Myanmar Students' Educational Journey in Brno

Follow the inspiring journey of Aug Win and Sai Sai, two scholarship recipients from a small town in Myanmar, to pursue a top education at the MU Faculty of Education in Brno. Despite their backgrounds as educators, they are courageously seeking new ways to contribute to their community. Their goal? To share the knowledge gained from their studies at MUNI back home, to be part of the change in education in Myanmar. Find out how Brno's welcoming atmosphere and supportive university community allow them to have an unforgettable educational experience. Join them as they embrace their first encounters with snow, experience student life, cultivate lifelong connections in Brno, and conversely, what they face despite applying for numerous teaching positions in Brno schools, they faced rejection due to their lack of proficiency in Czech.

29 Apr 2024 Monika Oswaldová

Aung Win & Sai Sai Htun Naung, students of the Faculty of Education, Education for Diversity and Inclusion programme (EDI)

What led you to choose Brno, Czech Republic, for your studies?

Aug Win: Thank you for having us. We were attracted to Brno for several reasons. Firstly, the renowned quality of education here made it an appealing choice. Additionally, the affordability of living in Czech Republic compared to other European countries was a significant factor for us. Brno, being a vibrant student city, offered the perfect blend of academic excellence and a supportive environment. And of course, the opportunity to enroll in the Education for Diversity and Inclusion program at this esteemed faculty was a key driving force behind our decision.

Sai Sai: Absolutely. Brno's welcoming atmosphere and the promise of a diverse community were also major draws for us.

 What aspects of Brno do you find most captivating?

Sai Sai: The supportive community in Brno has truly made our experience memorable. From fellow students to professors, everyone has been incredibly welcoming. The emphasis on inclusivity and diversity within the academic environment has been particularly inspiring.

Aug Win: Moreover, Brno's rich academic background and its beautiful natural surroundings, including the nearby forests, have added to the allure of studying here. As someone who enjoys exploring nature, Brno's setting offers the perfect balance between urban life and natural beauty.

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, home country of the Aug Win and Sai sai:

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a Southeast Asian nation with a rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes. Myanmar shares its borders with China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, and India.

With a population of approximately 55-60 million, it ranks as the world's 40th largest country and is the second-largest in Southeast Asia.

they have 8 main Ethnic Groups and more than (135) Ethnic Groups and Languages.

Study programme EDI (Education for Diversity and Inclusion)

The Faculty of Education of Masaryk University has introduced this new EDI programme thanks to Mgr. et Mgr. Marketa Košatková, Ph.D. and Mgr. Zdeněk Janik, M.A., Ph.D. The program is designed for (but not limited to) international students and is taught in English. This programme brings a modern and sensitive way of teaching the specifics of education, diversity, inclusion and cultural sensitivity. Students are offered courses in three specialisations, including:

Special and Inclusive Education
Pedagogy and Psychology
Social Pedagogy

You've chosen Brno over Prague, specifically for the Education for Diversity and Inclusion programme. Could you tell us more about why this programme resonated with you?

Aug Win: Our shared passion for promoting diversity and inclusion in education led us to this programme. As teachers from Myanmar, a country with a rich tapestry of cultures and traditions, we recognized the importance of learning how to create inclusive learning environments. The EDI programme not only aligns with our personal values but also equips us with the necessary skills to foster inclusive classrooms.

Sai Sai: Additionally, the programm's emphasis on open-mindedness and interactive learning appealed to us. We believe that embracing diversity is essential in today's interconnected world, and this programme provides us with the tools to make a meaningful difference in the field of education.

Did you two know each other before coming to Brno?

Aug Win: Yes, we did. Our paths crossed while working as teachers in Myanmar. Our shared commitment to education and our desire to further our knowledge and skills brought us together. When the opportunity to study abroad arose, we knew that embarking on this journey together would be both rewarding and enriching.

Sai Sai: And applying for the EDI programme on the last day before the deadline was a spontaneous yet defining moment for us. We saw it as a chance to challenge ourselves and broaden our horizons in the heart of Europe.

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How has the EDI programme influenced your perspectives on diversity and inclusion in education?

Sai Sai: Despite initial language barriers, the EDI programme has provided us with a supportive learning environment where diversity is celebrated. Through engaging discussions and practical exercises, we've learned how to create safe and inclusive spaces for all students, regardless of their backgrounds.

Aug Win: The program's focus on real-world applications has been particularly valuable. As educators, we understand the importance of adapting our teaching approaches to meet the needs of diverse learners. The EDI programme equips us with the knowledge and skills to do just that, empowering us to make a positive impact in our communities.

“EDI programme is special for its open-minded preference.”

Who has been instrumental in supporting you during your time in Brno?

Aug Win: The faculty and staff at the university have been incredibly supportive since day one. From assisting us with the admissions process to providing guidance on academic matters, their support has been invaluable.

Sai Sai: We've also received tremendous support from our fellow international students. The sense of camaraderie among students from diverse backgrounds has made our transition to life in Brno much smoother.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for the future?

Sai Sai: I'm passionate about using education as a tool for social change. My goal is to leverage my experiences and knowledge to create inclusive educational initiatives that promote diversity and equality. I want to create some projects posting, writing articles, express feelings through art, painting, drama, photography.

Aug Win: Similarly, I aspire to contribute to the field of education in meaningful ways. I want to share knowledge and experience for example to our Minister of Education, being part to change our education system a bit. Whether it's through consultancy, couching, research, or teaching, I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of students and communities, both locally and globally.

Is there anything you'd like to share about your experience so far?

Aug Win: While our time in Brno has been enriching, we've encountered challenges, particularly regarding financial constraints. Scholarships would greatly alleviate the financial burden on us and allow us to focus more on our studies and personal growth. Scholarship is very expensive for us. Our country is in crisis, our family is in big trouble. We have to find a part-time job here. I applied for many jobs at schools here in Brno as a teacher, but I was rejected because I don't speak Czech.

Sai Sai: Additionally, navigating the job market as non-native Czech speakers has been challenging. Any assistance or opportunities to gain practical experience in our field would be immensely valuable to us.

Thank you both for sharing your insights and experiences with us. Your dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion in education is truly inspiring, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


“Academic background is amazing here! Czech education system is much more better than in other countries!”

Presentation prepared by students from Myanmar: students' perspectives on life, diversity, culture, economy and must-visit tourist destinations:

Presentation of life in Myanmar

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