In Search of Yangon 2015

Students from the School of Arts and Social Sciences travelled to Yangon, Myanmar for a study trip. The 11th study trip in the “In Search Of” series, students led by Dr Yeoh Seng Guan immersed themselves in the local culture for 11 days to learn more about another Southeast Asian society.

The value of these study trips lie in the interactions with various elements of a foreign culture. The SASS study trips have never been about experiencing a place like a tourist, but about engaging various local groups and individuals to have a glimpse of the cultural mechanics of any given society. In Yangon, the travelers spoke with a local politician from the Chin Progressive Party running for election to hear about the political issues in Myanmar; helped a punk rock band, Rebel Riot, distribute food to the homeless, and had seminars with NGOs like the Pyidaungsu Institute, which actively participates in peace negotiations among ethnic groups in the country. These are just snapshots of the many activities that travelers engage in.

It’s not just the people the travelers meet, the places visited, and the activities done that makes the trip educational. The travelers are required to utilize all that they have learned on campus to make the most of the trip. Students have to apply their journalistic skills, such as writing, photography, and videography, to report on their experiences in Yangon, and in the process critically analyze the political and social environment of a new culture.