Message from Dr. Phal CHEA

To Potential Ogawa Seminar Students,

It is my pleasure to share with you my experiences and thoughts about Ogawa seminar (zemi). I obtained my master’s degree in Economics in 2015 and Doctoral degree in Economics in 2018 from Kobe University, under the supervision of Prof. Keiichi Ogawa. Before joining Professor Ogawa’s seminar at Kobe University, I worked for a Japanese international NGO in the field of education in Cambodia, where I learned about education issues and challenges at the grass-root level. Back then, I did not have any academic or working backgrounds in economics. After joining the seminar and classes in Kobe GSICS, I was able to broaden my knowledge not only on education but also on economics and how economics can be applied in a broad range of fields.

One of the great advantages of being a student in Ogawa seminar is the plentiful opportunities to get first-hand academic and field experiences and to get connected through his great professional and academic networks. Students, including myself, had opportunities to present our research findings in various academic conferences in Japan and abroad. Furthermore, as stepping stones to enhance our working experiences, Professor Ogawa always encourages and supports his students to participate in internship programs and field studies at international organizations and government institutes out of Japan. In my case, I could not join any internship program; however, thanks to Professor Ogawa, I was able to be a part of the projects jointly conducted by Kobe University and UNESCO Bangkok that were financially supported by Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT) for several years. In the meantime, I was able to start working as a consultant for the World Bank in the second year of my master’s program.

If you wish to have a career in international organizations or academic institutions in the field of education development, the Ogawa seminar is the right place for you. Thanks to the academic and practical experiences obtained during our courses, many Ogawa seminar graduates are currently working in the development field at international organizations, including World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, OECD, bilateral organizations (e.g., JICA), and international NGOs, government organizations (e.g. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance), and academia. In this sense, you can also greatly benefit from the strong international networks of Professor Ogawa’s seminar alumni.

Phal CHEA (Master of Economics, 2015; Doctor of Philosophy, 2018)
Research Fellow, GSICS, Kobe University