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Parami Graduate's Team Wins "Best Presentation Award" in International Sustainable Cities Competition

Zin Wint Nwe, a Parami graduate from the Parami Leadership Program (4th Cohort), is in her second year of pursuing the Bachelor of Urban Design and Development International Program–UDDI at Thammasat University in Thailand. As she believes that having international competition experience is imperative for her further studies and career in the future, she seized the opportunity to participate in the International Academic Consortium for Sustainable Cities-IASCS, representing her university. 

Zin Wint Nwe had an excellent opportunity to work with a team of students from Thailand, Indonesia, and Japan. The team won the "Best Presentation Award" for "Walkable City, Pedestrian-Friendly City, Low-carbon City, Sustainable Sightseeing under Travel Restrictions." They were selected to present at the Main Forum: The 12th IACSC Symposium held on Oct 16, 2021. 

The IACSC competition brought together diverse students from different countries, including Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and South Korea. Zin Wint Nwe expressed that she wonderfully coped with diversity in the team and had great opportunities to apply the Parami Leadership Program (PLP) skills in the competition, such as critical thinking and leadership skills. 

Zin Wint Nwe in Thailand

"I did apply leadership skills, critical thinking, and diversity values I learned from Parami in this competition. I divided the task for our international team based on each person's strength. All the team members showed their efforts. We balanced the time between school projects and this competition to excel at both. We researched many reliable articles online, analyzed thoroughly for walkability in Asian cities, and figured out solutions regarding SDGs and the New Urban Agenda," she said. 

Among 33 participants, Zin Wint Nwe is the only student from Myanmar participating in the competition. She expressed the opportunity is significantly meaningful for her, especially as a student from Myanmar.  

"I represented Thammasat and Thailand, but I would like to see Myanmar also as a participating country at IACSC in the future. I believe architecture students from Myanmar also entered international competitions, and they also won awards. This is very important for us to have such opportunities to see our potential, knowledge, and abilities compared to students from other countries. Learning from our weaknesses, we become better versions of ourselves in the future. Either we win or lose, I am glad that we get a chance to explore more about the given topic apart from lectures, widen our perspective in terms of culture, design, and expand our network at the same time." ⸺Zin Wint Nwe

After graduating from Parami in 2018, Zin Wint Nwe sought to win an international scholarship to pursue higher education in urban design abroad. Due to her strong passion and previous volunteer experiences and awards related to her study area, she receives a full-tuition fee scholarship from UDDI and a Prospect Burma Scholarship to cover living expenses and other costs associated with her studies.

"I chose to study this discipline as I believe that urban design has a huge impact on the whole society; it is one of the necessities for the development of Myanmar. I want to improve people's living standards and take care of their well-being by shaping the city, Yangon, and other regions. I tend to choose case studies or do projects based on urban issues in Myanmar whenever I get a chance in my classes. Also, I am glad that my artistic skills will be useful in designing cities and fulfilling the needs of people if I become an urban designer." ⸺Zin Wint Nwe

Also, she shared how the skills and lessons from subjects she acquired at the PLP have been helpful in her study when learning similar courses at the university. For example, she used the knowledge of fundamental economic concepts such as supply chain from Economics class, essay writing, and the habit of citation from Micheal Dunford's and Andrey Tolstoy's Philosophy. 

"As students at Parami came from various backgrounds, we got to exchange our opinions, appreciate and accept different perspectives. This value is applicable when studying abroad. Although there are students from Myanmar studying at this university, I am the only Myanmar student in my program (UDDI), so I have to deal with Thai students, international faculties and staff, whose backgrounds are quite different from mine, but we are building strong bonds by doing group projects. I'm also thankful to my friends and instructors for seeing all my conditions and accepting me as the way I am." ⸺Zin Wint Nwe

Zin Wint Nwe has recently received an Outstanding Student Award for her excellent academic performance (2020-21 Academic Year) from the school of Urban Design and Development International Program–UDDI at Thammasat University. 

Apart from participating in extracurricular activities at the university, she was motivated to share her knowledge and experiences with university students from Myanmar in her free time. Zin Wint Nwe offered a 3-week design thinking workshop online to over 15 architecture students from Yangon in April 2021. 

"In the architecture studio at the university in Myanmar, students have to learn mostly by themselves to  develop a design concept. I experienced that when I was studying in Myanmar in 2017-18. We only had the option to attend software and drawing classes, so we had obstacles in the studio class and did not get a thorough design consultation with instructors and explore the design concept. It's draining, and I deeply understand the students' situations. " she explained. 

A sketch of Parami's library by Zin Wint Nwe

Zin Wint Nwe has always been passionate about art and drawings since she was young. She continued her higher education in the architecture field of study after completing her matriculation exam in Myanmar. During her university, she got an opportunity to volunteer at different organizations working on art, architecture, and community projects in Yangon city. The experiences led to her interest in urban design and development, a new field of study yet related to architecture. 

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