The Asian Affairs Center provides professional development programs for Asian students and professionals, hosted here on the beautiful University of Missouri campus. The center also connects MU students and Columbia residents to Asia through volunteer opportunities and referrals to programs for Asian studies at MU and teaching or study abroad.


The University of Missouri Asian Affairs Center, created in 1998 by the Office of the Provost, reflects the university’s formal recognition of cultural, strategic and economic importance of the nations of the Pacific Rim. The center has a mandate to build upon MU’s substantial Asian programs, university and alumni linkages, and teaching and research connections in the region to benefit citizens, government entities and businesses in Missouri and the region. The Asian Affairs Center also strives to work toward these other goals:

  • Serve as a bridge between MU and Asia.
  • Develop and maintain close ties with MU alumni and partners in the Pacific Rim.
  • Promote awareness and appreciation of Asia and its various cultures on campus and in the community.
  • Provide short- and long-term training programs for Asian scholars, officials and students through the Missouri International Training Institute.

Missouri International Training Institute

MITI state logos
The Missouri International Training Institute, established in partnership with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, is housed in the Asian Affairs Center at the University of Missouri. MITI provides short- and long-term training in diverse fields to Asian scholars, professionals and government officials. In addition to contributing to a range of relationships in Asia, MITI generates revenues that help to fund a range of Asia-related educational initiatives at MU and in the community.

Through MITI, the Asian Affairs Center connects program participants from throughout Asia with counterparts in Missouri. In addition, the center provides tailored training in Asian business, politics and culture for American constituencies wishing to initiate or enhance their business relations in Asia. It also provides the state and community with information regarding Asian education, politics, economics and travel procedures.

Living English

The Asian Affairs Center’s educational philosophy on language and cultural acquisition is an integrated, full immersion approach. Program participants are asked to start “living” English and American culture, rather than studying them. The center provides an optimal learning environment for participants to pursue that goal with community involvement, engagement with native speakers and experiential learning.