The First Week:
The Center is funding six scholars to attend intensive language courses in Madison, Wisconsin for the next four months. The six Richardson Scholars left Yangon on April 28th, some leaving the country for the first time ever.
After a long flight they were greeted at Chicago O’Hare airport and went immediately to Madison, Wisconsin where they met the families they will be staying with for the duration of their studies.
After a full day of orientation, they commenced classes.
During their first week they toured the University of Wisconsin and met with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies staff and graduate students specializing in the region.
They discussed future events, possible collaborations and a language exchange with students studying Burmese during the summer.
WESLI is located on the capitol square so the scholars have the opportunity to observe committee hearings, budget negotiations, floor sessions and other government-related proceedings. They toured the capitol and learned about the general governance structure.
They also met with staff of the Wisconsin Legislative Council and capitol staff who will assist the scholars in observing future events. The Richardson Center will provide training on the American political system in August at the end of their language studies.
In addition to courses and meetings, the scholars met many new friends and they will continue to do so in the coming months.