Q&A: Microcampus Students Spend Summer in Tucson

Aug. 7, 2019

Six students from Cambodia spent the summer participating in lab courses at UA Tucson.


As part of Arizona Global’s Micro-Campus Network, dual degree students from all around the world can study at the UA Tucson campus for a summer, semester, or longer.

During the summer of 2019, six engineering students from UA Phnom Penh at American University of Phnom Penh took advantage of this opportunity. Entering their junior year, the students were excited to experience U.S. culture for the summer.

UA Phnom Penh students Victor Pa, Chhouhan Banh, Ya Ponleu Yin, Indraprokob Chan Ek, Mowinsophat In, and Vichetsocare Somiel answered questions about their time in Tucson and how attending a UA Micro-Campus set them up for success.

Q: Is this your first time abroad?

Victor Pa: No, I have traveled around countries in Southeast Asia. That’s where we live so it’s close. Before coming here, the farthest I had traveled is China.

Chhouhan Banh: I mostly traveled around Southeast Asia, and this is the first time I’ve gone this far.

Ya Ponleu Yin: I’ve only been to one country abroad and that would be the U.S. and this is my third time in the United States.

Indraprokob Chan Ek: The farthest I have been abroad was Australia but that was over ten years ago.

Mowinsophat In: I have only been around Southeast Asia, and this is my first time in the U.S.

Vichetsocare Somiel: China is the farthest I have been before coming here.

Q: What has been the best part of spending the summer at UA Tucson?

Victor Pa: The chance to be here in Tucson and the new culture. It’s something new for us.

Chhouhan Banh: It’s a new experience for all of us.

Ya Ponleu Yin: To be able to spend time with my friends and spend the entire experience together.

Indraprokob Chan Ek: Here, compared to Cambodia, you get more instruments to use and different pieces of equipment that aren’t available back home.

Mowinsophat In: New environment. New country.

Vichetsocare Somiel: It’s a new place and a new life. You start seeing things differently.

Q: What classes are you taking in Tucson?

Victor Pa: Three lab classes. Our first lab is a materials lab, so we test how different materials behave. And our second lab is a soil lab. There, we test how different types of soils handle different loads. Our last lab is in hydraulics, testing water dynamics.

Q: How do you think earning a degree from both the UA and AAPP will help you in your future?

Victor Pa: It will help a lot in our future because in total, budget-wise, it’s cheaper to be in Cambodia while earning our U.S. bachelor’s degree.

Chhouhan Banh: It’s convenient for us to stay in our home country but still be able to get a degree from the UA.

Ya Ponleu Yin: For me, I think it’s a good chance because I have a degree from my own country and also, I get a degree from the United States.

Indraprokob Chan Ek: Earning a dual degree means a lot because you earn a degree from your own country and another globally-recognized degree. I’ll be able to find work almost anywhere in the world. From past experiences, I see that a lot of people get degrees from other countries and when they come back to Cambodia, they get a very high position compared to people who get a degree from their home country.

Mowinsophat In: It will be very beneficial for us because in the future we will need our degree and we will have a dual degree from a recognized U.S. university.

Vichetsocare Somiel: I want to stay in my home country and not go anywhere too far from my family so it’s the best chance for me to earn a U.S. degree.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Victor Pa: I’m going to stay in Phnom Penh.

Ya Ponleu Yin: I might get my masters in the U.S. and then work for a few years to get a financial foothold, and then probably go back home and start a business.

Indraprokob Chan Ek: As of right now, I’m not really sure myself. But I’m open and if some opportunity arises, I will take it.

Mowinsophat In: I think I prefer staying in my home country and will find work there.

Vichetsocare Somiel: I will stay in Cambodia, it’s where I belong.