Burma Study Abroad Website

Advice from Burmese Students Abroad


Contents of this Page

On Studying in the UK
Gaining Admission to Delhi University, India
On the Grading System and Study Requirements in the US
About the Human Rights Program M.A. at Mahidol University, Thailand



On Studying in the UK: Financial Needs and Resources

From a Burmese student currently studying in the UK December 2000

Tuition fees: The tuition fees in the UK vary quite a bit, depending on the university and course of study. Generally for lab-based courses (excluding clinical courses) the fees vary from 7,000 to 11,000 pounds per year, clinical courses cost 12,000 per year for the first two years and 17,000 per year for the last three years. Non lab-based courses range from 5,700 to 8,500 per year.


Living expenses and scholarships: I think what most people might want to know about studying in England is whether we could finance it ourselves without relying too much or at all on our parents. Living expenses (including lodging, food, traveling and other miscellaneous) are approximately 80 to 110 pounds a week for London and surrounding areas. That looks hair-raising.

But more and more British institutions these days offer scholarships to overseas students. Scholarships are generally from 1,000 to 5,000. Some scholarships continue for a student's entire education career. So it's not so bad. There are also other sources like OSI, Prospect Burma, the Charles Wallace Burma Trust, and some Christian foundations.

It is also possible to get a loan. From my own experience, I got 1,000 pounds interest-free loan. At first, the manager did not agree to it, but on my second try, I got it.

The good thing in England is if you have a student visa, you are eligible for ALL kinds of work without any restriction and needing to get permission from the authority. This really, really helps.

The minimum wage here is 3.60 pounds but usually most people get much more than that. You can work up to 20 hours a week during term time and 48 hours during vacation period. So if you find a suitable job, you can make roughly 6,000 a year. Perhaps more depending on the type of job. I met many students doing accountancy courses or hotel and tourism studies and they got well-paid jobs which also relate to their studies.


One university to consider: As far as I know, there is one particular university which welcomes students from developing countries, Richmond, the American International University in London. It is also well known in Burma and it provides scholarships covering as much as half of the tuition. Its website is www.richmond.ac.uk .


University entry requirements: For entry requirements, if an applicant is over 21 he/she doesn't need formal A level subjects. Instead, most universities prefer that the applicant to do a so-called one year foundation course. For those under 21, most institutions insist on A level requirements. The A levels can be prepared for in many countries, including Myanmar.


Another university to consider: Burmese students who have difficulties in gaining higher education due to insufficient funds will find Open University most suitable. Open University offers distance-learning education (for undergraduate as well as postgraduate students) to anyone residing in one of European Union countries. A degree from OU is regarded to be equivalent to a degree offered by any British University. Furthermore, the cost is much more affordable than if you are attending other schools.

Students can enroll in a not-very-expensive language school to be eligible for a student visa while taking a correspondence course at OU to obtain a degree.

For more info about OU go to their website at: http://www.open.ac.uk/new/distance-learning.shtml



The visa application: Applicants for student visas usually need to pass certain standardized tests like the TOEFL, GCE, or IELTS, and they should be able to prove how they will finance themselves without recourse to the English government's money. They should also talk to as many people as possible who have already gone through the process, so they know how to handle the process. They shouldn't have to spend a lot of money going through agents if they are well-prepared.



If You're Fluent in English and If You're Qualified, You Don't Need to Rely on Brokers to Get in to Schools in England

 (Translated from: http://www.planet.com.mm/7daynews/story.cfm?id=1311&issue=48&volume=1)

Rangoon, 25 February

"Visas will be issued to the Burmese students who would like to study in England if they are fluent in English and are qualified to get admission in the universities and colleges," said the British Ambassador to Burma.

The British Ambassador Miss Vicky Bowman said, "Their English must be good.  If there's room for them in those schools, I will issue them a visa."  The ambassador spoke against the brokers for visas and school admission in England.

The ambassador said, "If you want a student visa, contact the embassy directly.  Or contact the Mentor Organization in Pansodan and it will give you advice on getting admission.  She continued, "I heard the brokers are taking five or six million kyats.  But we reject them all."  The ambassador warned the Burmese students not to believe the brokers and not to waste their parents' money.

The ambassador stated that if you really want to go to school in England, you need to be fluent in English and there are many teachers in Burma who can give you English lessons. 

"Someone who is going to attend school over there should learn English very well here.  It's inexpensive here.  There are also teachers who can teach you well," said the ambassador Miss Bowman.  When asked what sort of assistance she can provide for those who would like to go and work in England, she replied, "It's possible if you are an expert in something.  Doctors, nurses, and computer experts can go there.  However, in England there is no immigration policy for foreign workers and there are many unemployed people in my country.  That's why we're not bringing in foreigners."

The ambassador also stated that according to the investigation conducted by the British Home Ministry there were Burmese students who went to England on student visas but were working instead.


