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Regarding the partnership development between MU and institutions of Vietnam, Dr. Nelson had an intensive schedule with numerous faculty visits, meetings with administrators and seminar presentations for faculty and students from research institutes and universities. The discussions revolved around education exchange opportunities with more specific details in plant sciences, education reform, international conferences in education and development, climate change education and adaptation, and potential research projects. Vietnamese institutions visited included (i) Vietnam National University of Agriculture, (ii) Hanoi National University of Education, (iii) Vietnam National University in Hanoi, (iv) Hanoi Foreign Trade University, (v) National Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology, (vi) National Institute of Medicinal Materials, (vii) Institute of Vietnamese Studies and Development Sciences, (viii) Can Tho University, (ix) Cuu Long Rice Research Institute, (x) Tra Vinh University, (xi) Ho Chi Minh University of Economics and (xii) Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City. He also visited with officials at the Fulbright office and the US Embassy in Hanoi.

Nov. 17th, 2014 - Dr. Nelson meeting with leaders at Tra Vinh University (TVU) (from TVU website)

Apart from the universities and research institutes visits, Dr. Nelson also saved time to visit with students who were interested in pursuing their graduate studies in the U.S. generally, and at Mizzou particularly. With the help of Mizzou alumni in Vietnam, he hosted coffee chats in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City, and two additional sessions in Can Tho University and Ho Chi Minh University of Economics. At each he described the nature of graduate education in the U.S. including the application and selection process, funding sources, and deciding on the graduate advisor and committee.

Nov. 2014 – Coffee chat session in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (left); 2014 Coffee chat poster (right)

The four sessions attracted a total of around 190 students, which was a great start for TVI team to follow up for assistance. At all four events, participants stayed for about an extra hour for questions and answers with Dr. Nelson and the Mizzou alumni team. We sensed great motivation, eagerness and enthusiasm from both sides, and we cannot wait to receive a large group of new Vietnamese Tigers at MU.

Dr. Nelson with Mizzou alumni in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

Dr. Nelson also spent some quality time with around 20 MU alumni in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Our alumni in the two cities have always been keen supporters for MU activities in Vietnam. They have willingly come to help with setting up special events and sharing their own experiences about MU, which highly motivates the prospective students at the events. Starting in 2014, TVI has been working on forming the MU Alumni Association in Vietnam with local chapters in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Dr. Nelson’s visit was a great chance for discussion to move this issue forward.