Volunteer with the Mansfield Center

Are you interested in a cultural exchange to benefit you, your family, or your organization? Then the Mansfield Center needs your help!

Every year the Mansfield Center supports the Missoula community with international educational exchange opportunities for high school students, undergraduates and professionals. There are many opportunities for local community members to become involved with these programs. If you would like to donate your time to the Mansfield Center, please contact us at mansfield.center@umontana.edu. Students who are interested in volunteering may also want to look at the Mansfield Center Internship Program for opportunities to volunteer with the Mansfield Center while gaining academic credit.

Opportunities for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Host Families

Photo of a participant and a host mother each holding up elk antlers in Yellowstone.Homestay Host Families:

Every year, the Mansfield Center at the University of Montana brings dozens of international leaders and scholars to Missoula for educational and cultural exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Host families provide these visitors with a unique Montana experience and integrate them into American family life and culture.

Homestay lengths vary based on program. Homestays are a time for participants to experience community hospitality and cultural immersion. Host families share the things they love about Montana with their international visitors. There is no obligation to engage in specific activities during the homestay weekend. This is an opportunity for participants to experience regular life with an American family, and for Montana families to build connections with people from around the world.

Upcoming Host Family Opportunities:

SUSI Educators
Homestay dates: June 12-14, 2020
Secondary educators from around the world

Sports Diplomacy
Host experience: TBD July

SUSI Workforce
Homestay dates: July 17-19, 2020
Workforce development professionals from around the world studying US economy and industry

Homestay dates:  April 3-5, 2020
University students from Southeast Asia studying global environmental issues

Professional Fellows Program
Homestay dates: April 29-May 22, 2020
Young professionals aged 25-35 years from Southeast Asia

Tohoku University
Homestay dates: TBD September 2020

Photo of a participant eating dinner with her homestay host family.

How to Apply

For more information and to apply, contact the Mansfield Center at mansfield.center@umontana.edu or call (406) 243-2988.

UM Student Leaders

Photo of participants rafting down a riverThe Program:

Each semester, the Mansfield Center hosts a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative on Global Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management, an academic fellowship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The program selects undergraduate students from Southeast Asia to participate in this institute focused on collaborative approaches to environmental issues.

UM Students can apply to be a part of this program by becoming a part of the UM Student Leadership Cohort, engaging with peers from Southeast Asia during their fellowship in Montana. Not only will you have fun, but you will have an opportunity to enhance your resume with leadership skills and cross-cultural engagement, and to build a network of colleagues across the globe.

Student Leader Responsibilities:

You will be responsible for participating in leadership and cultural activities to help students integrate into the UM and Missoula communities. Show the students what you love about Missoula – take them on a hike, to the farmer’s market, to hang out with friends, etc.

Your time commitment to the program is what you make of it, with only a minimum ten hour commitment between April 3-30.

Photo of participants on a climbing wall at McCormick Park

How to Apply

For more information, e-mail Monica Paul by March 1 at monica.paul@umontana.edu. 


U.S. Fellowship Hosts

Photo of Bozeman school children listening to a fellow speakThe Program:

The Professional Fellows Programs of the U.S. Department of State managed by the Mansfield Center bring emerging leaders from around the world to Montana for intensive short-term fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. The Fellows are placed in non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices across Montana to learn first-hand how issues in their fields are addressed in the United States.  Host organizations and partners from a broad range of fields are needed for these programs.

Some U.S. Fellowship Hosts also have the opportunity to travel to their Fellow's home country for follow-on programs to share their own knowledge, experience a foreign culture, and study best practices in their field in a foreign country.

U.S. Fellowship Host Responsibilities:

  • Define the Fellowship. The Fellowship is considered a professional shadowing experience, but the expectation is that the guest will rotate around the business/organization during the Fellowship to gain a comprehensive view of the business/organization. The U.S. partner should expect a significant time commitment in terms of organizing the Fellowship but should plan meetings and job shadows with others within the host organization as well as other relevant organizations.
  • Complete all program requests for information and evaluations by the stated deadlines.
  • Commit the time and the interest to hosting your partner, ensuring that you provide the hospitality and experience that is a hallmark of hospitality standards.
  • Be open to the cultural differences you will experience with your partner.  Represent your organization and community well and respect the differences you may encounter.

Photo of a U.S. Fellow visiting a farm in Thailand

How To Apply:

The Mansfield Center manages a variety of programs focusing on topics like the environment, economic empowerment, civil society development, education, and more throughout the year, with a focus on exchanges in the summer and fall.

To learn more about programs currently seeking Fellowship Hosts that might suit you or your organization, contact Deena Mansour at deena.mansour@mso.umt.edu or (406) 243-2838.