Students Without Borders is a WUSC and CECI program that enables Canadian university and college students to participate in exciting, volunteer learning opportunities in South America, Africa, and Asia.

Getting Ready to Leave!


Hello everyone!

My name is Julie Vassilyeva, I am a 4th year International Development student at the University of Ottawa. I have been interested in international development for as long as I can remember, and recently after doing a year long exchange at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam I have realized that in the future I hope to do a masters in food security. I have most recently been accepted by Student’s Without Borders to complete an internship at the ICC University of Technology in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where I will be working as a Rector’s Assistant/English Teacher. I am thrilled to get a chance to teach and to work in a position that in many ways is like my program of study, very interdisciplinary. This position appeals to be because I’ve had the chance to previously work on a one-on-one basis with the mayor in my home town and have found that to be especially rewarding as it gave me the most varied docket of experiences, activities and skills. As this is my first international placement I hope to learn the in’s and out’s of living in a different country and working for a local affiliate while also completing my mandate and growing personally. This in itself will be a hard task, I also hope to learn a little bit more about Cambodian culture and even dabble in a bit if Khmer ( I love languages). I think one of my first priorities will be to get a feel for my placement and meet all the people that I will be working with closely for the month’s to come. I am a little fearful of the language barrier but have heard amazing things about the people in Cambodia and their patience and willingness to learn new things. The fears I have for this placement are nothing out of the ordinary as I discovered after talking to classmates who are also doing placements, everyone is fearful of the language barrier, living alone in a new country, and doing the best they can in a new setting and first placement. Until next time :)


-Julie Vassilyeva