Creating Connections through Service


In September, administrators from Eastern International University (EIU) in Thủ Dầu Một, Vietnam visited the University of Missouri. The MU Office of Service-Learning worked with EIU during the summer of 2018 on the MU Global Service Micro-Enterprise Research Project in Cu Chi, Vietnam. This collaboration created a lifelong relationship between both institutions, allowing the Office of Service-Learning to help EIU create more connections with MU.

Director of the MU Office of Service-Learning Anne-Marie Foley first interacted with EIU in August 2017. The primary purpose of the conversation was to get translators for the MU Global Service Micro-Enterprise Research Project. However, the discussion soon turned into learning more about the commonalities between both universities.

“Our motto is ‘We proudly serve the community,’” says EIU Vice President Ngo Minh Duc. “The conversation showed that the University of Missouri and EIU share a lot of the same values.”

After EIU welcomed MU faculty and students to their campus, Foley invited the administration to visit the University of Missouri.

“A few months ago, I told them that they should come visit MU.” Foley says. “They showed us around their campus and city, so I wanted to do the same.”

EIU is a young university with it only being seven years old. It is in the process of growing its student body to be equivalent to MU’s. To reach this goal, the University’s administration is working on building a medical, business and engineering school to fit all interests in Vietnam.

“We visited and had some discussions with the Medical School, College of Business and College of Engineering,” Duc says. “It was very important to us to discuss with MU deans and faculty members about MU academic system, so we can learn and grow from it.”

Administration from EIU were not only excited to see the academics of MU, but also connect with different departments and faculty members from MU.

“I was so touched with all of the people who spent time with them – two hours out of their days or multiple meetings – to talk to them about what they are trying to build,” says Foley. “Without even hesitating, MU faculty, deans and directors of different programs offered them the opportunity to job shadow and do professional development with them.”

The EIU administration gained a lot of connections during their MU visit and look forward to continue collaboration efforts with the University.

“I expect more and more Mizzou students to come to Vietnam through the Office of Service-Learning, College of Business, or College of Engineering,” Duc says. “Vice versa, I want our students to have the opportunity to come to Mizzou because I know that it would be a life changing experience for them.”