Following the Fellows

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By Ian Schwartz

This time last year, I was at Union attempting to balance a heavy academic course load with thesis, extracurricular activities and enjoying my last two terms of college.

With all of this going on, I was also trying to figure out what I was going to do next with my life.  The unsettling question of “What next?” that looms over so many college seniors was adding even more stress to my already hectic life.

Today, my life is completely opposite to the one I lived a year ago. I am now living in Siem Reap, Cambodia as part of the Minerva Fellowship program.

I work for an organization called The Global Child (TGC), which is a small non-profit school designed to provide students with an education so that they may have  brighter futures.

My role at TGC has various titles.  I work primarily as an English teacher but also take on the responsibility of role model, physical education director, coach and more.

At our partner restaurant and boutique, Joe to Go, I find myself waiting tables and teaching myself how to use Photoshop in order to complete necessary graphic design work.

Throughout this incredible experience I have seen both successes and failures.  I have overcome challenges (including dengue fever and dual bacterial infections) that have tested both my patience and skills.

Cambodia has shown me an incredible amount about myself as well as the human spirit.

I truly look forward to the next four months of this fellowship.  If they are anything like the last few months I know that my experience will continue to be unforgettable.

For more information about my life in Siem Reap, check out my blog: www.ianincambodia.blogspot.com.

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