I got offered a job as an International Relations lecturer at my home university after completing my bachelor’s degree in 2018, a year after I returned from Global UGRAD. It feels nostalgic for being a participant myself several years ago, and now becoming someone who mentors and writes recommendation letters for my students who are applying for the same program. I will cover, in the following paragraphs, my jubilant Global UGRAD experiences and how their impeccable impacts have advanced me to accomplish my dream job as a university lecturer.
My motto during my exchange program was, say “Yes” to everything. Do not be afraid to ask your professors for help, even if you are scared, throw in your ideas in group discussions even if your ideas are shallow, go hiking even if you have never done it before, and make friends even if they do not smile at you first. By asking my professors and actively contributing to every class activity, I had been equipped with an impressive command of the International Relations knowledge and effective teaching methodology which have contributed to my successful application for my lectureship and my current teaching styles. Trying new things and making new friends have made it easier to cope with different societies, expand my global network, and inspire many students to apply for the Global UGRAD Program.
During the program, I made friends everywhere I went. I talked with and asked my professors, both about the lessons and their occupation, which have significantly contributed to my understanding of International Relations and current teaching techniques. I made friends with the campus staff and their advice has extensively helped with my other responsibilities, including, assisting students with school administrative tasks, their homesickness, and project management. I also made a lot of friends, both American and international. These friends have always been my huge supporters. My first year of teaching at the home university was quite overwhelming, but they had my back.
Since returning from my Global UGRAD experience, I have been a lecturer teaching Atlas of World Affairs, ASEAN Studies, International Relations, and Model United Nations. I also recently became a supervisor of my department’s project team which currently consists of six student interns. We initiate and implement various projects annually such as ASEAN+3 Festival, ASEAN Study Tour and Football Diplomacy, Phnom Penh Model United Nations, Outreach Program, Together Narrowing Digital Gaps, and more.
My next journey is to pursue a master’s degree to develop myself academically, professionally, and personally. Then, contribute further to my society and the world after I complete the degree.
All in all, say “Yes” to everything and make friends everywhere for a triumphant life ahead. I hope my story inspires you. I am waiting to read your story to get inspired as well because I am very certain that we all have something to inspire each other.
Maneth Nay, Cambodia, Global UGRAD 2017-2018, Carroll College