Columbia, population 91,000, is located in central Missouri, midway between St. Louis (to the east) and Kansas City (to the west). Columbia is consistently ranked in the national media as one of the country’s best places to live because of its excellent schools, abundant parks and recreational opportunities, affordable cost-of-living, low crime rate, and lively arts and entertainment scene. Visit the following links to find out more about the Columbia community.

Columbia - A Quick Tour

Columbian residents gathering downtown for MU Homecoming celebration

Getting to MU from the Airport

Most students choose to fly into either the Kansas City or the Saint Louis airports. Two airports are about 2-hour drive to MU’s campus. In addition, the Columbia Regional Airport is a short 15-minute drive south of the campus. For Vietnamese students, when you have the date of your arriving, you can contact Mizzou’s VSA for a pick-up at the airports. (Read more)

Food Stores

Here are a few places within walking distance of the MU campus where you may purchase food, household items or toiletries that you will need during your first few days in Columbia. Note that prices will vary among stores. (Stores list)


When you arrive in Columbia you will need to locate temporary accommodations until you find something more permanent. Because MU does not offer temporary accommodations, each student & scholar is responsible for arranging his or her own temporary housing. Our advice for you is to contact to MU’s VSA for this issue. (Read more)


If you need information about public transportation in Columbia, or you are looking for a car to buy, this link will give you good tips. (Read more)

Money and Banking

The amount of money to bring with you depends on your particular situation. The information below is only to be used as a guide. You may wish to consult with the various international organizations at MU to learn about other possible expenses. (Read more)

Legal Service

If you intend to work in the United States beyond your authorized period of stay, or if you need other legal assistance or advice, you may need to retain an attorney who specializes in immigration matters.

A good attorney will communicate clearly and accurately, outline your options, answer your questions, and act as your advocate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of State, the Department of Labor, or other U.S. government agencies. Check MU Student Legal Services that is free for MU students on Columbia campus.

(Source: The University of Missouri website)

(Photos credits to Hai T. Nguyen)