SAILING with a mission to promote cultural collaboration among youths in Southeast Asia is the uniqueness that SSEAYP is renowned for: The ship for Southeast Asian youths is among the top elite programmes where only the toughest of contenders can make it to the journey at sea for 52 days. Sun Molika is one of 28 Cambodia candidates who have made it past the hurdles of qualification to book passage and embark on their journey of a lifetime this October in the SSEAYP programme. Sun Molika, the National Youth Leader of Southeast Asia Youth Programme, tells Som Kanika of Youth Today about the formula on prepping up for those who wish to know more about the programme.
YT: Can you elaborate on your academic background and profession profile?
Molika: My name is Sun Molika (pic) . I am 24 years old and holding two majors – Development Economics from Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) in 2017 and another s Translations and Interpretation from Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) in 2018. I used to work as a Research Assistant intern at CDRI, with specialization in field of education.
YT: with many programmes afoot, why did you choose SSEAYP? What is special about it?
Molika: One of the many reasons I applied for this programme because the purpose and objectives of the programme match my interests.
The main objectives of the programme include the promotion of friendship and mutual understanding among the youths of Japan and the 10 Southeast Asian countries, to broaden youth’s perspective on the common issue of world affairs and to strengthen the youthful spirit of international cooperation and practical skills for international collaboration. Regarding the objectives, leadership training is one of the important issues in this programme. Participants are provided with the platform of excising their leadership ability in their respective fields. Therefore, most of the youths who emerge from this programme have changed and return from their mission equipped with strong capabilities.
YT: How do you prepare yourself and what clinched your selection for the SSEAYP Programme?
Molika: Personally, there are three factors I paid attention to when applying for the SSEAYP Programme. The first priority is to be up to date in my General Knowledge. So you must polish up on general knowledge as well as English proficiency which is a ‘’must’ thing to do because you will need these both in writing and interview tests. Secondly, keep yourself updated with current affairs locally and globally by reading (newspapers, online sites) every day. Since there will be a writing and interview test requiring you to write a short passage, so in order to write and speak well, generally you need ideas so keep yourself well-informed. Last but not least is to make sure that you will be available for the 52-day programme (this coming October) and be willing to be committed and hardworking.
And the biggest strength I have which got me selected for is Leadership Ability which I displayed through the project by leading and conducting volunteerism in doing social or community work. In addition to that I also lead the projects in my working place which is also more evidence to show leadership traits for the programme.
YT: What is the process that applicants have to go through during the programme? And how do you prepare for these stages?
Molika: Generally, there are three main three steps in the process that applicants have to go through — the shortlist, writing and interview stages.
Within the shortlist stage, each candidates will have to go through the application and fill out some personal information. Also, answer a few question which includes: why do you want to join the programme and what do you expect to learn from the programme? For the application, you can get download the form from the official website of Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) or you can take it from the Youth Department.
Regarding the writing test, it is a combination of general knowledge, mathematics test and writing test.
Regarding General Knowledge, you will be tested about the national identity of Cambodia and a general knowledge of ASEAN and current world affairs.
Within the mathematics part, it isn’t that much tricky but it requires you to understand some basic mathematic formulae as the test will involve some IQ tests. The format in both general knowledge and mathematic test will be in MCQ format.
For the writing, the topic for this year is: WHAT skills youths have to acquire nowadays in order to be qualified for the job market.
Last but not least is the interview. The questions will differ from one candidate to another and it also changes or vary every year. Each applicant will be asked certain types of questions based on the things that you wrote in the application and motivation letters.
YT: During the process of applying for the scholarship, were there any challenges you encountered? How do you overcome those obstacles story?
Molika: I think one of the biggest challenges I faced was a lack of confidence and being introverted.
To make the programme, you have to be outward bound with high self-esteem and confidence in face-to-face questions and conversation in vibrant discussions with other Southeast Asian youths.
YT: Do you have any message for young people out there who wish to apply for this programne next year?
Molika: Before my generation, I was told that in order to pass for selection to the SSEAYP programme, you have to be of certain social and physical stature to be worth a second look, so to speak. So I want to prove that this stereotype is totally wrong. If you have enough capability and are qualified enough, you will be selected regardless of your social standing or background. For me, SSEAYP is a lifetime opportunity to reach the peak of my academic life. Because the trip will not only benefit me in high self-esteem but also academic knowledge and hands-on friendship and experience from mingling with youths of my age from different nations and culture.
FACTBOX on SSEAYP
THE Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) is an annual youth exchange programme organised by the Cabinet Office of Japan and governments of Southeast Asian countries for the purpose of promoting friendship and mutual understanding among the youths of Japan and the 10 Southeast Asian countries, to broaden their perspective of the world, and to strengthen the spirit of global cooperation, and practical skills for international collaboration.
The ship for SSEAYP will set sail on a 52-day voyage with over 300 youths from ASEAN countries and Japan this October . The voyage promises vibrant discussions on social and youth matters, eye-opening cultural exchanges and engaging sports, recreational and club activities.
• Sailing dates: 23 Oct 2019 – 13 Dec 2019
• Ports-of-call: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Japan.