2019 Overseas Learning Journey (OLJ) to Cambodia
Cultural Immersion Programme
Siem Reap, Cambodia
5 November 2019 to 9 November 2019
An Overseas Cultural Immersion Programme is definitely a highlight of a student’s overall school experience. From 5 November 2019 to 9 November 2019, a group of 29 secondary one and two students, led by Mr Peck Chin Hee, Ms Moritza Lim, Mr Hamzah and Ms Sharon Tan, enjoyed the opportunity to visit Siem Reap, Cambodia, an ASEAN country rich in heritage and culture.
Learning Journey to UNESCO World Heritage Site
The journey started with a visit to Angkor National Museum where students viewed Angkorian artifacts and learnt about the art and culture of Khmer civilisation. Thereafter, we embarked on an exciting Angkor Temples adventure. We admired the intricate architecture and trekked the ancient grounds of the Bayon Temple, Banteay Srei Temple, Ta Prohm (also known as the Tomb Raider Temple) and watched the sunset at Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest religious monument in the world.
School Visits Learning Experience
We visited two schools, 10 January 1979 High School and Hun Sen Pra Sat Bakong High School, as part of a local school immersion experience geared to promote a sense of internationalism and appreciation of different education landscapes. Our StaRs participated in meaningful interactions with the high school students as they gave a presentation on their school experience in SSS and taught the local students how to make a straw glider, something they learnt during ALP (Applied Learning Programme) lessons. The students also had insightful tours around the schools to see the different learning environments in Cambodia.
Rice Field Learning Experience
One unique activity that our StaRs enjoyed was rice harvesting at a local farmer’s paddy fields in the countryside. It was a bumpy ride on our way to the farm as we watched the bus driver skillfully navigate the scattered potholes of various shapes and sizes on the road. Students had a taste of ‘kampung life’ with the change of scenery as family-reared pigs, chickens and cows greeted us and local children roamed freely around the farm. Rice harvesting was an eye-opening experience that gave us a glimpse of the simple yet diligent life of a farmer in Cambodia. With a sickle in one hand and a bunch of grass gathered in the other, we had incredible fun working in the paddy fields together. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip as it got us truly connected to the other side of life and allowed us to appreciate the rice that we readily consume back in Singapore.
On the last day, we visited Angkor Handicraft Association and Central Market where students bought souvenirs for themselves and their families. Central Market was particularly interesting for the students as they learnt how to bargain respectfully with stall owners to reasonably lower the prices of products while understanding the stall owners’ need to earn a living.
The Overseas Learning Journey to Cambodia has indeed allowed our StaRs to broaden their horizons and build new friendships. The eventful and meaningful time of learning will always be etched in our memories.