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Information for Students

Contents

 

General Information

Introduction

To get accepted into a university abroad often requires several months to a year of preparation. Don't be discouraged by this, but do realize that you need to give yourself adequate time to take all the necessary tests, fill out application forms, and acquire the appropriate visa.

General Requirements

Most universities will require the following:

Note: for students who cannot obtain official transcripts or teachers' recommendations, it may be possible to substitute other proof of educational background and letters of recommendation from people who know you now. However, you must discuss this in advance with the admissions office of the university.

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How do I find a university that is right for me?

First, do you have a country preference? Would you prefer to go to a Western country where you will be immersed in a very different culture or would you prefer to stay in Southeast Asia?

Is cost a factor? Tuitions and living costs in Southeast Asia are generally much less expensive than in the West. Students who want to study in the West may have to work part-time or take out loans.

There are scholarships available for Burmese students in all countries, but most scholarships provide only partial support.

Is size a factor? Would you rather be at a big, research university where there are more specialized opportunities or at a smaller school where there may be less specialization but more personal attention?

How good is your English? Different universities require different levels of English ability. Some universities have English as a Second Language classes for foreign students who are still struggling with the language. Be sure to check each university's requirements before applying.

Do you have friends or relatives somewhere abroad? You may prefer to study at a university with friends or relatives nearby. The challenges of adapting to a new culture and a very different academic system can be difficult. Sometimes it helps to have someone you know nearby who can ease the homesickness and help you adapt.

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The Challenges of Studying Abroad

You may find it challenging to keep up with native students for several reasons:

  1. English is not your first language. It may take you 2 or 3 times as long to read an assignment as it would take a native speaker. Try to read as much as possible in English (books, magazines, newspapers) before entering the university in order to improve your fluency. Try to improve your speaking and listening abilities as well.
  2. 2. Less schooling than others. Most students attending universities outside of Burma will have had 12 years of schooling, but Burmese students have generally only had 10 years of education. You can try to bridge this gap by reading in advance some of the books normally assigned during the first year of university. Many universities list their courses and the books they use on the web.
  3. Lack of appropriate skills. Most universities outside Burma require that students write analytical essays and research papers, and participate actively in class discussions and debates. These skills may be new to you. Try to attend an ESL program which includes such training or work with a tutor who can teach these skills. Find and study appropriate reference books.
  4. Plagiarism. Plagiarism, or copying directly from a book or other source without citing the source, is a serious offense at most universities abroad. Generally you will be expected to come up with your own ideas and arguments rather than copying what others have said. If you do want to use the exact words of another writer, for instance, for a research paper, you must put that section in quotations and give the author, title, publisher, and year and date of publication.

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    University Starting Dates by Country

    Australia

    England

    India

    the Philippines

    Singapore

    Thailand

    U.K.

    the United States The academic year begins in August/September. Applications are usually due in early January, and acceptance letters are mailed in approximately April.

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