Our Global Community Leadership (GCL) team partnered with Utah State University to award participants with upper-division college credit upon the completion of a 5-month long hybrid curriculum and a two-week learning experience in Cambodia. Read about their experiences and learning developments below. Click here to learn more about GCL.
When we went to the Royal University of Phnom Penh, we were split into two different groups: international tourism and business. Those who were a part of the business group discussed with the university students about why they chose their degree and how they wanted to use their degree after university. A common pattern among the students was a desire to start their own company—restaurants, coffee shops, help centers—but they want to design it and run it in a sustainable way. In many of businesses in Cambodia, there are many ethical violations, such as workers not being paid enough, hiring children, and bad working conditions. The students want to rectify these problems in their own businesses and practice.
With the tourism students, many want to work in hotels and restaurants. Tourism is a major income factor in Cambodia, and they want it to be environmentally sustainable, and to help bring in more tourists and make it a better tourism experience.
Many times when we go to other countries, we pity the people and think that their life would be so much better if they could be privileged and have the opportunities that we do in the United States. From our time with these students, though, we realized that they really do have the same experiences that we do, they’re just in a different setting and environment as us. They didn’t tell us they were envious of our college experience, they were having one of their own.