As many of our PEPY Empowering Youth friends know, we not only run programs in Siem Reap town, but also at our target school in Kralanh. There, high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12 have the opportunity to join Dream Management Class, which provides them with the space and inspiration to explore many different topics that are not covered in the traditional curriculum in order to help them see what the future may hold for them and strive for the dream careers. As part of Dream Management Class we also organize a variety of events throughout the year to expose students to what opportunities await them beyond high school, one of which is the Study Tour to Siem Reap. This year, on June 24th, 78 students, 3 teachers and 4 team leaders travelled from Kralanh to visit Paul DeBrule School of Tourism and Hospitality, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC), Vanda Institute and the PEPY Empowering Youth Learning Center.
The day began with a short visit to PEPY, where the students were given some more detailed information about the organization, including our vision, mission and goal. While the students participate in Dream Class in Kralanh, they may not be fully aware of everything else PEPY Empowering Youth does, so this was a great chance to fill them in on what happens in the office and the Learning Center on a day to day basis. It was also an insight into what the students could expect if they decide to apply for a PEPY Scholarship in the future.
The group then moved on to Paul DeBrule School of Tourism and Hospitality, already a popular choice with current PEPY Scholarship students. Participants were extremely impressed by the excellent facilities and beautiful learning space at the school, as well as the range of programs of offer, which includes subjects such as Hospitality, Patisserie and Culinary Arts. Following a very interesting presentation from the school’s Education Director, the students were able to ask about the application process, fees, post-graduation opportunities etc. It was wonderful to see how enthusiastic the participants were and we definitely expect to see a lot of PEPY Scholarship students enrolling at the school in the future.
Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC) was the next stop for the group. One of most well-known universities in Siem Reap, PUC employs a method of using English as a vehicle for learning, earning it a good reputation among students and employers alike. Members of PUC staff delivered a presentation about the history of the university and the learning program on offer there. As was the case at Paul DeBrule, students had the chance to ask questions to the PUC team. Alongside inquiries into the application process, the students had particular questions about fees and testing procedures, which are things they’ve not had to think about with their primary and secondary education so far. Although at 4 years, the duration of study may be longer than at other institutions, the Study Tour participants were excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities provided by PUC.
The final institute that the group visited was Vanda Institute, which is a specialist school for accounting. Many current PEPY Scholarship students are studying here, and accounting always proves to be a popular career choice among Scholarship applicants. In his speech, the Director of Vanda Institute was keen to emphasize that accounting need not only be for those who are talented in Math – the programs on offer are aimed at everyone who has an interest in accounting and is committed to learning the skills involved. He distributed an information pamphlet to all the participants and answered any questions the students may have about fees, registration, schedules etc. The visit culminated in a tour of the school during which the group saw classes taking place, computer rooms and the library. It was an extremely informative session which was enjoyed by all the participants.
While the main purpose of the trip was to gather information, we also made sure there was time to enjoy each other’s company and relax and reflect after all the visits. The students enjoyed a lunchtime visit to Angkor Wat – for some, it was their first time there – and tucked into some delicious grilled chicken in front of the magnificent temple. Once the main part of the tour was completed, the group headed to the Baray for a de-brief of what they had done during the day. The facilitator divided the participants into small groups in which they compiled their thoughts on the tour and came up with some ideas on how to improve it for next year, such as visiting a couple of other institutions.
Overall, it was a very successful trip and we would like to thank Paul DeBrule School of Tourism and Hospitality, PUC and Vanda Institute for taking the time to host us. We hope to be able to send as many of the participants as possible to these, and other, educational institutions in the near future. These students represent the future of the country and we are extremely proud to help them achieve their dreams.