SOAS University of London

A warm welcome to the latest cohort of Alphawood scholars

24 November 2021

The latest cohort of Alphawood scholars is arriving at SOAS. This year, we welcome nine new scholars - four from Cambodia, two from Myanmar and one each from Indonesia, Singapore and Laos. Three students will study Masters, four will take the Post-graduate Diploma while two will improve their English Language skills with ELAS.

These outstanding Southeast Asian postgraduate students come to SOAS to undertake programmes that focus on ancient to pre-modern Buddhist and Hindu art and archaeology in Southeast Asia.

Their journeys to London have been more difficult than in previous years. At the very least, the process for getting visas has been more fraught than usual as many consulates were either closed or provided an intermittent service. All have had to take a series of Covid-19 tests while some have had to quarantine upon arrival. But that deterred none of them.

The most remarkable journey involved two students from Myanmar. As their local consulate was closed by the political turmoil in the country, the only option for them was to travel to Dubai, quarantine for 10 days while obtaining UK visas there - and then travel on to London.

A warm welcome to the latest cohort of Alphawood scholars  

One of the Myanmar scholars, Thaw Zin Latt, said "I am very excited to study at SOAS, in order to get wonderful experiences for academic development that leads to my ambition as a well-known archaeologist in the Southeast Asia region." Here is Thaw en route in Wafi City, Dubai.

Another MA scholar, Kezia Permata from Indonesia, said “I am very grateful for this opportunity, not only do I get to experience living in London, but I also get to learn something I love in a place I never expected before. I am also really glad that through this experience I get to know people from other parts of the world. The environment I am in right now is the best for me to learn and find my ambition in this field. I also got to experience what it was like to come to London during a hard time like Covid-19, and it's amazing how the scholarship supported me all the way. It has been such a blessing to be given this chance”.

Morokoth Ing from Cambodia will be studying a Post-graduate Diploma at SOAS. She said “I am very grateful to receive an Alphawood Scholarship 2021. I sincerely appreciate the SAAAP programme which enables me and other Cambodians to be part of the Alphawood students for studying in SOAS, one of the best universities in London. After the pre-sessional course started on April 2021, I was able to meet a lot of amazing people from different places. As for the Diploma programme, this is a prodigious opportunity that allows me to advance my understanding and gain more valuable knowledge of Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology. I am looking forward to my studies at SOAS”. Here’s Morokoth – definitely before she arrived in London.

A warm welcome to the latest cohort of Alphawood scholars
Shahira Banu from Singapore said - "During the first lesson I had at SOAS just a few weeks ago, it dawned on me that I am living the dream I once had of pursuing an MA in the History of Art and Archaeology programme. I could not hold myself back from letting out a huge smile in the middle of the lesson, though it was hidden behind my face mask. I'm excited to work towards my goals, learn more, and get to know the wider SOAS community”. Here is Shahira – still smiling after her first week…

A warm welcome to the latest cohort of Alphawood scholars  

Let’s give all the Alphawood scholars a warm welcome to SOAS and wish them well in their studies.