Beňová Denisa

Summer School in Cambodia

Firstly, I would like to say that this is my first experience with developing county and summer school itself and it literally opened my eyes. During my study at the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences I have heard about developing countries a lot, but personal experience is deeper. When I came to Cambodia to capital city Phnom Penh I was really stunned. It was a mix of feelings from happiness to sadness to see the situation of life standard in Phnom Penh. However, I was very glad to be there, to see how things work or do not work in this country.

I did not know what to expect from our lectures of summer school. The first day was amazing; we met new people that were very polite and helpful. They had a different culture and very different lives. I think that this was my favourite experience here. To realize differences but also, no differences. I am talking about differences in their habits in life. Our temporary (and I hope in the future we meet again) schoolmates were full of enthusiasm that they could study university. For us, people from the Czech Republic, it is a normal thing to study university but for our Cambodian friends is blessing and expensive experience. They really appreciate studying, they like to involve in everything from projects to our summer school. For us is quite normal to get chance to involve in some project or other things and we have lots of possibilities, but our Cambodian schoolmates have to work on it very hard and the number of possibilities for them is not so high. In this point, we could see that their university has big potential in students but need help to get more involved (in the project, science itself, etc.) to provide students chances and raise the standard of the university. In addition, another big difference that I mention were family staffs. Our Cambodian friends have strong bonds with their families and quite strict parents from my point of view. People in my age have to ask their parents for permission for almost everything. On the other hand, they are the same people as we are without any differences. They are smart, have own wishes, enthusiasm to improve the situation in their country. This is my favourite experience because you could see the hope for the country in form of new generation that wants to improve the current situation in Cambodia and that they are proud of studying university and their willingness to share almost everything from their culture with us to make us understand it.

I would like to thank the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague and the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia for the opportunity to join in this Summer School and all the people from my colleagues from the Czech Republic to that from Cambodia for many useful and enrichment experience.

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