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Augustana College Myanmar Graduate

This weekend, Augustana College's first international student from Myanmar will walk across the stage to receive his diploma. Lin Myat (Myot) is graduating with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration on Sunday.

He says he chose to go to Augustana because of the scholarship he was offered and the size of the school. Myat says smaller classes allowed him to build lasting relationships with his professors, and he has mixed emotions about graduating.

"I know I'm going to miss my friends," said Myat. "But they promised me to visit me in a couple of years. So that's not too bad. It's not like I'm never going to see them again. I'm going to come to the U.S. And I'm really excited to go back home because I haven't been home in like three years."

When he goes back home to Myanmar, Myat will have a job waiting for him at the hotel his parents own. He says he's excited to put all that he's learned into practice.

Myat hopes one day to open a Bubble Tea internet cafe.

"That's, like, one of my small dreams, I guess," said Myat. "I talked to my dad and was like, 'Dad, can I start my own business?' And he's like, 'Probably not. Why don't you just come back, because you, like, need to learn the market, like trends, demands, and stuff like that.' So, I was like, 'OK, I'll work at the hotel then.' But people have beeen saying to me, 'You should just open one in the hotel.' So, that's brilliant. I might just do that."

Since Lin Myat first started attending classes at Augustana in 2009, several more students from Myanmar have come to the campus in Rock Island. Myat's younger sister just finished her first year, and his brother may follow in their footsteps.