ជំរាបសួរ (Chomreabsuor)

June 4, 2013 | Julia, DVM, WUSC, Cambodge, IIC University of Technology

Big hello from Cambodia! I am pleased to write to you today about my internship at IIC University of Technology, after beginning my 4th week here I can finally say that I feel settled. Having initially arrived on a 3 day holiday I began my experience feeling a little bit alone and disoriented, however, I now see it to have shaped the way that my internship is now playing out. I began my time here in the capital of Cambodia as a tourist. I arrived and took 3 days to explore the city and gave myself time to approach it as something completely foreign and new. As a result I have come to view Phnom Penh as a very multidimensional city, from tourist hotspot to vibrant economic epicentre, the experience that I have has thus far been very fruitful and perhaps has left me in a permanent state of honeymooning.

This isn’t to say that moving to Phnom Penh has not been an adjustment, an adjustment that many people told me I would have to make and yet I did not expect. Some adjustments have been minor; working around the fluctuating availability of internet, the language barrier, the cockroach situation in my apartment etc. While other adjustments took a touch longer; figuring out my place here at the office, figuring out how to be independent and self-reliant without feeling overwhelmed and panicked. I am pleased to say that all of these hurdles I have cleared, and have learned to celebrate little victories; such as finding KD at the supermarket and finding a place to do laundry where they speak English. Things that use to be trivial and didn’t warrant two thoughts back home have become my little victories here, and I have learned as many of my fellow interns have mentioned to take less things for granted.

I have also been blessed with some great friends here in Phnom Penh, as a city it draws a lot of expats and travellers alike, both of whom I have had the pleasure of befriending. The country enjoys a healthy number of english teachers to keep up with its economic and human capital growth, which results in expats events and tourist gatherings. Having had many holidays as a result of dry season coming to an end I have also had the opportunity to enjoy quite a bit of the countryside as well as majestic Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. I keep myself busy with cooking classes here, as well as expat yoga which has helped me to make what I believe to be a healthy transition to my life here.

My work environment is one that is based heavily on the principle “you get back what you put in”. This is to say that initially when I was too shy to approach my co-workers about projects that I could potentially get involved in I got back very little in terms of things to do and experiences to cultivate, however I have since hiked up my socks and have taken an active role in my learning and experience here at IIC University. I now teach a daily class of 40-50 students in an advanced English speaking class. I have engaged the rest of my time through office hours and by aiding the university to garner funding by way of international grants as well as ameliorating the testing system in place for students.

Ultimately these last 3-4 weeks have been busy to say the least, and to be honest I can feel my time here flying by. I am enjoying all aspects of my internship here, and welcome the inevitable challenges that I am sure to encounter in the remaining 9 weeks. I hope to learn more about the country that I temporarily call home, and hope to challenge myself in my position here at IIC. Till next time.

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