US Information Session

By I'mACE Team

IDP Education (Cambodia) provides student placement services to five countries: Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Most importantly, the IDP Student Placement office offers a free service which includes counselling on study options, range of course fees, and visa application processes. To support students in this process IDP hosts regular info sessions where university representatives speak about their university, discuss what is has to offer, how to apply, and answer any questions from audience members. When possible, IDP also includes alumni to present on their time abroad. These sessions provide a platform for interested students to make the best decision on their study abroad application and gain access to useful information, such as scholarships. On 3 February 2018 IDP Education hosted an information session on studying abroad in the US with two Fulbright alumni, as featured speakers. A presentation on IDP Education’s counselling services and IELTS began the event. The Fulbright scholars then spoke about the application process and their time studying in the US.

Attendees listening to the information shared at the session

The first alumnus was Mr Maneth Nay is currently a senior studying at RUPP for a Bachelor in International Relations. He spent his fall semester 2017 at Carroll College in Montana through the Global UGRAD Program. The scholarship program provides undergraduate students with a fully-funded semester at a US institution. It is open to all majors and students from over 60 countries are eligible to apply, including Cambodia. The application process is both an online submission and an interview.

Mr Maneth Nay in the middle of Carroll College's campus

Maneth shared with us some main observations from his academic experience in the US. At most US universities you choose your major and the specific courses within it, the classrooms tend to be more interactive with students and professors holding debates and conversations together, the environment is diverse, people are helpful and friendly, there is a lot of computer-based and individual work. Outside the classroom, he was able to do activities such as doing community service, participating in International Education Week, attending a retreat, playing sports, spending time with his host family, travelled around Montana and the country, and celebrating Christmas and Halloween. He also had the opportunity to stay in the dorms with one other roommate and make friends with other international and American students. The food, weather and culture were all something he had to adapt to.

He encourages anyone who has the opportunity to travel or study in the US to take the time to travel to different cities and states to see all the diversity. He ended his presentation with one last piece of advice which was, “Say ‘yes’ now! Don’t blame yourself that you should’ve said “yes”!

The second speaker was Ms Boramey Sopha who received her Masters of Education in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago, Illinois, the US through the Fulbright scholarship. She discussed what her early steps were for applying to the Fulbright.

She shared with the audience a couple of observations about her time at university. The campuses are well-maintained and the learning facilities are modern, professors and faculty members are knowledgeable and supportive, classes are thought-provoking and filled with lots of sharing of information. There is an incredible access to resources, such as the writing centre. During her time in Chicago, she held a summer internship which exposed her to a different working environment and works ethics. She was able to share knowledge with people from different backgrounds and build her networking.

Ms Boramey Sopha experiencing the cold Chicago winters

Despite how positive a study abroad experience can be, it can also come with its challenges. Some challenges Ms Boramey faced were settling down, learning and adjusting to a new living environment, the norms, a new school system, a large amount of school work, the weather and feeling homesick.  She coped with these challenges by being open-minded and aware of her surroundings, making good use of the on-campus resources, finding her own pace of studying and balancing school work and her social life and using Google maps to get around the city.

Outside of the university, Chicago is culturally diverse; there are many concerts, festivals, museums, new foods, and beaches to visit. She also emphasized travelling to different cities and states throughout the US. She concluded with some big life lessons she learned during her time was self-advocacy, being independent, being a lifelong learner and learning to appreciate differences.

Click here to learn more about the Fulbright scholarship.

For more information or to discuss your future study abroad plan, come to speak with IDP study abroad counsellors at any ACE campus.

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