Studying abroad is the dream of many students which not only gives them an opportunity to obtain a quality education but also offers them the chance to learn about foreign cultures through trips and interactions. Under partnership with Hunan University in China, Paragon International University’s graduates can study for their graduate degree at Hunan University. This year, four students from Paragon International University will be attending Hunan University to pursue their Master’s Degree in Applied Economics that is taught solely in the English language. This program is fully funded by Hunan University and includes: tuition, individual room accommodation, and a monthly stipend to help cover living expenses.
Mr. Nophealay CHHON, a graduate from Department of Banking and Finance, is among the four students who have been awarded the scholarship for the upcoming academic year. Nophealay mentioned that the application process for scholarship is not difficult. Students are only required to write a personal statement and study plan. However, it is important that students have a good GPA. Even though Nophealay studied Banking and Finance for his undergraduate degree; he is not hesitant to study Applied Economics for his Master’s Degree in China. He had some background in economics from his ParagonIU foundation year as he took courses such as: Introduction to Economics, Micro and Macro Economics as well as International Political Economy, all of which will offer Nophealay a base of knowledge for his Masters in Applied Economic.
Another graduate who will be joining Nophealay for the same major and scholarship, is Sophearangsey TEP who expressed his excitement after receiving the scholarship. Again, it should be noted that the scholarship covers full tuition, accommodation and even provides a monthly living allowance. Rangsey believed that he received the scholarship because he performed well during his four years at ZamanU. As a master student, he will only attend courses for his first year, after which he will be given up to two years to write a thesis. Rangsey wishes to work in the field of economic analysis once he obtains his master’s degree from Hunan University.
Mr. Monnen MEAS, a ParagonIU graduate majoring in Business Administration was also chosen for the scholarship to Hunan University. At first, Monnen had a dilemma between pursuing a master’s degree or getting job experience. In the end, he decided to pursue his graduate studies because he wants to live abroad and be independent. Another reason Monnen felt comfortable with his choice is because of the good relationship between Cambodia and China. Monnen plans to spend some time learning coding, doing internships and learning the Chinese language while abroad. After graduating, Monnen will look for job first to get experience before running his own business.
Ms. Lina KIM, a ParagonIU alumna from the class of 2016, who has studied in China through the same scholarship since 2017, describes Hunan as a friendly province. “The living cost is affordable for students while public transportation is convenient.” she continued. She suggested that in-coming students from ParagonIU should do prior research about the local culture as well as make friends when they arrive at the province. Lina says that this will greatly help their experience abroad.
Dr. Heng SOK, Head of the Department of Banking and Finance, and also the facilitator for this scholarship, claimed that there are ten students from Paragon International University who have been granted scholarships from Hunan University so far. Two students have already graduated from their Master programs. Dr. Heng urged ParagonIU students to study hard if they want to be awarded this scholarship.
To some Cambodian students, China might not be an exciting destination to study compared with some Western countries. However, studying in China comes with a privilege since Cambodia and China have close and friendly relations as can be seen through the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2013. Students who have studied in China could contribute their knowledge and insight about China to the joint development projects between the two countries. China stood as the country with the most foreign direct investments in Cambodia for five consecutive years ranging from 2012 to 2016, according to Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
ParagonIU students should know that Hunan province has a population of 68 million people with an annual GDP of 440 billion USD, according to China Folio. Hunan University is located in Changsha City, the provincial capital and hotspot of provincial tourism.