From touring the state capitol in Indianapolis to walking a campus ablaze with autumn colors, high-ranking officials from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam got a brief but intense taste of all that IU has to offer during their recent visit.
IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs brings delegations from Vietnam to the U.S. for two-week executive training programs. This time, the delegates are leaders of Ho Chi Minh City, the wealthiest city in Vietnam, with a population about 10 million. While in the U.S., the officials get classroom instruction in public administration reform and field trips to government offices in Bloomington, Indianapolis and Chicago.
The visitors learn how the U.S. public sector functions and meet with local and regional government leaders. The program is part of IU's Vietnam Initiative, a global hub for research and training in development policy that is based at SPEA.
"It's rewarding to welcome these distinguished guests and then play a part in helping them improve the quality of their city's government," said Anh Tran, an associate professor at SPEA and director of the Vietnam Initiative. "They learn from us and our students and faculty learn from them. It's a partnership funded by IU and the Vietnamese government that's paying dividends for everyone involved and for two communities."
The two-week programs began with a mix of morning lectures at SPEA and afternoon visits to Bloomington's city hall, the state human resources office in Indianapolis and other public-sector institutions including health care facilities and schools. The program ended with a day in Chicago and meetings with city and state government leaders. Then the participants boarded a flight back to Vietnam and the opportunity to put into practice the skills they learned.