Accessibility links

Breaking News

How 2 Weeks in San Francisco Made Memories and Inspiration

Daranita is a student in Cambodia, where she is majoring in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Business Management. This summer she came on a short exchange program to San Francisco to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation, and shares this story about her experience visiting some of the most famous companies in America.

Daranita in San Francisco
Daranita in San Francisco

After three years in high school, and two years in university, I have realized that there is no limitation of choosing my path in life. Everyone is being brought to the world with unique talents, which for me include my strong determination to be part of development for the community where I was born and raised.

This summer, I was selected to go to San Francisco with a group of students from different universities in Cambodia for a program focused on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, which fit with my major of Business Management and focused that determination.

The selection process was very tough because most of the students were from the top universities, but I was a shortlisted candidate last year, so I had a good chance for this year. The toughest thing for me was the visa interview with the U.S. Embassy, because we could encounter the failure anytime if we didn't have enough documents for proof.

Just so you know, getting the visa from U.S. embassy is the most difficult thing for all Cambodians. Finally, we were lucky to get through all the obstacles and get our visa done.

We went to various fantastic places in San Francisco and had remarkable opportunities to visit giant companies in Silicon Valley and the financial district, including Google, Mozilla Firefox, and Cisco.

Those companies are all places everyone dreams that she/he could step in, particularly Google, so I was grateful to have this golden opportunity to explore about the world that used to appear beyond my imagination. We also went to Stanford University and Berkeley College for our study tour.

One thing that stood out is that all the companies we saw do something that is good for their society, which is called being “socially responsible.” For instance at HUB, a place for business interaction, most of their facilities are created from recycled materials.

Another obvious example is the Revolution Food company; they provide nutritious food for high school students, so they are not only making profit, but also benefiting the younger generation's health at the same time.

Admittedly, it is hard to find companies like this in my country because we are in a developing country, but I do hope I will have a chance to put all those things into practice and be a change maker for my own nation.

This 2-week trip to San Francisco means a lot to me. It is not only about all the memories that I made with my group, but also about a life-changing experience that helps to widen my knowledge.

Share your own story about an educational exchange or interesting cultural trip. Tell us about your experiences in the comments or using the form below.