Education for Myanmar Tomorrow

The country of Myanmar’s educational system has suffered tremendously under years of military rule. The major obstacles to the civilian children inside Myanmar/Burma are the lack of opportunities and the poor quality of education. It would be beneficial for young citizens of Myanmar to participate in education programs in the United States in order to be leaders in a rebuilding of the democratic process in Myanmar.

 

Experience U.S.: Myanmar Youth Development Program

Culture Adventure, Language Immersion & Educational Exploration

NetMAA has initiated the educational exchange “Experience U.S.” program in December 2012 as part of the community outreach programs. The program is designed for Burmese students aged 10 to 16, and offers a two-week cultural adventure and educational exploration trip to California. The Myanmar Youth Development Program in California provides Myanmar/Burmese youth with opportunities that will spark a lifetime interest in learning and cultural understanding. Through educational exploration and discovery the program will empower underprivileged Burmese youth. Burmese teens and their parents recognize the importance of English language fluency, as well as the social and educational benefits of an intercultural experience abroad.

The Myanmar educational system has suffered tremendously under years of military rule. The major obstacles to the civilian children inside Myanmar/Burma, are the lack of opportunities and the quality of education. It would be beneficial that young citizens of Myanmar be better leaders in a rebuilding of the democratic process of Myanmar through higher education programs in the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama supports educational exchange between Burma/Myanmar and the United States. During his historic visit to Burma/Myanmar, he made the following comments:

Just as education is the key to America’s future, it is going to be the key to your future as well. And so we look forward to working with you, as we have with many of your neighbors, to extend that opportunity and to deepen exchanges among our students. We want students from this country (Burma) to travel to the United States and learn from us, and we want U.S. students to come here and learn from you. (Source: Press Release from the U.S. Embassy Rangoon, page 6)

 

Learning Objectives:

The overall objective of the program is to increase Myanmar youth’s access to American education, diversity, and culture, to improve their quality of education and future development. Visiting Myanmar/Burmese youth will live, socialize, learn culture and history, and enjoy leisure activities with Burmese-Americans and other community volunteers during the Experience U.S. weeks.

Program participants will be part of a life-changing experience enabling them to

  • Travel to the United States as a Youth Ambassador: Most of these travelers will be taking their first trip abroad, and will remember this experience for the rest of their lives.
  • Learn firsthand how Americans live: Participants will spend their time living, learning, and playing with American and Burmese-American youth and adults, allowing them a uniquely American experience.
  • Meet and network with community leaders: Participants will engage in classes and casual discussion with prominent members of the Burmese-American community, and form relationships to help further their educations and careers.
  • Learn U.S. history: Participants will get the chance to put down the textbooks and learn U.S. history at its source, observing how the United States democratic electoral process and republican form of government operates.
  • Experience U.S. culture: Participants will gain a new appreciation of the cultural diversity of the United States by visiting and interacting with people from several major U.S. cities.
  • Build confidence: A trip abroad may be the most intimidating and uncomfortable experience a youth has faced thus far. Learning to interact and thrive in a foreign atmosphere allows participants to gain self-confidence and self-reliance, setting the foundation for a life of learning and exploration.
  • Create lifelong friendships: More than just an educational outing, we hope that this trip remains etched in its participants memories, and that the shared experience between the Burmese and American youth lasts well beyond their trip abroad.
  • Learn teamwork: Being involved in community events and interacting with American youth during regular group meetings will encourage open communication and reflection, fostering a spirit of teamwork on the trip and upon return home.
  • Create change: Participants will return home with new skills and enthusiasm to create positive, uplifting, and sustainable change.

 

Medical Coverage:

The Myanmar Youth Development Program participants are provided with the medical coverage to ensure that, in the cases of emergency, participants will be treated as soon as possible in California.

Meals and Lodging:

Meal expenses for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and lodging are included in the total costs of the Experience U.S. program.