5 Studying Abroad Barriers for Cambodian Students

For those of you who dream of studying abroad, you are probably thinking it will be an easy transition. You can see that it is a lot of fun, but certainly not easy especially for Cambodian students. Since our country has many cultures and traditions, you must find it hard to accustom yourself to a new environment. Once you go out of your country, you will experience different cultures and languages.

What Are the Common Obstacles for Students?

There will be many things that we find it amazing as they are just so different from the ways we act. Be prepared for the culture shock, language barrier, different opinions and or forth which we called those “diversity’’. Here are the five studying abroad barriers that Cambodian students usually face the most when studying overseas:


Most students studying abroad will experience homesick for different reasons. You may never have thought you would say it but once you get far away from home, you will actually miss your family more than you can say. All in all, you will have some moments missing your parents and friends.

For example, as a Cambodian student, you may find it struggling to adapt the food. You may have no close friend to talk about due to the time difference; you may miss the family holidays because you are in another country. Therefore, you can get involved in new interests or study clubs or adventures in your destination abroad; or you may call up your friends/family/advisors for small talk and catching up with lives. Avoid spending time alone, it’s only make things worse and will make you feel more homesick. Find individuals you feel safe with, and spend more time around people who can respect you as much as you respect them.

Culture shock

Culture shock is a common phenomenon and, though it may take months to develop, it often affects travelers and people living far from home in unexpected ways. In most countries it’s absolutely that you’ll feel uncomfortable or unwanted and you will find it hard to accept the new experience or environment and especially new culture. It can still be tiring at first but you need to try to get to grips with new cultural norms.

As an international student to foreign country, you do not know the country’s culture very well and all those unwritten rules. No matter which country you go, you may make mistakes and may be awkward. So don’t be embarrassed; learn from cultural misunderstandings and don’t make them again. Therefore, it would be better if you could be well-prepared on this. You should find seniors or consultants who has experience or specialist in this matter. 

Always should you ask and don’t assume.

Time zone

The term time zone can be used to describe several things, but mostly it refers to the local time of a region or a country. Time zones are hard to navigate with. Your body could still be jet-lagged and might be used to waking up at sunrise, which, in your country might be at 5.30 am but other country you are in might be not. However, not only are you responsible for your own schedule now, you also have to incorporate the time differences into this. This would definitely be confusing for most students and it is hard to find the right time to call your family because the difference of time. In some countries, there are only 2-3 hours difference comparing to Cambodia such as Korea or Japan; however it is 10-11 hours difference in United State or Canada. Eventually, you’ll get used to the new, confusing time changes. At first, you will find to accept or adjust to it.


Communication barriers are the common barrier of students living abroad, especially for Cambodian students, due to our culture. However, you should not let this barrier stress you out. Instead, you should think of it as another learning opportunity. This means explaining what you are saying to others because your foreign language is not likely yet to be the best and there may be cultural differences that affect how people interpret what you say. This also means asking people to repeat or explain what they are saying to you, to make sure you understand especially when it comes to health issues.

For example, if you are to stay with a host family and you are allergic to peanuts or seafood, and have a fear of dogs of all sizes, tell your host family about it right away. You’re never required fitting in perfectly, nor you are not wrong for disagreeing with your difficulty. So, if you choose to study abroad, you should try to communicate with the people around you.

Food habits

Food habit refers to why and how people eat, which foods they eat, and with whom they eat, as well as the ways people obtain, store, use, and discard food. Different countries have different food habits. If you’re studying abroad, you’ll likely experience food culture shock at some point and it’s similar to culture shock. Once you realize that the food in a certain country isn’t what you expected and you cannot get used to, it can bring about some culture shock and one of the most important challenges and the most difficult to overcome. In case you are afraid that there’s food you cannot eat, you should do some research and with that not only will you find yourself learning about the food, you’ll also get an idea of what to expect and what you might enjoy.

What Should You Get From the Article?

Every person has different strengths and weaknesses. Thus, the weakness is the key to be aware of when studying in a foreign country. You need to ask yourself what you actually worry regarding studying abroad. But when you push through the challenges, everything will work out. And if nothing else, you will have lots of experience and move forward. However, you haven’t chosen any universities or having trouble of choosing universities, also in WEduAbroad, we have a consultant that can help you to solve all of your problems. Free to counselling about studying overseas with our expert. Find us at 9th Floor, B-Ray Tower, Preah Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh or contact us via 017 548 354. We will prove extensive assistance counselling services for your education abroad. 

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