Leah Mildred Smith ’22


Major: Pre-health
Residential College: Whitman
OIP Program: IIP
Location (city, country): Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A meaningful aspect of my international experience:
Everyday I was bombarded with loud preteen kids. Sometimes hyped up on caffeine, sometimes wet from playing in the rain, sometimes tired from a long day at khmer school before the english class I taught. Each day was a new and invigorating experience where I taught a variable lesson with creative sides like art or free -write, painting or presentations on space. The children kept me on my toes, taught me khmer words, beat me (savagely) in football, and, of course, constantly reminding me that their homework was for me and not for them. "cha, homework you no me" "cha you do" "cha too hard" (eye roll or snicker from the kid) 

The children just provided so much joy for me and I in turn gave them so much energy. Most days I would fall asleep in the tuktuk ride back from work, only to go to the gym afterwards or get right on planning my next lesson.