An invitation to Myanmar was extended to a member of my SIP/MP group yesterday and he is still shuffling back and forth on his decision as of this moment. Many other such invitations have been sent out to students in my diploma all over the place. Other than the obvious displeasure I felt as a result of the poor management and organization on the school’s behalf, extending such offers after the SIP selection instead of before, I would support his decision either way.
On the other hand, why anyone would choose to do his/her internship in Myanmar is beyond me. Myanmar, wedged between India and China, is a third world country, inheriting all the problems a third world country face such as poverty, a less than efficient transportation system, a poor social system and hygiene issues (diseases). Those are not the only issues. Under the military junta that runs the country, it faces a whole plethora of problems ranging from inflation to oppression of free speech and outright violation of human rights. As far the city is concerned, living conditions are way below Singapore’s standards. In fact, a draft resolution was proposed to the UN Security Council by the US and UK early this year on the issues of virtually non existant human rights this year, although it got vetoed somewhere along the path. To be perfectly honest, it sounds like a hell hole, no offense to all you Burmese.
This hardly sounds like a land of opportunities that one usually looks for outside of Singapore. If you choose to leave Singapore, be it temporary or permanently, you would choose a destination superior to Singapore, not worst.
The only positive outcome of this entire adventure is that it’ll look good on your portfolio. Personally, I wouldn’t accept such an invitation if I was going to live in such conditions. You choose to do something because you enjoy and love it, not just because it looks good. And no, I don’t buy the “it builds character” reason either.
If you do go, watch your words and pray that you don’t end up like Aung San Suu Kyi, or I won’t be seeing you for a very long time.