Myanmar Connections | Khun Nyan Min Htet ’17 reflects on his Centre journey

Posted by Centre News in International Students, International Studies, News 18 Aug 2017

Joy Joy, Charles Ely and Ellen Tyra.This is the second installment in a seven-part series that will explore in detail the background, significance and future of Centre College’s growing relationship with Myanmar.

Originally from Myanmar, Khun Nyan Min Htet (Joy Joy) ’17 grew up in Lashio and attended middle school and high school in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon.

Because of the poor condition of Myanmar’s state education, he sought an education outside of the country from a young age.

“I went to a private international school in Myanmar with the intention of pursuing a college education abroad, especially in the U.S,” he said.

Living over 8,000 miles overseas, he never had the advantage of touring Centre’s campus as a prospective student. He was officially introduced to the College when he arrived for his first day of school.

Min Htet says he instantly connected to the campus and his classmates, experiencing what a personalized education meant.

Taking advantage of Centre’s emphasis on study abroad and research, he went on to study in China and in Washington, D.C., and spent every summer between his first year and senior year working and researching on campus.

“Transition is never easy, especially when moving from one country to another,” Min Htet explained. “It is not just a change in physical location. It is a change in culture, community and social circles, just to name a few. Surprisingly, I adjusted to life in the U.S. rather quickly when I first came to Centre,” he said.

While at Centre, he had the support of International Student Advisor Stephen Swan, his roommate, a group of friends, professors, mentors and staff who were with him to make sure that he adjusted smoothly to life in the U.S.

“Since I was from a small city in Myanmar, Danville wasn’t too different from my hometown,” he explained. “It isn’t about where you end up going to school. It’s about what you make of where you are and what you do.”

He praises Centre for helping him to broaden his horizons.

“Being a leader in global citizenship and international education, Centre was the perfect place to explore the world and different ideas,” he said.

In the spirit of such international education, he is currently enrolled in a graduate program for International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

“I will be spending a year at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China for a graduate certificate program this fall before starting my M.A. program at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 2018,” he said.

by Adeel Ahmed ’18
August 18, 2017