As a new semester started at the Academy of Culinary Arts Cambodia, seven scholarship students began their internships at some of country’s finest restaurants.
For most students, it is extremely challenging to integrate socially and academically since 90% come from Cambodia’s provinces. Many scholars also have part-time jobs to support their living expenses in Phnom Penh. Nevertheless, they all have the eagerness, passion and drive to continue to pursue a career in culinary arts.
While most students miss their hometowns, families and friends back home, they see this as a needed sacrifice to take this unique opportunity.
How have the first months at the Academy of Culinary Arts Cambodia changed the seven scholarship students and what have they learned?
“Studying at ACAC is very different from the regular school – It’s more strict, you need to work harder and you have to learn to work well with your peers.” – First Scholarship Student
Expanding Learning and New Horizons
“One of the things I really learned from ACAC is how to prioritize the quality of food. Most of the sellers in Cambodia focus on the quantity and ignore the quality of the food. But here, I realized that quality is more important than quantity.” – Second Scholarship Student
For many students, they are just beginning to explore and learn some concepts others take for granted.
“Something clicks when students understand that small things like reading nutrition labels on food items, are very important. I am very proud of these scholars and what they’ve learned in such a short period of time. They are hard-working, passionate, and all have something to offer Cambodia when they finally finish this course.” – Pierre Tami
Learning in Fast-Paced Environments
The students launched quickly into real life, fast-paced environments.
“It was a very good experience for me to be in that kind of high-pressure environment. I helped in decorating/plating and I had to work very fast. We had an opportunity to have our photos taken with the VIP guests afterwards. I felt very special!”
Pursuing Dreams and Casting a Wide Vision
“My parents are very happy. They want me to reach my goal and pursue my dreams. My mother said this is a skill I have in my heart.” – Scholarship Student
“Because everything is in English, it’s extra difficult to learn cooking. I’m glad my team and co-scholars help me when I find it hard to understand the lessons.” – Scholarship Student
“My mum wanted me to study in a regular university and take up something like teaching because she thinks I can earn more money afterwards. But I assured her, ‘Don’t worry mum, I can earn more money with what I learn from here.” – Scholarship Student