The Speaker's Bureau is an FSSS program though which foreign students and scholars are able to interact with the larger campus and Missoula communities. Foreign students are invited to give talks about their home countries on a variety of topics, from courtship customs to political institutions to an overview of the country in general. The audiences often include local high school classes, community organizations like the Rotary Club, and even individuals or agencies requiring translation assistance. Most students are happy to share what they love most about their homelands and the audience groups are always very excited to meet students and learn about other countries around the world.
Most importantly, the Speaker's Bureau builds bridges between people of different countries. Many people only know about another country through newspapers or news programs. Those views are not always accurate and do not always represent the larger issues or the majority viewpoint. In many instances, only official governmental stances are voiced, leaving the average citizen with no representation. The Speaker's Bureau gives ordinary citizens, like the students, a voice by allowing them an opportunity to express how they feel about history, current events, international affairs, cultural norms and values, and even literature and art. This program also personalizes information for the Montanans who are listening. They learn that even though someone may observe different religious practices or speak a different language, they can still have many of the same interests and concerns. Whatever the similarities or differences, the Speaker's Bureau brings foreign students and Montanans together to explore each other's experiences.
If you are interested in having someone from the Speaker's Bureau speak to your group, please read the following instructions before filling out the request form.
Instructions to Prepare the Request Form
1) If you wish speakers from more than country, please complete one form for each country request. For example, if you need speakers from two or more countries, please fill out a form for each country. Requests for multiple speakers from the same country can be made on one form.
2) The request should be intellectual or educational in nature, not for entertainment, only. If your request is lecture or presentation, please explain the topic you would like a speaker to cover in detail, so that he or she can better prepare.
3) Please notify us of your request at least three weeks before the date you plan to invite a speaker(s). Request made on short notice may not be granted. Students need time to plan for your presentation. Also, please be flexible with your schedule as all foreign students attend university full-time and many work on campus. During mid-term and final week of semester, requests will not be honored, as students have to study for exams.
4) Many foreign students do not own a vehicle and are not familiar with the
locations in Missoula or Western Montana. If you are able to provide transportation, this will greatly help a speaker(s) participate in your program.
5) Please be aware that the submission of the request does not guarantee a speaker(s), though FSSS will try to meet your request.