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Photo of Mien Le in front of library bookshelves

Meet Mien Le '23

Finding a home, and a passion, in the North Star State

Growing up in Da Nang, Vietnam, Mien Le '23 dreamed of experiencing the snow and cold that so many Minnesotans bemoan every winter. As she began to cast her net out during her college search, she was first drawn by Hamline University's location in the North Star State, then by the warm welcome she received during the admission process.

"During the application process, Hamline was very supportive, which resonated well with me," Le said. "Then, I received a scholarship for 75% of tuition. It has helped my family afford my education, and over the years, as I did well academically, I became eligible for more scholarships, which was even better."

Her studies in communication and media studies have allowed her to connect with people who differ from her and understand opposing perspectives, she said.

"I've not only learned how the media works, but also how it influences people's lives on a global scale," Le said. It has been great preparation for her as she pursues a career in the film industry, she added.

"I struggled to find a career path for myself, as communication and media studies are broad fields," she recalled. "I was stressed, and film was the only thing that resonated for me. So I thought, why don't I pursue film, if it makes me happy? I can still feel how happy I was at that moment."

I want to help other international students to fit in the same way that other people helped me to fit in. The community of international students was my first family here, and they still are. They supported me and showed me that I could fit in by being myself."

In addition to her film studies, Le has completed two internships, countless research projects criss-crossing topics from feminism to religion, held a work study position in Hamline's marketing department, and become president of the Global Student Society (GSS).

As a member of the GSS for three years, Le hopes to pass along the support she found when she first arrived in Saint Paul.

"I want to help other international students to fit in the same way that other people helped me to fit in," Le explained. "The community of international students was my first family here, and they still are. I was super homesick at first due to the language barriers and cultural shocks, and they supported me and showed me that I could fit in by being myself."