My new friend Kyu Laie Thu!

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Working with the students through CSEAS was a life changing experience.  The student I was partnered with was Kyu Laie Thu. She is from Yangon, Myanmar and earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in English. Kyu has worked as an English language instructor in Yangon, Burma where she taught English to police officers from the area. (Super cool!) Kyu has also worked as a librarian for the Information Center for Every Youth in Yangon, Burma. During our first lunch together, Kyu added a small amounts of everything the cafeteria had to offer to her plate. I was fascinated to see how open-minded Kyu was to try new food.  I adored how she was just as excited to meet me as I was to meet her and learn more about her culture. She wanted to learn everything and anything about the American culture and what it is like to be an NIU student. One of my favorite questions from Kyu was “What hanging out stuff do you do here?” I answered, “Shopping, eating, and watching movies.” Kyu immediately responded, “OMG! Me too!” This event helped me learn more about her culture, food, politics, and values. I think it is essential to attract foreign students to attend NIU so we learn more about the world around us so we can understand one another better. When I shared ideas and values with Kyu I was surprised to learn that we weren’t that different from each other.  I would certainly partner with a foreign exchange student to learn not only about the difference among our cultures but also the similarities. I was happy and excited to hear that Kyu plans on coming back to study at NIU (My interpretation …I would be able to spend more time with her) but I was also curious to learn why…I asked her, “Why NIU? Personally, I love this school so much! I don’t see myself attending any other school.” Kyu responded, “NIU’s Center for Burma Studies makes me feel at home. Everyone is so nice here!”