First Impressions of SFS Cambodia

Posted: February 8, 2015

Why did you choose to study abroad with SFS?
I chose to study abroad with SFS because SFS is a well accredited program with a good reputation. I knew students who had studied abroad with SFS previous to me and they enjoyed it. My study abroad advisor at Austin College also recommended SFS to me. The Living Mekong program was a good fit for me because it focuses on conservation policy, ethics and development, ecosystems and livelihoods, and language/culture. It’s a good blend of environmental studies and cultural studies. It is also very focused on field work and travel which excites me.

What are you first impressions of the country?
My first impressions of Cambodia are vast. It’s a beautiful country with nice people. It has a troubled recent history and is still going through difficulties.

What are you first impressions of the field station?
The field station is so much nicer and comfortable than I had expected it to be. I am sharing a room with someone and we have our own bathroom with a toilet and shower. Every meal is cooked for us. The staff is so nice! The field station is located near the city center, so it is easy to get there. It is also located only about 15 minutes from the Angkor temples!

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you this semester both academically and culturally?
I think the biggest challenge academically will be dealing with the intensity of the program. For example, on Friday we were in lecture from 08h00-18h00, with a break for lunch and the next day we went on a field trip to the Angkor temples; we had to leave by 07h30 and we were back near 17h00. Dealing with lectures, field trips, and readings plus trying to see Siem Reap and do other personal things is going to be a real challenge.

What are you looking forward to the most about the semester?
I am looking forward to being able to see so many different areas of Cambodia and Vietnam while learning about not only the environmental aspects of the country but the cultural and linguistic aspects, as well.

Give three words that best describe how you are feeling right now.
Excited
Nervous
Happy