Good morning, Vietnam!

Mizzou graduate student fell in love with international service during her time here.

Growing up as an Army brat and hopping from base to base, Alison Bonner knew it was extremely important to find a college community to call “home.” Columbia and Mizzou fit that mold perfectly. Bonner is a graduate student in the Truman School of Public Affairs. She graduated from MU this past May with a bachelor’s in political science and a minor in leadership and public service.

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Bonner interned in the Office of Service-Learning. Later, as a Truman School student, she was given the opportunity to plan a month-long service trip for 11 MU students, including herself, to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The students worked at various nonprofits, with Bonner working at an organization teaching English to children while their parents are at work.

Over the weekends, Bonner had the opportunity to travel and see a bit more of Vietnam. She visited the Mekong Delta, the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Red and White Sand Dunes in Muine. Through her service trip, Bonner experienced Vietnamese culture. She was impressed by how many hardworking, gracious and humble people she met there.

Bonner is excited to continue working in the Office of Service-Learning this year and teaching prospective students how impactful global service internships can be. Through her experience, she learned how culture and public service are interconnected.

“There are so many ways to be involved in service, and it truly will make your academic experience at MU more meaningful,” Bonner said.

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