English Access Microscholarship Program

The U.S. State Department’s English Access Microscholarship Program (Access Program) provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13 to 20-year-old youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds through a two-year program of after school classes and intensive sessions. The program helps participants to develop English language skills that lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Since its inception in 2004, over 115,000 students in more than 80 countries have participated in the Access Program, including more than 1,200 in Cambodia.

Access Program in Cambodia

The English Access Microscholarship Program in Cambodia offers two-year English-language scholarships to young Cambodians from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The courses are taught by teachers from the community, with support from local implementing partners. Since 2004, 1,263 Cambodian students have participated in the Access Program.

This two-year language training builds the English capabilities of students, opening up new opportunities in education and the job market. Access Program graduates have successfully competed for other U.S. government-sponsored scholarships such as the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program and the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program.

In 2017, more than 200 Cambodian students are studying English through the Access Program in Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Classes have also been offered in Kampong Cham, Kratie, Banteay Meanchey, Takeo, Kampot, and Sihanoukville.

Pisey’s Story

More than 1,200 Cambodian students have completed the English Access Microscholarship Program since 2004. Many have gone on to complete their studies and to find employment at NGOs, as journalists, and in other great careers.

Pisey from Ratanakiri graduated from the Access Program and secured a scholarship to finish high school in Norway. She then applied for and received a full scholarship to study English literature at Methodist University in North Carolina. Pisey hopes to become an English teacher and to be able share all her knowledge and experience with talented and disadvantaged students like herself. Pisey is the very first member of her tribe to study in the United States!

Testimonials from Students

“The Access Program has changed me from a silent girl to the one who is never afraid to talk to new people, learn new things, and to give back to society”.

Teyaorm, Kampong Cham (and alumnus of the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program)

“After two years of participating in the Access Program, I have improved both my interpersonal development and communication skills.”

Choeun, Ratanakiri (and alumnus of the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program)

“By using my English, I passed the test and got one of twenty scholarship from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.”

Alfin, Kampong Cham (and alumnus of the U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center Election Reporting Tour)