Student Portrait

My name is Lai and I am Naga. I was born in Yinchong Village, Lahe Township, Nagaland, which is located between India and Myanmar. Currently, I am a third-year business student at Rangsit University International College in Bangkok.

My early childhood was spent in a war-torn village in Nagaland. I grew up with five siblings in a place where basic infrastructure and transportation were unheard of. It took more than two days to get to the nearest town. There was only one primary school in our village. Since it was a war zone, many unexpected things happened on a regular basis. For this reason, it was very difficult for the villagers to make a living and lead a normal life.

My family decided to move to Lahe Town in hope of finding better opportunities. When we first arrived, life was miserable since we had no source of income. Later, my father served as a full-time pastor, and my mother started her own handloom business.

As time passed, we got more accustomed to living in Lahe. Soon, I started my primary education. Being exposed to hardships and terrors at a young age made me believe in creating a better environment for future generations through education.

The beginning of my educational journey was difficult since we did not have access to a quality education system, proper facilities, or experienced teachers. However, by the Grace of God, I made progress in my studies.

As a child, I dreamed of reaching a higher level of education and bringing positive changes to my community. A family friend supported me financially, giving me a chance to move to Pyin Oo Lwin, a beautiful hill town inear Mandalay. There, I continued my high school education and passed my matriculation exam. With support from the same donor, I was given a great opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international business in Thailand.

 About Lai

  • Age: 23
  • Ethnicity: Naga
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Rangsit University
  • Bachelor’s, International Business
  • Graduated

Goals & Dreams

  • Become a business teacher
  • Serve as prime minister of Nagaland

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $5,225
  • Amount Left To Fund: $3,375
  • Contract Duration: 12 years
  • Status: In Repayment
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What Others Are Saying About Lai

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Studying abroad has been such an eye-opening experience for me. During my first two years, I studied marketing, leadership skills, management and organizational behavior, export-import management and e-commerce, all of which gave me inspiration and ideas to help other people with their businesses. One of the reasons I am studying in Thailand is because it is culturally similar to my country. Nevertheless, it is more developed, and the Thai economy is better than the economy in Myanmar.

Sadly, when I was in my second year of school, my donor went bankrupt, making it impossible for me to continue my third year of college. I almost had to quit the whole program. However, after receiving a student loan from Zomia, I am finally continuing my studies. Upon graduation, I will return to my community to share my business knowledge and experience with my people.

Written by Lai with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.



“Being exposed to hardships and terrors at a young age made me believe in creating a better environment for future generations through education.”

Q&A With Lai

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
Living with my parents
How would your friends describe you?
An early bird
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Showing kindness, respect and love
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Where would you most like to travel?
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Naga food
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Prime Minister of Nagaland

You can also lend using the pink button atop every student profile.