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Gaining Admission to Delhi University, India

From a student at Delhi University
December 2000

The following information details what I experienced when I applied for admission to Delhi University.


Process of getting admission in Delhi University as a foreign student

First step: Fill up the Application form for Admission of Foreign Students to the University of Delhi. The following certificates must be submitted along with the application:

Note: For foreign students, certified copies of the above certificates in English must be submitted and a photocopy of this form will not be accepted. (You can obtain this form from the Foreign Students Adviser c/o. Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi-110007, India: Ph. 725 7725)

The most important part of this process is that the application must be stamped by a responsible official at the Ministry of Education of the applicant's country or an official at the applicant's country's embassy/high commission in India with Official Seal and Signature. (UNHCR can do this for refugees in India).

As soon as the said application is submitted, the Foreign Students' Registry verifies all the documents, and it will issue a notice on the spot whether you get admission or not, according to the availability of seats and eligibility.


Second Step: After you receive a letter saying that you are allowed to join DU, you must do the following:

All of the above must be provided to the Foreign Regional Registration Office at I.T.O. Road, New Delhi.


Third Step: Meanwhile you must get a recommendation letter from the Foreign Student Adviser. Students must provide all of the following documents (the originals) along with Photostat copies of each to the college.

The following must be deposited at the college to which you are admitted:

A. Tuition fee
B. Foreign Student fee


Hostels & Expenses

The university has a few residence halls. In addition, nearly all campus colleges and some other colleges have hostels attached to them. The International Students House on campus provides accommodation to about 60 foreign male students. Room and board expenses in the university and college residences range from Rs.1100/- to Rs.1300/- per month. There are too few rooms to meet the demand, and as such, more than half of the foreign students in the university must rent rooms or apartments. In view of this, foreign students must reckon with the possibility of staying outside the campus. Total expenses covering tuition fees, board and lodging and incidental expenses come to approximately Rs.8,500/- per month for students who are living off campus.


The following colleges provide hostels:

Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao Hostel, International Students House, Jubilee Hall, Gwyer Hall, Post-Graduate Men's Hostel, Mansarover Hostel, University Hostel for Women, Meghdoot Hostel, D.S. Kathari Hostel, Department of Education Hostel, Department of Social Work Hostel, Geetanjali Hostel (South Campus). St. Stephen's, Hindu, Ramjas, Kirorimal, Hans Raj, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Miranda House, Indraprastha College and Daulat Ram College. Zakir Husain College, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Irwin College, Tibbia College, Delhi College of Engg., R.A.K. College of Nursing, University a College of Medical Sciences and V.P. Chest Institute.



DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) provides a reasonable concession price to DU students who go to college by bus. It costs Rs. 20/month.

Academic year The university academic year is divided into 3 terms:

The University examinations are held in most cases at the end of the third term.




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On the Grading System and Study Requirements in the US

From a Burmese Student at an American university
December 2000


Studying in US is very different from studying in Burma. In Burma, about 70 % of college grades are decided by only one final examination for the whole school year. In the United States, the school year is divided into three semesters: Fall (Sept-Dec), Spring (Jan-Apr) and Summer (May-Aug) (this semester is optional). In each semester, there are at least four exams (or papers), which are as important as the final exam. Therefore, don't think you can just wait for the final exam and study for it, because in most cases, every exam counts equally. You have to study for each exam.

And don't skip the first day of the class like we did in Burma because usually the "instructors" (we call them "teachers" in Burma) give out important information on grading and requirements the first day.

One more thing: you have to buy your own textbooks, which are not included in the school expenses. Resident hall applications are automatically mailed to students who have been admitted to the university for the following academic term. Therefore it is not necessary for you to request a resident hall application.



The United States is a big country, and the admission system varies from university to university. But in general, you need the following:

Finally, you have to open your mind, explore the new environment - including American culture - and participate in American social life. One piece of advice: stop living in your own world, there are several things out there you still don't know yet.


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About the Human Rights Program M.A. at Mahidol University (Thailand)

From a student who attended the program
December 2000

The program is designed for international students who are mostly from different countries in Asia. While about 50 percent of the students are Thais, the rest come from countries like Japan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Myanmar/Burma.

For course work, the standard duration is one year, divided into three semesters. Most students finish the course work in one year, but they can take longer if necessary. There are 11 subjects total -- 8 core subjects and 3 elective subjects-that all students need to study and pass the exam. The total maximum duration for the whole program including course work and thesis is three years.

For an application and more information: contact the Faculty of Graduate Study, Development and Human Rights Study Program, Mahidol University.

General requirements:


Charges/ Scholarship

The tuition fee for the whole course-- both the course work and the thesis fees-- is about US $5000.

The university administrators for this course may be able to provide some assistance in finding a scholarship

The course director and many of the instructors are very kind and flexible. So if you are missing a document or need other special assistance, you can contact them directly.


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