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From a timid girl to a grad student who traveled to 16 countries

Flashing back to six years ago, I would never have imagined myself to grow into the person I am today. After graduating from high school in 2013, I did not have any settled goal or future purpose due to a lack of academic support. When asked, “What do you want to do in the future or what is your plan?" Usually, my answer would be, "I don't know, "until I was introduced to the programs and curriculum at Paragon International University (previously known as Zaman University), It was then that I realized my passion and interest in global affairs and social issues. Therefore, I decided to pursue a BA in Political Science and International Relations.

Having been introduced and offered admission to many universities in Cambodia, I chose Paragon IU. Its English-speaking environment, student-based learning, and supportive teacher-student relations were the primary reasons behind my decision to ensure that I would be well prepared for a higher level of academic challenges. During my studies, my professors always encouraged me to get involved in extra-curricular activities. I began to indulge myself in many hands-on volunteer work and internships in small and large prominent institutions ranging from USAID Cambodia, ADIC (a local NGO), The Asia Foundation, to Young Eco Ambassadors. Additionally, I participated in short academic programs such as a research fellowship, Model United Nations and an ASEAN meeting abroad. I have to say these were great leaps for me as a teenage girl who had always been told to stay in my comfort zone and follow the herd to discover more about my true self and passions.

My ambition did not stop there. I love taking challenges for the benefit of my personal growth and development, so I began doing quantitative market research for Kantar, TNS which is an international market research company. It was a completely new field for me. At the same time, I was looking for opportunities to continue my post-graduate education. With a fully covered scholarship, I was able to spread my wings and fly to pursue my MA degree in Globalization and Development Studies at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.  Being on my own for the first time in my life, I found myself 1000s of kilometers away from my family and friends, However,  in the end, I not only successfully graduated with my MA degree in hand, but I also traveled around Europe for one year, visiting sixteen countries.