Passing on the knowledge on environmentally friendly irrigation technologies to Cambodia's next generations

Try SOPHAL From Cambodia

The reason for choosing TUAT as my exchange program destination was a simple one: TUAT had a long history in the agriculture field and very high research achievements. Moreover, I had a professor back in my university who is a former graduate from TUAT and also recommended the STEP Program for me.

Currently I live in the Fuchu International House, which is a 10-minute walk from Fuchu Campus. Exchange students from Thai, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Russia and other countries also live there, which makes the environment very international and fun. The Global Cafe is also a good place to meet and interact with Japanese students, but most of them are a bit shy to speak in English, which makes communication difficult at times. But once you befriend them, we overcome these difficulties together and everything turns out just fine.

Under STEP Program, I have been able to take a wide variety of classes in English, related to both Agriculture and Engineering, such as environmental pollution, materials engineering and many others. I've also been able to join a lab related to my interests and even got assigned a desk where I can research my interest themes. Under the supervision of Professor Tasuku Kato, whose field is Water Environmental conservation in irrigation?and drainage, I have been able to do some experiments and participate in field works. At Prof. Kato's lab, there are 2 Cambodian students and 2 Indonesian students, which makes the environment a bit international, too. Prof. Kato has a vast fieldwork experience in Asia and is fluent in English, so I have no communication problems at all. The other members of his lab are also very friendly and easy to talk to.

I want to deepen my knowledge on irrigation systems in rice fields and also on water supply for agricultural purposes. One of the merits of TUAT in my opinion is, without a doubt, its facilities. Equipment that I did not have access to back in my university in Cambodia, such as HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) analyzer allows me to perform high level experiments in a daily basis. Moreover, field trips, as the one we had to Inbanuma in Chiba Prefecture, allowed me to take part in a study about the water utilized in irrigation systems, which is a good base for future experiments and also helps improving my analytical skills. After coming to TUAT, I was able to think about my future in a clearer way. My will now is to continue my studies up to PhD and eventually become a professor in Cambodia. I think getting in contact with cutting edge technologies broadened my vision and made my dreams even bigger. Cambodia is still a developing country and the awareness towards the environment is still very low. I think it is my mission to help educate the next generation of Cambodian young leaders, not only in matters of the irrigation models I learn here, but also in raising the environmental awareness as it is in Japan nowadays.


Try SOPHAL From Cambodia

From Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Currently enrolled in the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Try is in the 5th year of his undergraduate studies in Water Resource Engineering. His interest is in Irrigation Systems. At TUAT, he is enrolled in the 1-year STEP Program for 2013-2014. He is 23 now.

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