Many times when there is word Bangladesh and education in a sentence, it is very often related to poverty and high number of literacy. Not that I want to dismiss the reality that there is much to do to improve education and literacy number in the country. But aren’t we forgetting the fact that there is number of foreign students who purposely come to Bangladesh to study?
According to High Home Ministry, there are about 3500 foreign students in public and private universities and medical colleges in Bangladesh, as of Dec 31, 2012. The number should be more as there are numbers of unregistered students and teachers. ‘Most of the foreign students are in the University of Science and Technology, Chittagong, International Islamic University of Chittagong, Asian University of Bangladesh in Dhaka, International University and American International University of Bangladesh,’ the official said.
Foreign students have not only come from our neighboring countries like India, Bhutan, Nepal but also from countries like Myanmar, Pakistan, Yemen, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Canada, China, Jordan, the United States and Australia. In Dhaka International University, most international students are from Ghana studying for MBA and MA in English.
To make sure that there are enough seats for Bangladeshi students, allocation of the seat for foreign student has been made separately. In Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, the total number of seats for foreign students in undergraduate program in a single academic session is 26 (twenty six). However, a maximum of 10 (ten) students from a single country and a maximum of 5 (five) students in a single department shall be allowed.
For all foreigner are required to obtain visa, exception for citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Guyana, Honduras, Lesotho, Malawi, Maldives, Montserrat, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Uruguay, Vatican City and Zambia who can stay of up to 90 days. Currency used in Bangladesh is Taka, as of Dec 2013, 1 US dollar is equal to 77.68 Taka. The biggest ATM network is owned by Dutch Bangla Bank and finding one ATM in metropolitan city like Dhaka is not difficult.
Some difficulty that the foreign student might have is to find an accommodation. Many universities provide housing facilities for the foreign students that make it much easier for the student. If the students prefer to stay outside the campus, there is also an option to rent a house through online media, for example lamudi.com.bd. An additional tip is about the language. Although English is really common spoken in Bangladesh, learning Bengali (Bangladesh´s national language) can be also useful. Mylanguage.org provides basic Bengali words with pictures and audio.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
JULIE HUANG: Social commentator, Dhaka, Bangladesh.