Student Portrait

My name is Shine, and I am the youngest in my family. I have lived in Yangon, Myanmar since I was born. My father was from the Ayeyarwady Region, and my mother was from Rakhine State. They started their lives with nothing. When I was young, we enjoyed good living conditions, as their business was going well. My father is a merchant, and he worked hard. At that time, our business was not that bad.

Around the time that I was preparing to take my matriculation exam, one of my father’s trusted partners cheated him out of most of his money. As my parents were simple people from small towns, they trusted others easily. So my father’s partner misused their money and ran away.

My father almost lost the business and took on a lot of debt from the bank in order to rebuild. I knew well what was going on, but I respect my father because he refused to give up. He tried hard to rebuild, but it was not going as well as before.

We had lots of expenses at the time, including my education. We had to cover my matriculation exam and tuition fees, among others. From that time on, our lives changed.

After passing the matriculation exam, I hoped to go to a foreign country to continue my studies. But because of various challenges, it was impossible for me to do so. I decided to join Government University in Myanmar and then hoped to apply for a master’s degree abroad after graduating.

My mother advised me to try International Relations at Yangon University. I learned that this major provides opportunities to communicate with people in foreign countries, NGOs, and other international organizations. One of my dreams is to become a successful businesswoman and lead my profession internationally. I want to communicate with international companies and join hands with them in their fields.

After the matriculation exam, I had a long holiday before university started. Our family business was rebuilding at the time, and I didn’t want my parents to incur extra expenses because of me.

 About Shine

  • Age: 22
  • Ethnicity: Burmese, Rakhine
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Siam University
  • Bachelor’s, International Business Management
  • 2nd Year in Program

Goals & Dreams

  • Become a successful international businesswoman
  • Give my parents financial relief
  • Travel to Europe

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $2,200
  • Amount Left To Fund: $1,375
  • Contract Duration: 11 years
  • Status: In School
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What Others Are Saying About Shine

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My parents always told me to ask for anything I needed in my life, and they would do whatever they could to provide it. But I knew they were struggling, so I approached my teachers and helped some students with their studies. I was a tutor for students preparing for the matriculation exam. I earned some income from this, which perfectly covered my expenditures so my parents did not have extra expenses because of me. I worked as a guide for over three years until classes and schools were closed because of the Covid crisis.

It is sure that the Covid crisis and conditions resulting from the coup destroyed everything for us. I stopped my university studies in my third year and left my job so had no income. Still, I am thankful I’d been able to save some earnings before, which proved very useful during this jobless period.

For almost two years, I wasted my life doing very little before deciding to apply for scholarships at foreign universities. I chose to study International Business Management, which fits nicely with my career goals. I hope to go into international business and want to rescue my parents from their own struggles. I want my father to retire from his responsibilities to our family.

I chose Siam University, which is ranked well and is fairly priced. It is famous for its teaching method, and the staff and professors are friendly and helpful. I tried hard and was able to earn some scholarship support from Siam but for the remainder, I had no one to support my studies.

My family and relatives suggested that I wait to enroll, as everyone is really struggling during this time. But I could not give up, as it wasn’t easy for me to get to this stage. My parents may feel so sorry for not supporting my needs, but I know that’s not their fault because the crisis reduced everyone’s wealth in Myanmar. Finally, I decided to request help from Zomia, which is the only hope I have to pursue my dream and give my parents some financial relief.

Written by Shine with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.



“If Zomia can support me, it will comfort me because I won’t need to worry about tuition fees and can focus on my studies. It will also relieve my parents, who worry about their child struggling alone in a foreign country.”

Q&A With Shine

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
Family trip to Kalaw
How would your friends describe you?
Fun and friendly
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
I wish I could speak lots of languages fluently!
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Earn lots of money 😂
Where would you most like to travel?
Paris, Greece
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Hotpot and BBQ (a perfect match for me)
What’s your dream job?
International businesswoman

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