Myanmar High School Students’ Perceptions of College and International Readiness in Western Society


  • Mark Speckien University of Northern Colorado
  • Heng-Yu Ku University of Northern Colorado



college readiness, international readiness, international students, mixed methods research, Myanmar


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of high school students associated with a United States-based preparatory school located in Myanmar regarding their readiness for college in Western society. In this two-stage study, quantitative data were collected using a 100-item 5-point Likert-scale survey focusing on college and international readiness completed by 49 participants, and qualitative data were gathered from 14 participants who participated in focus group interview sessions. Quantitative results yielded a mean of 3.42 (SD=1.08, N=49) for college readiness and a mean of 3.73 (SD=1.09, N=49) for international readiness. The qualitative findings showed the emergence of four themes: (a) mixed feelings on transitioning to independence, (b) concerns about adapting to a new culture, (c) lack of preparedness for college-level academics, and (d) unconcerned about making friends. These results indicated that the participants felt generally prepared to transition to a postsecondary setting in a Western country.

Author Biographies

Mark Speckien, University of Northern Colorado

MARK A. SPECKIEN, Ed.D., is a curriculum writer and teacher at Estes Park High School. His major research interests lie in the area of college readiness, international education, and alternative education. Email:

Heng-Yu Ku, University of Northern Colorado

HENG-YU KU, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Northern Colorado. His major research interests lie in the area of technology integration, online learning and teaching strategies, and online collaboration. Email:, ORCID:


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How to Cite

Speckien, M., & Ku, H.-Y. (2023). Myanmar High School Students’ Perceptions of College and International Readiness in Western Society. Journal of International Students, 14(1), 152–170.



Research Articles (English)