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Alumni Testimonials


VIPP participants come from government, industry, and academia. Find out what some of our graduates have to say about VIPP programming by clicking on their names.

Changwon Lee

Department Director, KOSCOM, South Korea

VIPP Residency: December 2014 to December 2015, SGPEP - Global Finance and Leadership

Changwon Lee with his two sons after the MSU vs. Maryland football game.

VIPP provided me with a unique opportunity to enhance my professional knowledge in the finance sector through a dynamic academic program. The site visits to the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) helped me develop global perspectives on the finance industry. I have participated in almost every cultural activity and academic program organized by VIPP with my family whenever possible (such as the Spring Festival, cross country skiing, maple syrup festival, football tailgating, Thanksgiving potluck, brown bag lunch speaker series, and various field trips). My children also made unforgettable memories in Michigan, which I believe will be a powerful engine for their lives in the future.

Bong Up Cho

Vice Mayor of Jeonju City, South Korea

VIPP Residency: December 2004 to December 2005, SGPEP-Public Policy and Government Leadership

Bong Up Cho
In 2005, I had the opportunity to study at VIPP. I broadened my perspectives and saw the beauty of the Great Lakes. Most importantly, it bolstered my confidence in various ways: I improved my spoken English, rediscovered my personality in new and sometimes challenging situations, and learned how to maintain a good attitude in the workplace.
VIPP experiences have been a source of inspiration in my career. I now work as a vice mayor of Jeonju city in South Korea. I am proud that Jeonju was selected to host the opening ceremony and several matches for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. I contributed to the process by using the English competency and practical knowledge I learned in VIPP.
Go Green! Go White!

Numan Bensaleh

HR Specialist, Mellitah Oil and Gas B.V. Libyan Branch, Libya

VIPP Residency: September 2015 to June 2016, SGPEP-Human Resources

Numan Bensaleh
I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) in 1999 and haven't been able to walk since 2011. VIPP helped me get medical service from the MSU clinic and Sparrow Hospital and make connections with various organizations including the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) at MSU. RCPD has offered me tremendous help, including the motorized wheelchair, disability-friendly apartment, and weekly activities where I've met a lot of new friends.
Read his story in-depth at VIPP's blog 

Dr. Demet Korucu

Associate Professor, Department of Material Science, Gazi University, Turkey

VIPP Residency: September 2015 to June 2016, SGPEP-Higher Education


I strongly recommend that young people and their families choose MSU since it's a very family friendly, safe, and welcoming campus. After attending MSU, I would say never give up. If you really want to achieve something there are abundant opportunities and well-intentioned people who try to help you at MSU. Many thanks to MSU, especially the kind staff and academic personnel, for an enjoyable stay.

Cong Qu

Lecturer of Chongqing Normal University, China

VIPP Residency: August 2015 to August 2016, GPEP

Cong Qu poses with a jack-o-lantern.
VIPP is a great organization that feels like a family. The devotion of the VIPP staff and instructors make us feel the warmth of family. The engaging activities and the exchange of ideas and cultures let us work together as one unit. Today, we are no longer strangers in this country because VIPP is our new home.

Lili Wang

Vocational Teacher, Jilin Technology College of Electronic Information, China

VIPP Residency: September 2018 to December 2018



I learned to enhance my own leadership skills and sense of “service” to my students. I will conduct my classroom teaching in a student-centered manner. I will try to improve my “magic field” to attract students’ attention. To me, leadership training is a good starting point to improve my service talents. I will give students more space and freedom to let them innovate. I believe I will grow and change along with my students.

Finally, I’m pleased to recommend such a wonderful program for my peers. With its prestigious world ranking and strong academic reputation, MSU is the right place for me to immerse into the US educational system and benefit so much from this academic visit. The program is well designed and the harvest is beyond our expectations.

Byong Kil Choi

Department Director, KSD, South Korea

VIPP Residency: June 2018 to June 2019, SGPEP - Global Finance and Leadership



I learned what American culture is; it is freedom, and equality of opportunity, and material wealth. It is the right to enjoy these [… ] From the outside, I cannot see [American culture]. But now, on the inside, I can see it clearly [..] I learned leadership, how to communicate, and how to understand each other […] in the future, this will support my life and career to be great and better.

Maha Abo-Shadi

Vice Dean and Professor of Microbiology, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

VIPP Residency: September 2018 to January 2019


One of the best things about this MSU experience is communicating with different cultures. [The]  similarities between different cultures are more than we think. All VIPP staff are cheerful, friendly, and ready to help. I feel among a family here. VIPP is allowing me to build a new and valuable perspective.