Study/Research Abroad

Learn more about the 2018 Winter Session Study Abroad opportunity at
http://uwm.edu/hmong-diaspora-studies/study-abroad-travel-to-cambodia-laos-vietnam-during-winterim-2018/

Study Abroad Participant Reflections

Pang Her (Winterim 2011 and 2014)

Pang Her - Study Abroad

“During Winterim 2014, I returned on the study abroad trip to Southeast Asia which is taught by Professor Chia Vang. Being my second time around, it was just as amazing and more than the first time I went in 2011. I got to see a lot of what I had seen the first time and it felt like I was returning to a home. Like my photo displaying the shadows and layers of trees, (taken during a three day home stay in Nampong, Laos) this study abroad experience has many layers to it and the more effort you put into this trip, the more you get out of it. This study abroad trip changed me the first time I went and it changed me again into being a better human being. We got to interact with local people and learned about their culture and traditions. If one is looking for a raw experience, this study abroad trip has it because the trip is not all pretty flowers and pretty landscape. This trip is hard work that comes with immersing yourself in different lifestyles, different cultures, and you have to go with an open mind. In all honesty, I'm hoping to return really soon with my own parents so I can share with them the experience. I'll always be thankful for the experience gained on this Winterim program.”

Graham Anderson (Winterim 2011)

Graham Anderson - Study Abroad

“As a history student studying S.E. Asia I had always seen images of the places and people affected by the Vietnam War. It was not until I went there, however, that those events became truly real to me, and altered the lens in which I will view this conflict for the rest of my life. The historical aspect of this trip, though significant, was only half of what I took away from this experience. The biggest gain that I took from this trip was the unexpected exposure that I was given to the Hmong culture and people that I had previously known little to nothing about. It was this experience, and the amazing people that I met through it, that has taken me to the field that I work in today.”

Bruce Lee (Winterim 2013)

Bruce Lee - Study Aborad

“I felt excited and nervous to meet my homestay family. I was anxious to see what they would think about me and my peers. After a while, I was able to discuss many topics such as village life, education, and aspirations with one of the sons named Jai. Jai warmly welcomed us to his father’s home, and we many family members greeted us warmly. It was clear that they lived in a household with multiple generations. During the homestay, I found that the people of Nam Pong, Laos were less fortunate in terms of material things, but they were rich in family values and beliefs.”

Lao Lorlong Vue (French Guiana, 2015)

Lao Lorlong - Study Abroad

“I went on a research trip to French Guina with Dr. Vang. French Guiana is located in South America, so I expected the temperature to be very hot. To my surprise, it wasn’t too bad. It also became apparent that we visited during the raining season, as the ground was almost always wet. The Hmong people there were very welcoming, and displayed a close-knit community. I was happy to have seen the accomplishments of the villagers since their arrival 40 years ago. I witnessed kids walk around with Beats headphones, saw a Mercedes Benz, and two of our host families even hired maids! Not to mention, their farms were bigger than I had expected.”