom Penh and the results showed that 70 percent said the news is biased towards the government.

However, Huot Kheangveng said his television station carried both the positive and negative points of the government to let people know about its achievements and also to constructively criticise government. “We have references, real sources and our reporters do it professionally. We disseminate the truth only,” he said. Launched in March 2003, the Cambodian Television Network, or CTN, is the most popular station in Cambodia and is now broadcasting news for seven hours each day. Its programmes include the morning news, which has been running for the past year.

“Any bad news has already been reported by some radio stations and newspapers, so we don’t have to follow because it’s not good,” said Som Chhaya, CTN’s deputy director general and news editor, explaining that the market for news is very small and they cannot survive on news shows alone. “As you can see, some newspapers are still printed in black and white and have not changed to colour printing like the others.”

Som Chhaya also said there are some obstacles he and his crews face in getting news. Getting information is sometimes difficult for him because some departments and ministries don’t have any spokesperson, so he has to try to contact other relevant sources who sometimes cannot be reached.

Now most television stations produce news programmes and analysis, which Som Chhaya compares with having a meal that is delicious after adding the seasoning, more meat and more vegetables, meaning that news analysis provides more detail for the audience to better understand a situation.

Soy Sopheap, a news analyst at Bayon TV, said he always recaps and analyses the important news of the week, but acknowledged that “it’s not correct all the time, but we say what is true and adhere to our profession as journalists”. However, Khieu Kanharith stressed that news analysis is not news but opinion. “They have the freedom to express their opinions,” he said, adding that some people are not very professional in their analysis, but the majority of them are.

Lift did a survey of 100 Cambodian youth, ramdonly selected at the countries university campuses. Here are the results.

What Cambodian TV station do you watch the most?

CTN: 63
Bayon: 17
TVK: 8
TV9: 3
Apsara: 2
TV5: 1

How often do you watch TV news programs?

Every day: 46
At lease 1 time a week: 45
At least one time a month: 9

Which TV channel do you watch for Cambodian news? (You can choose multiple answers)

CTN: 68
Bayon: 45
TVK: 27
TV5: 9
Apsara: 3
TV9: 2

Do you think political stories on Cambodian TV news programmes are bias towards the Cambodian People’s Party (pro-government)?

Yes: 65
I don’t care: 20
No: 7
No answer: 8

Would you like to see news that is more critical?

Yes: 73
No: 12
I don’t care: 10
No answer: 5

* Survey conducted by Dara Saoyuth and Sun Narin