Indigenous woman shares the crucial of attending exchange program

Many Cambodian youths dream to join regional and international exchange programs outside of the country, but the process of application is seemly highly competitive and selective. However, an indigenous woman will bring her experiences and share several tips on how to get successful candidates to join the program.

(Mrs. Nhum Thuk in the United States of America photo, source provided.)


As an Indigenous Krueng’s woman from a remote province who dreamed of having an exchange program in the U.S. and another country around the world, Mrs. Nhum Thuk belongs to indigenous Krueng.


However, she works hard and commits a lot of time to apply to the exchange program. Because of her passion since she was a child. She gets succeeded to join the International Visitor Leadership Multi-Regional Project in the United States from 20 August to September 10, 2022. The event aims mainly to understand best practices to prevent and address human rights violations against members of marginalized communities, she said. More than this, it explores building local capacity to document abuses and advocate for rule of law to protect the rights of victims. More this program provides benefits for participants to pursue knowledge of planned public education campaigns to promote tolerance, inclusiveness, and/or awareness of minority communities and their contribution to society.


Mrs. Nhum Thuk has graduated in General Management at Build Bright University based in Ratanakiri province.  She is currently an Executive Director for Indigenous Peoples for Agriculture Development in Cambodia and a member of the Cambodia Indigenous Women Association.


Recently, Voice of Cambodia Indigenous Peoples interviewed her to share her life experiences and share deep values about joining the leadership program in the United States. At the same time, she shares tips with those who are passionate to participate in international exchange in the future.


Why do you involve with international programs?


Nhum Thuk: There is another reason because I wanted to pursue my dream of developing myself, and the community requires youth to develop the community.

Why youth should join the exchange program?


She says, “Youth is most powerful for society.” So, every youth must join the event to challenge new things from outside, develop new skills, gain new experience, and self-capacity. She continued, youth would be able to explore different cultures and history and can improve their leadership skills. And build good communication and make new friends with strange people around and enhance future careers. Youth always have open minds.

What would benefit you when you come back?


Mrs. Nhum Thuk: joining the program is enhancing myself first to see how she develops skills, and knowledge from attending the program. Time management is the most important thing for us to know, I learned a lot from different cultures. Moreover, I improved her skills in project management from my friends who shared during the event. Especially, I gaining new skills in communication to implement in my future work and daily life.

How many tips before you apply for an exchange program?


Nhum Thuk: Well-preparation is most important for me and everyone. First, I started to join volunteer work for many NGOs, and I capacity myself as a volunteer. I build good credit at work is one of the good ways by volunteering to work for local NGOs, and I mostly have high commitment and flexibility to work. All these factors are help me have opportunity to exchange outside country.


She continued, “if you are interested to exchange abroad, you should build up yourself by improving the English language, having core values, good behavior, be active in your own community.”


Last but not least, she also suggests to the Ministries, Embassies in Cambodia, and stakeholders should review their selection criteria and exchange program requirements because indigenous youths have fewer opportunities to participate in international exchange programs.

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