Despite lack of govt loans for college in Cambodia, these students are making it work

Most Cambodians live in rural areas, with many struggling to make a living on small farms. Even with low public school tuition fees, sending a child to college is nearly impossible. Those who want a higher education must be resourceful.

Srey Touch Kroch stood over a large wok, frying pieces of chicken in hot, bubbling oil as she cooked a Cambodian dish called cha kreung satch moan for 40 people.

The second-year student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh is studying international business management, and it was her turn to make dinner for the women she shares a dorm with.

The students’ housing and food are paid for by Harpswell, a US nonprofit that raises money from donors and also has staff in Cambodia. The program opened its first dorm there in 2006. Kroch and the other women say they are grateful to live in a residence hall and pursue a university degree.

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