Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Exchanges

Each year, the Mansfield Center at the University of Montana partners the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State to host international exchange programs with Southeast Asia and around the world. The University of Montana provides an excellent backdrop for study in education and American studies and the beautiful Montana landscape provides opportunities for participants to study environmental issues in the field. Past programs include:

Over the course of each program, participants attend classes, seminars and leadership workshops, engage in hands-on field work, develop a deeper understanding of US culture & society, and make lasting international connections.  Throughout their programs, SUSI groups are joined by student leaders from the University of Montana who show participants what they love about Missoula while also learning more about participants’ home countries. Alumni go on to become part of the Department of State's extensive International Exchange Alumni network.

Opportunities for Graduate Teaching Assistants

The Mansfield Center is currently offering UM graduate students a great paid opportunity to share their passions as they work with international student leaders!

Fall 2018

Program: YSEALI/SUSI on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management
Positions Available: Four
Dates: August 22 – September 19, 2018 (part time commitment)

The YSEALI/SUSI on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management is led by faculty in Climate Change Studies and Environmental Studies. This Institute brings twenty-two student leaders from Southeast Asia to Montana for one month. The program is a comprehensive look at global environmental issues and U.S. culture and society, integrating speakers from the University and the community; field visits throughout the region to places such as the Flathead Indian Reservation, Helena, and the Milltown Dam; a two-night visit to Glacier; and a number of cultural activities such as whitewater rafting, baseball games, concerts, etc.  In addition to providing academic and cultural context during program sessions, GTAs are asked to drive a van on field trips and assist us in providing participants with cultural activities.

We pay $12/hour plus expenses for trips beyond Missoula. Average commitment is 15-40 hours a week, depending on each GTAs availability and program need. For more information, contact Deena Mansour at deena.mansour@umontana.edu. To apply, send a resume and letter of interest to Deena Mansour at the same address.

Spring 2019

Program: YSEALI/SUSI on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management
Positions Available: Four
Dates: April 3 – May 1, 2019 (part time commitment)

This program is the sister cohort to the above Fall 2018 YSEALI/SUSI on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management. Program details as well as the duties and compensation for GTAs remains the same. Those interested may choose to apply for one or both cohorts.

Summer 2019

Program: SUSI on Secondary Education and American Studies
Positions Available: Two
Dates: June 1 - July 5, 2019 (full time commitment)

Led by Academic Director Rob Saldin, the SUSI on Secondary Education hosts 20 secondary educators from around the world on a five-week study of our participatory democracy and our approach to secondary education.   We organize a program that integrates speakers from the university and the community; field visits throughout the region to such places as the Flathead Reservation, local schools and other sites; an overnight to Helena, and a two-night visit to Yellowstone; and a number of cultural activities such as whitewater rafting, baseball games, concerts, etc. The Institute culminates in a ten-day visit to Charleston, South Carolina and Washington, D.C.  In addition to providing academic and cultural context during program sessions, GTAs are asked to drive a van on field trips and assist us in providing the educators with cultural activities. This would include introducing them to American cultural life and to the general activities that you enjoy doing in the summer. 

We pay $3200, plus all expenses for trips throughout Montana, four nights in Charleston, and five nights in Washington, DC.  GTAs typically work an average of 50 hours a week throughout the five-week program, with heavier duties particularly during the orientation week and the national study tour. GTAs are expected to be available throughout the program, but will generally have at least two weekends off during the program, and scheduled responsibilities are balanced between GTAs throughout the program. For more information, contact Deena Mansour at deena.mansour@umontana.edu. To apply, send a resume and letter of interest to Deena Mansour at the same address.

Som Rina and Win Lai Lai posing in the river

SUSI 2013 participants posing with Montana Governor Steve Bullock

SUSI 2013 participants playing in the snow