Testimonial: Sein So Hlwar



A student of Mechanical Engineering from Myanmar

How did the experience of living abroad change you? What kind of person were you before you arrived to Slovenia, and what kind of person have you become?

I feel more confident, since I have to handle my life on my own. I can face everything alone. I have also learnt a lot about the local culture and people; I can compare the cultures so I also got a lot of knowledge. I am learning how to leave out the bad things that come across in life and extract the positive.

Life here is good, health is fine, I love my friends and I am excited about my studies and work at the student radio.

How do you find Maribor as a town?

I did not have any expectations about the city but I am not disappointed. It is very safe and peaceful. I go out at night very late and there is no problem about that.

What was your main motivation to decide to study at Academia?

I just wanted to study abroad and I thought Europe would be the best. I have many friends all around the world, but I thought Europe would be the most comfortable place to go, although none of my Burmese friends are in Slovenia.

What do you think about Slovenian people?

I actually have many Slovenian friends. I met a lot of people from the Arts school. I somehow feel connected to them. Slovenians are pretty chill. Most of the people are super nice, they are always helpful and ready to explain everything. If I go to the store and don’t understand the products, they always kindly explain me everything.

My friends are the best. They sometimes speak Slovenian among themselves, but I don’t mind. They always tell me to remind them to switch to English, so I do that.

What are the main differences between your home country and Slovenia?

Literally everything. The winter weather is a true challenge for me. I lived between 35 degrees and 40, so living below 0 degrees is a huge challenge.

The people are also very different but I don’t know how to explain in which way. Just different.

Here in Slovenia youngsters have a habit to go for a drink, just sit, chill and talk, but in Burma it is not like that – we always go somewhere, either to cinema, horse-ridings or amusement parks etc. Here people only sit and talk, at least that is how it is with my Slovenian friends. Free time in Burma seems to be more exciting than here.

How do you spend your free time?

I used to have a band in Burma, so here I also practice electronic drums here. I have friends who are in the band and I practice with them. We jam together. I also volunteer as a technician at MARŠ student radio Maribor. I have been working there for 3 months but not every day. I had no previous work experience, but I have always liked it, so I don’t mind it doing it for free.

Do you have a student job? Is it difficult for you to find one?

I do not have any student job, I am not really sure if I could handle it because I already have a full schedule. I am playing in the band, attending the lectures and volunteering at the radio, so I fear I could not handle a job with the schedule.

I don’t think it is difficult to find a job, but for me it was coincidently – it was offered to me by a friend.

I suggest students to search for the jobs via student job agencies and the portal from Academia Career Centre – the companies on their career centre portal are looking for students to employ them. It is not so difficult to find a student job.

What is your advice to the future students? What should they expect?

Be prepared! Buy a laptop, you are here to study, not to fail! Be ready for different weather conditions. Mentally be prepared because you are going to feel a lot of emotions and feelings that you did not even know they exist. Stay connected to your family.

Contact Sein So Hlwar yourself at sein.so.hlwar@student.academia.eu  and ask her about her experience at Academia.