Welcome to the Mizzou International Experience (MIE) Class of 2023

Posted in: News

On Thursday, July 13, 2023, Townsend Hall was full of activity, laughter, and pizza as Mizzou Academy welcomed students, coordinators, and ambassadors for the Mizzou International Experience (MIE) program. The 2023 summer program students and ambassadors have joined us from Brazil, Spain, Ghana, and the United States. 

Group photo of MIE 2023 participants.

At the Thursday Welcome Party, students heard from program leaders, including Brian Stuhlman, Dr. Ta Boonseng, and Lindsey Mirielli.  

Dr. Kathryn Fishman-Weaver, the Mizzou Academy executive director, also addressed the group. She calls MIE her “favorite two weeks of the school year.” In her remarks, Fishman-Weaver told everyone that she wants the students and ambassadors to “feel right at home.” The vast majority of students attending MIE study with Mizzou Academy through the Dual Diploma program. “Because you are Mizzou Academy students,” she told the group, “we already know and care about you.”

After working with the group for just a short time, Fishman-Weaver and Mirielli called on each of the students and ambassadors by their names or nicknames. “Names matter.” said Fishman-Weaver. “Belonging matters. One of the greatest strengths of our MIE leadership team is their ability to very quickly create a community of global friendship and belonging.”

Mizzou International Experience (MIE) is the academic on-campus program that Mizzou Academy runs annually for high school students. It is coordinated by Brian Stuhlman and Dr. Ta Boonseng, both faculty at Mizzou Academy. 

MIE is based on career exploration and self-discovery. Students learn with professionals in engineering, medicine, journalism, agriculture, and education. They explore both through academic presentations and by real application.  

Dr. Boonseng explains, “MIE takes a unique approach to career exploration. We engage students in all six career paths (instead of choosing just one). This helps them expand their career horizons with specific pathways and interdisciplinary potential. By approaching career exploration in this way, students are able to navigate rapidly changing career fields.” 

High school student Kirsten Andersson adds, MIE “is not classes, but hands-on activities. It focuses on helping us find paths.” Andersson is a Dual Diploma student who studies at Colégio Magno (São Paulo, SP).

The program was first launched MIE in 2016, and all these years later, says Fishman-Weaver, “It has grown in purposeful ways while also continuing in Dr. Boonseng’s vision of exploration, connection, and growth.”

Group photo of MIE 2023 participants taking a "selfie".

High school student Gustavo Rodrigues calls the approach, “Amazing! This is the best experience I’ve ever had. Campus is beautiful, huge, and wonderful. I feel that I am part of something important with MIE. I feel part of a group. Being here is life changing. It opens possibilities in areas I have never thought about. It is not only a career discovery path but also a self discovery path.” Rodrigues is a Mizzou Academy Dual Diploma student who studies at Colégio SEPAM (Ponta Grossa, PR).

Brian Stuhlman shares that his hopes for this year are that “MIE provides all participants a robust variety of opportunities to explore their individual future possibilities. Our goal is for students to leave with a better understanding of the future of the career markets, and perhaps with a deeper understanding of how they might fit into those future careers. Tangentially, MIE works to introduce young people to many aspects of the culture of Mizzou, of Missouri, and of the United States.” 

While they are only a few days into programming, the students report that they are on track to achieve these goals. Julia Soler, who studies in the Dual Diploma program at Agostiniano São José do Rio Preto, says “It is magical to be here. MIE is a really good experience because we meet a lot of people from different countries, and we can compare cultures. I can already understand that maybe if I practice, I can do things that I didn’t think I could do.” 
To meet this amazing group and learn more about what they have experienced this summer, please join us for our Poster Showcase on Thursday, July 27th, in the Townsend Hall Reflector (room 201) from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.. There, you can meet the scholars, ask questions, and learn from their stories.