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For Wai Phyo Myint, the education system isn't that good at home so coming to America was her option. “I’m originally from Burma, Myanmar. The reason I would like to come and study is because of the education system. Over there the education system is not that good and that is the main reason I would like to come here and also I am interested in Communications Journalism and the Political Science study and over there we don’t have any institution that offers Political science or any Communications Journalism so coming here for me is an opportunity to come and study Political Science and Communications.”
Green Mountain College is in Poultney, Vermont and Wai is in her third year at the college. She is also on an academic scholarship. “I think one of the very beautiful things of the Green Mountain college is we respect and we love our community. Each and every member of the GMC community maintains the community so everyone in the community and so everyone is really nice. So that is a really lovely thing. I didn’t expect I would find that beauty in the United States,” she says.
“Also, the Green Mountain College offered me a ‘make a difference’ scholarship. It is a full scholarship so I got the full scholarship to come here”
Wai Phyo Myint says being able to have open communication with her peers and her instructors is something that she appreciates and isn't able to do if she went to college back home. “Academically, I am really satisfied being here and my classes are really nice.I am quite close to the professors and the professors are also quite helpful and conversation outside of the classroom is always lively and interesting,” she says.
“There are a lot of things I still need to learn because over there in Burma, we don’t have a change to talk and be out spoken and to talk openly about what we think and about our opinion with other people so we don’t have very lively discussions, but here we can discuss everything not just about personal stuff, we can also discuss what our opinion on the government and policies,” she says.
Even though we are not the policy makers we can have a conversation in class or outside conversation so that is really helpful for me and for my career back in my country. So I am really enjoying being here.”
Wai campus activities include; “I work for the school newspaper, ‘The Mountaineer’ and also I got involved in the Indonesia Awareness Club, a club promoting awareness about different countries, culture and other situations on campus,” she says. “We do more about educating students on campus to understand different cultures and to appreciate diversity.”
Wai Phyo Myint says she has come to realize that being in the United States is nothing like she initially had learned back home. “Before I came here whenever I heard about the United States it would be mostly about the bad things basically, but now I’ve been here in at a very small and lovely community so totally different from what I heard over there and now what I am experiencing here,” she says.
“Now I see the best part of the United States because over there whenever we talk about the United States or about the wars or foreign relationships with different countries and not about the good side of the United States, now I am living in a small community and most of them are local farmers and they value their environment and have a very strong sense of community and respect other community members and that is very lovely,” she says.
“So I see and I experience it because I been in the community.”
Wai Phyo Myint will graduate in 2011.