April 23, 2014

World Views Wednesday with Joseph Jorjoliani

The host of International Experience Joseph Jorjoliani had an exciting guest last week,
Mr. Jack Myint. He is a future politician from the Republic of Burma (also known as Myanmar).

Mr. Myint is an undergraduate student in his second year at Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in Political Science and Economics with a Pre-Law track. Mr. Myint shared many interesting facts about Burmese culture, politics, and social life. His views on different issues are strong, passionate and fact-based. Perhaps this charismatic sophomore will one day become the leader of his country. 

Joseph: Mr. Myint, I had not heard about Burma before I came here to Washington & Jefferson College. Now, I know how to say one word in Burmese: “minglaba,” which means “hello.” So, minglaba Mr. Myint! How are you doing today? 

Jack: I am doing well, thank you Joseph for inviting me to be a guest on your show. It's truly a great honor. 

Joseph: Thank you for finding some time in your busy schedule to come by. Well, Jack, I know you were born and raised in Burma.So how did you find out about W&J and what inspired you to study in the United States? 

Jack: First of all, I would like to explain what was happening in Burma when I decided that I want to come study in the United States. There was a strong military regime in place and politics as a subject was banned from our high school and university systems. A few months before I left, the regime stepped down and a new administration came into place with a promise to transition Burma into a democratic state. As you probably know, that's the driving factor behind better trade and investment relations with Burma and major western powers over the past couple of years. So, yes it is a very hopeful time for the country but the fact of the matter is, there's still a lot more to be done – rooting out corruption in the bureaucracy, better promoting the educational and health care standards, ridding of military presence (which currently hold 25% of the seats) in parliament to name a few. I firmly believe the education I receive and the network I accumulate over my time in the U.S will give me the background necessary to go back to Burma and become part of the changing political landscape and steadily developing societal and economic stature of my country. I applied to 28 colleges and universities, and Washington & Jefferson College has always been on the top of my list. I chose W&J based on its top-tier pre-law program and my interaction with members of the faculty prior to my arrival. 

Joseph: I know that Burma is not a wealthy country. Did you have enough funds to attend W&J? 

Jack: Right after I received a generous scholarship from the College, I started seeking additional funding. I was fortunate to be selected as a recipient of the Prospect Burma Scholarship, an educational trust set up by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner of Burma who is also my personal idol, hero and source of inspiration. I also received the Open Society Scholarship from the Soros Foundation.