Pov Sothearea could hardly believe the news when she was first informed that she would receive a full-tuition scholarship to the American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP).

“Education is important, but a high quality university is much more important,” said 18-year-old Sothearea, who is a freshman student at AUPP.

Sothearea, who studied at Tuol Tumpoung High School before being admitted to AUPP, said, “At first, I thought that the National Examination was very challenging, but now I realize that studying in AUPP is much more challenging because students here have to have creativity, leadership and intelligence.”

Sothearea said studying with PhD professors at AUPP provides her the same quality education she would get studying abroad.

“New experiences that I have gotten from AUPP make me become a new person who can understand about life direction and social issues,” she said.

She added that not only does AUPP offer an excellent education, it also provides opportunities to students who could not otherwise afford to attend a high quality university.

When asked if she is ready to compete with students from other ASEAN member states, Sothearea said, “The most important thing for Cambodian students is to take advantage of the educational opportunities available.”

“Have you ever asked yourself,  ‘Am I getting good education? Am I studying in the right major? And am I studying in a good university that can help me to build my capacity to compete with other countries?’ ” she enquired.

For students that cannot afford a university education without financial assistance, a scholarship to AUPP is a dream come true.

“It is hard to believe that I can have a scholarship to study in one of the best universities in Cambodia,” Sothearea said. “AUPP has changed my life.”

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