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2009 Programs and Events

New Scholarship Recipients Recognized at Alumni Exchange Reception

June 17, 2009 | U.S. Embassy, Phnom Penh

On June 17 nearly one hundred students, scholars, education officials, and guests attended the 2009 Alumni Exchange Participants Reception at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh. There, Ambassador Carol A. Rodley commended over forty Cambodian students and professionals for their recent accomplishments as recipients of Fulbright grants, as well as Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders (SUSI), Teaching Excellence and Achievement, International Visitor Leadership, and Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) scholarships.

In her remarks, the Ambassador praised all the recipients and said, “I hope that you take full advantage of this opportunity and study hard during the time that you will be in my country.”  The Ambassador urged them to “take what you will learn in the classroom and on the streets in the U.S. back to Cambodia when you finish. Share your experiences with your peers.  Alumni of our exchange programs are critical to their continued success, just as you are critical to the success of your country in the future.” 

The reception was also attended Secretary of State H.E. Pith Chamnan of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports. In his remarks, the secretary thanked the Embassy and the United States government for sponsoring such “wonderful” scholarship programs which give young Cambodians the opportunity to be “cultural ambassadors” for their country during their time abroad. As an alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program himself, Secretary Chamnan recalled his experience abroad in the United States and encouraged all scholarship recipients to take in and appreciate all of their new experiences. 

The scholarship recipients were joined by their professors, families, American Fulbright scholars, as well as other participants, academics, and alumni of various U.S.-sponsored scholarship programs.

For some students, the reception marked the beginning of their journey to the United States. For others, the reception celebrated their accomplishments and gave space for reflection.

“We are so excited to go to the United States and learn more,” said Ms. Seanghuoy Ho, a second-year student and a SUSI scholar. Her five SUSI peers echoed her sentiment. “We leave on June 27, just counting down the days now,” said Mr. Sereyrithy Chhun, a third-year student.

The Fulbright grantees, SUSI and UGRAD participants will be studying subjects ranging from law to education. Some, such as the SUSI participants, will be abroad for five weeks, while some others, such as the UGRAD participants, will study in the United States for one academic year. Upon their return to Cambodia all scholarship participants are encouraged to give back to their country and local communities by sharing their American experiences with their peers through community service and outreach.

Fulbright Fellowship Program for Cambodian Students

A mainstay of America's public-diplomacy efforts, the Fulbright Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for Master's Degree or Ph.D. study at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions. The program has brought some of the world's finest minds to U.S. campuses and offers program participants insight into U.S. society and values. Many foreign Fulbright grantees are early-career professionals who will return to take leadership positions in their home countries, often working at universities or in government service.

Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders Program

SUSI for Student Leaders is an intensive academic program whose purpose is to provide groups of undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States, while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills.  The institute will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations and lectures.  The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by educational travel to other parts of the United States, local site visits, and volunteer opportunities. All participant costs, including program administration, international and domestic travel and ground transportation, book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances, housing and subsistence will be covered by the U.S. Department of State. This year’s SUSI program, offered to 20 student leaders from Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam, will take place over the course of five weeks, from June 28 to August 2, 2009, including an academic residency component of approximately four weeks and a domestic travel component of approximately one week that will conclude with a 3 day program in Washington, D.C.

For more information on these opportunities and more, please visit: http://cambodia.usembassy.gov/educational_exchange2.html.