Pheana Sopheak 1

Pheana Sopheak

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Hong Kong Baptist University

Master of Arts (MA) in International Journalism Studies

Work & interships

Employer: Hinrich Foundation

Awards & citations

Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leaders Scholarship (2017)

ASEAN Student Exchange Program: Institute of South East Asian Affairs (ISEAA), Chiang Mai University

Foundation year tuition fee awards: Economics and Finance Institute

One-Chinese-Course tuition fee awards: Tuon Fa Chinese School (端华学校)

Previous university & major(s)

Institute of Foreign Languages: Bachelor of Education (TEFL) (2014)

Economics and Finance Institute: Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance and Bank) (2014)

Scholar status

New scholar – Class of 2017

Read my story here

My first thought when I learned I was awarded this scholarship

It was amazing! I thought to myself that, finally, after the thorough application process, I have been selected. All my efforts have paid off. I am now becoming a scholar. I can’t wait to explore this wonderful opportunity.

Why I’m interested in trade

I gained significant interest in trade as I was growing up in a middle-class family that depended on trade to upgrade living standards. It involves more than just money. To me, trade happens everywhere, and it is a means to promote prosperity in my country and the well-being of people.

What this scholarship opportunity means to me

Aside from the chance to improve myself by pursuing a higher degree, I will also have a golden opportunity to build networks, both academic and professional. Moreover, it will take me out of my comfort zone and into an environment that will let me grow as a person and as a journalist. Upon completion of this program, I hope to use the experience to contribute to my home country.

The international experiences I’m most looking forward to

One of my goals in life is to travel across the globe. Traveling, whether in the short or long term, helps individuals gain new experiences and perspectives in life. I prefer long-term international experiences, though, since these enable me to live and learn more from the new places I am visiting.

With this opportunity from the Hinrich Foundation, I will make the most of my scholarship by exploring new cultures and customs, learning new languages and skills, and building a connection with people of different nationalities.

What I’ll bring to my dorm to remind me of home and why

I will bring only a smartphone, which can connect me to my friends and family.

My favorite hobbies and other interests

I love reading and playing puzzle games. Reading equips me with ideas and knowledge, while solving puzzles helps hone my creativity and logical thinking. I also like to write since it is a way to remember the moments and people that I have met, as well as express my thoughts to others.

My proudest achievement so far in life

My proudest achievements have been about making the right decisions: joining the field of social work and helping promote the well-being of the people in my nation.

The largest obstacle I’ve overcome so far in life

To me, the largest obstacle I have had to overcome was financing my own education, both the university tuition fees and the cost of the learning materials during my undergraduate years. I did my best to stay in the top five of my class, but I also had to work part-time to earn some money, given the fact that I wanted to reduce my family’s financial burden.

My future goals and aspirations

I will use my writing to draw the attention of global citizens to troubling issues, equip my readers with accurate and balanced information, and make my society a better place to live in.

How I plan to give back and help others

I will proactively be involved in nonprofit institutions, employing my skills and knowledge to better my society.

Personal statement

“Treat others how you want to be treated.” – The Golden Rule

Being a Buddhist, I believe in sin and karma. Everything we do will be remembered and repaid. By doing good things, I will reap good fruits. Thus, to be treated well, I have to be kind to others. The Golden Rule has always been a reminder for me to do good.

Story about Pheana Sopheak

I was born in Phnom Penh in 1993 as the sixth in seven children in a middle-class family. In 2014, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, majoring in English Teaching, from the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. At the same time, I also graduated as a bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Finance and Banking, from the Economics and Finance Institute (EFI).

Soon after I graduated, I started to volunteer at the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), the world’s largest archive of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. Through hard work, I was promoted as Assistant to the Executive Director, and performed greater responsibilities at the center. The experience has contributed to my quest for truth, justice and healing for the victims and survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime.

In 2015, I was awarded a scholarship for an exchange program at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. I am now a scholar of the Hinrich Foundation, pursing my Master’s Degree in International Journalism Studies at the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU).

Khmer is my native language. I am also proficient in English and Chinese, and have some basic knowledge of Japanese and Thai.