She was born to traditional Hmong immigrant parents and raised in the heart of Minneapolis. It was not easy, but she believed she could, so she did.
Undeterred, Kia Vang successfully attained her duo B.A. degrees in Political Science and Asian Studies from St. Olaf College in the spring of 2014.
Her consecutive 6-years dedication in studying Japanese (during high school and college) granted her first travel opportunity to Tokyo, Japan. Kia served as a marketing intern/English teacher at Education First (EF), which is an international education company that emphasizes on the importance of academic excellence, travel, language training, and cultural exchange. During her time in Japan, Kia visited many colleges and universities where she actively engaged in English/Japanese conversations with students, taught conversational English, and promoted/hosted American-style events (i.e. American prom). Kia also visited and studied in other various countries such as Switzerland, France, Turkey, Egypt, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea through St. Olaf College’s 5-month study abroad program called Global Semester.
In September 2014, Kia embarked on a one-year journey to Thailand through the prestigious U.S. Fulbright Scholarship program–the largest U.S exchange program that offers young professionals to pursue international graduate study, research, and teaching. Out of the 130 applicants that applied for the U.S. Fulbright scholarship to Thailand, Kia is 1 of 19 candidates that received this federal grant award .
Kia spent most of her time and effort in the rural lands of Northern Thailand. Her most memorable experience took place at Borderless Friendship Foundation (BFF) where she collaborated with NGO directors and engineers on ways to provide qualitative and sustainable solutions to ameliorate the lives and well-being of undocumented hill-tribe families and children living in remote hard-to-reach areas of Northern Thailand.
After successful completion of her Fulbright year in Thailand, Kia returned to the U.S. and is currently attaining more relevant professional experiences. In a few years, she hopes to pursue graduate research and further her education in efforts to provide relief to individuals of inhumane treatment.
Kia believes in the value of having a good education, providing supportive services, building relationships, and exchanging knowledge. In this blog, you will find Kia’s personal and professional documentation of her travel adventures and wisdom–a testament that hard work does pay off, and dreams certainly can come true. As the famous French novelist Anatole France puts it, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.“
“Started from the bottom, now we’re here.” – Drake
♔Random Facts About Kia