Date: February 06, 2020
By Mr. Bunna Vann, M.A. Student in Political Science, JMI University, New Delhi
Having an opportunity to study abroad may be every student’s dream in their academic life. Frankly speaking, I am also the one among them who always dream to study abroad since I was a child. After my graduation of B.A. in International Relations from the University of Cambodia in late 2018, I decided to apply for Indian Government Scholarship 2019-2020 under Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Scholarship Scheme of India Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Luckily, I was awarded the scholarship to study a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Central Government University, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. To study in India, some Cambodian students may hesitate to make a decision to apply.
Today I am writing with my great pleasure to answer this pertinent question of “Why should you choose India for your higher education?” I have been travelling to a few countries so far and India is one among them. I have had an impressive experience in India especially the Indian culture and knowledge of Indian people with whom I interacted. My first time in India was when I joined the 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit in February 2019, I have learnt that India is a very diverse country in terms of geography, weather, religion, ethnicity, language, food and the way of life. I can personally say that we can almost find everything in the world in India. It should be a great opportunity and long-life learning experience to study, explore and live in the so-called incredible India.
Bilaterally, India has long relations with Cambodia dated back to ancient time. In the modern era, Cambodia and India have officially established their diplomatic relations since 1952. India’s culture has strongly influenced Cambodian society, especially lanagues and religious practices of Hindu and Buddhism. Most of the Cambodian temple architectures, to name a few, Angkor Wat and Preach Vihear temple, were influenced by Hindu concepts or Indian culture. Given these types of evidences, it is shown that India has a deeply-rooted connection with Cambodia. As a result, it makes me really curious and hunger to explore more.
There are some interesting facts about India that I enjoy discussing friends and I wish to share with you. Economically, India is the world’s fifth-largest economy and Asia’s third-largest economy by nominal GDP. Politically, India is the world’s largest democracy, and she is considered an emerging world’s super power which plays a crucial role in international politics. Moreover, India, geographically, is the world’s seventh-largest country and second-largest populations of 1.3 billion people after China.
I was told that the education system is highly qualified and internationally recognized, yet I still hesitated to believe it until I experienced it myself. Through my personal experience working and interacting with the India-educated Cambodians, I have observed they are really knowledgeable and competent in their fields of their studies and expertise. Moreover, from the first day of my class till now, I have observed that the learning environment here is friendly and much opened. It provides me with more chances to interact with diverse students and highly qualified lecturers/professors. Studying here is very competitive, tough and demanding. Students love to stay in the library than their home. In class, we freely debate and discuss every issue regarding our lessons and socioeconomic and political problems with the professor and classmates. Most importantly, as a student of political science, I have a chance to not only learn theoretically in class but also to eye-openly witness how people here fully enjoy and exercise their rights and freedom in the world’s largest democracy country.
Last but not least, the high quality of education, social diversity, vibrant political and economic status of India, and long-established cultural links of Cambodia and India have already caught my heart and soul to study here. It is a life-changing opportunity and experience to be here. Had I not decided to apply the scholarship to study in India, I would have been very remorseful. I optimistically believe and hope that I can bring knowledge back to partly contribute to the development of Cambodian society.