Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

August 22, 2012

Many students decide to study International Relations and speak with pride "I want to become an ambassador". It's pretty amazed to hear the statement repeatedly, but I doubt whether they know what to do to get the position, when they will get it, or the fact that they may not be able to get it.

Ambassador William E. Todd
Teens choose to study International Relation (IR) at many universities in Cambodia such as at Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC), or at Institute of Foreign Languages, Department of International Studies and hope that they will become an ambassador in the near future, but the dream is long to be realized, not all ambassadors graduated from IR. Many would end up working for NGOs or for a private company as it is impossible to achieve right after they graduate from a bachelor degree. The following description is based on what I have talked with my friends who is a graduate from Royal School of Administration, a student at Institute of Foreign Language, Department of International Studies, and a government official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Since many teens are interested in International Relation, let's see the curriculum that IFL's got to offer for year one and year two in the Department of International Studies:
" - Macro- Research- International Organization- International Laws- IPE: International Political Eco- World History- Southeast Asia Study- ASEAN in Regional context- ASEAN Summit Model Study- International Reations- Micro-Eco- Academis Writing- United Nations "
Credit to: Siekhouy Hout 

- One convenient way which might help a personnel to become an ambassador is to apply for a study at Royal School of Administration; there are three departments for government officials to choose - Economics, International Relation, and Administration. If you wish to become a prospective ambassador, you shall apply for International Relations; most of the government officials graduated from RSA shall be offered a particular position in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, the process of becoming an ambassador is still a blur to me.   
Credit to: Chanty Piseth

- There are many institutions that can appoint one as an ambassador. However, I would like to limit the scope to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once you become a department director, when you are nominated to work at Cambodian embassy, you will be granted the ambassador title. Of course, the IR degree also count. 

From Department Director up (under-secretary of state, secretary of state, etc). Some high ranking officials from the Council of Ministers are also appointed as Ambassador.    

Credit to: Lim Hok Seng

The information above will never be detail enough, I do hope that someone from the government could hold a seminar on how to become an ambassador for the next generation in the near future ... 

August 17, 2012

In early July, there was a propaganda of Cambodian flag as some Khmer people claimed that the flag comes with stairs, while some claimed that the color of Angkor Wat to be outlined in black. This issue was also brought up by a guy who created a picture and passed out to his friends in facebook without using a reliable source, but later the picture was deleted. The flag issue was so confusing and lively in the social network and became even more serious when University Scholars Leadership Symposium provided a chance for the Philippines and Cambodia to compete in order to become a host country for the symposium in 2013 by clicking "Like" in a post with Cambodian flag if we wish to vote for Cambodia, or a "Like" on the Philippines flag. As the flag used by University Scholars Leadership Symposium was a wrong one, Cambodian people refused to vote or shared the wrong flag and the number of vote did not increase very much from day to day. As a result, Cambodia lost.

So, today I would like to raise this issue up and clear the doubt. First, let me start with the changes of Cambodian flag through time. 

Below is an extract from Wikipedia on the changes of Cambodian flag through various regimes. 

An Extract from Wikipedia , be aware of the third column "1948-1970, 1993 - Present" as it is an outdated information 

 However, the extract provides wrong information regarding current Cambodian flag as there is another flag stated in Cambodia Constitutional Law promulgated in 2008.

The flag shown below is a Cambodian national flag used in Cambodia Constitutional Law promulgated in 1993, just like the flag shown in Wikipedia, which are both wrong. 

Reference: Page 60 of Cambodaian Constitution promulgated July 13, 2004, unofficial translation in English, supervised by Constitutional Council

 ... and some other major websites that mislead to wrong/outdated Cambodian flag:

Even Google Image also shows hundreds of wrong Cambodian flag. We need to be aware of the issue. Cambodian flag is outlined in black and has no stairs.

Below is the right flag stated in Cambodian Constitutional Law amended in 2008 available in Scribd
Nokor Khmer Center also reveals another explanation regarding the flag.
Click to enlarge

In order to be more precise, I would like to take this chance to explain the meaning of each colors and the symbol in current Cambodian flag as follows:

" Flag of Cambodia - Description of the Cambodia Flag
-          As the above picture of the Cambodia Flag indicates the overall background is Red and Blue
-          The description of the Cambodian Flag is as follows:
§  three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width) and blue
§  a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat* outlined in black in the center of the red band
§  the Cambodian flag is the only flag in the world to incorporate a building in its design
§  Angkor Wat*  is thought to be world's largest religious structure
-          According to Ancient and Heraldic traditions much symbolism is associated with colors. The colors on the Cambodia flag represent the following:
§  Red - hardiness, bravery, strength & valour
§  Blue - vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance & justice " 

August 16, 2012

If you ever searched on how to write a CV and a Cover Letter before, you may have found many links guiding you  how to write an awesome CV and a charming Cover Letter. However, none of the link mentioned the importance of using PDF rather than Ms. Word when you submit your application to an employer or to a school. 

My post here is to focus on the idea of sending out PDF rather than in Ms. Word document. To me, it is better to send out your CV and Cover Letter in PDF form for two main reasons. First, people could see how professional you are as you could prove that you are a computer literate. Second, no one could ever blame you on the wrong format that might appear on your recipient's computer screen. If you type in Ms. Word, for example, the texts might appear disorder as you and your peer use different version of Ms. Word. That is not the only problem. There are many more that I could not think of for now. In short, it is better to send out in PDF if it is not necessary for your peer to edit your document.

Here I am going to show you just how. 

1. In my Microsoft Word 2007, I installed Adobe Acrobat Plug-in so I could convert all of my document into PDF with this plug-in.

Adobe Acrobat Plug-in (Click to Enlarge)
2. If you do not have this plug-in, there is another way and it is to print in Adobe PDF, the computer will convert your document and save it in PDF.
Choose Adobe PDF when you select a printer 
3. Above mentioned are to do with your CV. How about a Cover Letter in which you will have to sign? For Cover Letter, after typing, you will have to print it out. Sign where you have to sign, and then, you will have to scan your Cover Letter in PDF, not in JPG form. In this way, you will have both CV and Cover Letter in PDF forms; and you are ready to send out!

These are all the tools that I use before I send my application out. If you have any comments or suggestions, I would be very happy to learn from you. 

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