UCSS Organizes Field Trip to Siem Reap

 

UCSS Organizes Field Trip to Siem Reap

By Chin Tyheng, UCSS Vice President

In the second week of November, 126 University of Cambodia (UC) students and staff members went to Siem Reap Province for an academic field trip on the topic, “Students and Cultures.” Mr. Chheang Sangvath (Director for Office of Student Academic Affairs) and five other UC staff members chaperoned the field trip. A reporter from SEATV, Mr. Hun Dyno, also joined the group.

The objective of this study trip was to provide insights related to Cambodian history and culture to UC students. We wanted students to learn more about the amazing things that remain from our ancestors in this province. On top of that, we expected all student participants to learn how to live together and assist each other while they are away from home and their parents.

On the first day, all the participants left UC at 5:30 am, and we arrived in Siem Reap, at 12:30 pm. On the way to Siem Reap, we watched some documentary videos on how the Angkor Wat temple was built. During that session, students learned that many special preparations had to be made in advance before the Angkor Wat temple was built, even the land was especially designed before construction started. The main point was that the Angkor Wat temple was built based on the amount of water under the temple, and the temple can be damaged if the water decreases or is reduced.

On the long way there, we played many games that helped us get to know everyone better and enjoy our time together. We arrived at the destination safely and had a lunch buffet at the Empress Angkor Hotel, a nice hotel at the eco tourist site. The site was such a very peaceful and enjoyable place and, after we had eaten a delicious lunch, we went cycling, boated for pleasure, rode an ox-cart, and enjoyed other wonderful activities.

We left the resort and went to the Cambodian Cultural Village at 3:50 pm. The purpose of our visit to the village was to examine the arts and cultural practices. There, we learned more about Cambodian history through the wax statues, paintings, and performances. We watched many performances that showed us about how ancient people lived, dressed, and communicated, and how they have influenced the existing Cambodian culture.

The most special performance of that night was, “The Great King Jayavaraman VII,” who led the Khmer empire to an advanced civilization. Our lecturers have shared this history lesson with us before in class, but during the trip, we were able to see the development of that time. Students took many photos and made close relationships with each other. We left the Cultural Village at 8:30 pm and returned to the hotel and said good night to everyone.

Early Monday morning, we went to Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm to pray for some wishes. Our primary reason for visiting the temple was to learn more about Cambodian religious practices. At 7:30 am, we finished our prayers and left the holy place for the Banteay Srey Temple. We spent around two hours at this temple enjoying the wonderful statues carved on the walls. Those statues were designed with a special architectural technique so they can be seen out of the stone. After this, we continued our adventure to Angkor Touch Temple, where everyone was amazed. We also prayed and donated fruits to the Buddha at the Thousand Buddha Place. We all had lunch in front of our wonderful temple.

At 1 pm, we arrived at 10 January 1979 High School to present on three different topics to the high school students: “The Importance of Learning English,” “Women in Higher Education,” and “How to Choose a Major in Higher Education.” The purpose of our visit to the high school was academic. We wanted to share our knowledge with other young people.

Our Advisor, Mr. Chheang Sangvath, and the Director of the high school delivered the opening remarks. We presented the above-mentioned topics to grade 12 students in five different classes at the high school, which equaled around 300 students. Those students were very active. Many of them wanted to answer the questions asked by our presenters. More noticeably, those students asked many questions as they were very keen to know more about the three topics. They even asked our presenters for their contact information because they thought they may need advice from UC students in the future. Before leaving this memorable high school, Mr. Chheang presented some souvenirs sponsored by Unilever Company, SVK Company, and Goodhill Enterprise to the Director of the high school. He also gave some gifts to the grade 12 teachers in appreciation of their cooperation and support. The presentations were conducted successfully and cooperatively by UC students.

At 4 pm, after finishing visiting the school, we came back to the hotel to rest and swim in the pool. We arrived at the Mondial Angkor Restaurant at 6 pm to have dinner, see some Khmer dance performances, and have a party. It was really a very memorable night for every participant because of the delicious food, friendship and the atmosphere.

On the last day of our field trip, we went to the Old Market (Phsar Chas) at 7 am for the purpose of learning more about the community and observing the living standards. We also bought souvenirs for our relatives and friends. At 9 am, we went to the Angkor National Museum where we learned more about our precious Cambodian history.

In the museum, we watched many films that showed each important historical era. We were also amazed to see a Buddha figure that turns his face to the side when we walk by in the museum.

At 11 am, we left Siem Reap to Phnom Penh after spending three days in this awesome land named Siem Reap Province. Everyone arrived safely in Phnom Penh, at 6 pm.

The participants felt so delighted to be a part of this joyful and beneficial journey. They were able to learn a lot about Cambodian history, broaden and share knowledge with the next generation, have fun with friends, improve relationships between UC students and staff members, see new things, and be exposed to new ideas that can assist them in their studies. The students look forward to another field trip for UC students so they can learn something new, such as environmental awareness.

Learning only inside a school is not enough; to be exceptional, students should learn both inside and outside of school and practice the theories they learn from their lessons.

UCSS would like to thank the following groups for providing support to the field trip: the University of Cambodia for funding; UC staff members for their time; Canadia Bank for providing 50% off of the Cultural Village entrance fee; Unilever Company for their daily life products; SVK Company for 38 packages of soft drinks; and Goodhill Enterprise for 2,000 pens. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and helped make this field trip for the students a success.

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