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 seeking UM graduate students for a paid opportunity to share their passions as they work with international leaders! See below for information about available Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) positions and how to apply.

Spring 2020

Program: YSEALI/SUSI on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management

Positions Available: 3

Dates: March 22 – April 22, 2020 (part-time)

The YSEALI/SUSI Institute on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management brings 21 young leaders from Southeast Asia to Montana for one month. Led by Academic Director Dr. Nicky Phear, the program focuses on the study of global environmental issues and solutions, leadership development, and immersion in U.S. culture and society. Fellows attend classes, learn about the Missoula community and civic engagement, and engage in season-dependent cultural activities such as whitewater rafting, baseball games, concerts, and local events. GTAs are expected to provide academic context during sessions, help interpret Montana culture, serve as mentors, and drive vans on field trips.

We pay $15/hour plus expenses for trips beyond Missoula. The average commitment is 15-35 hours a week, depending on availability and program need. To apply, please send a resume, letter of interest, and contact information for two references to Heidi Blair.

Summer 2020

Program: SUSI on Secondary Education and American Studies

Positions Available: 2

Dates: May 31 - July 5, 2020 (full-time)

Led by Academic Director Rob Saldin, the Secondary Education Study of the US Institute hosts 20 secondary educators from around the world on a five-week study of our participatory democracy and our approach to secondary education. The program 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 drive vans on field trips and assist in sharing cultural activities, such as introducing the educators to life in Missoula and activities you enjoy in the summer.

We pay $15.00 an hour and all expenses for program travel. GTAs typically work an average of 40 hours a week with possible overtime 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. To apply, please send a resume, letter of interest, and contact information for two references to Sophie DeMartine.

Program: SUSI on Youth, Workforce Development & Closing the Skills Gap

Positions Available: 2

Dates: July 6 - August 17, 2020 (full-time)

This Institute hosts 18 university faculty and practitioners from around the world on a six-week study of U.S. society and culture through the lens of workforce development. 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 businesses and governmental offices and other sites; a two-night trip to Helena and Butte, and a three-night visit to Kalispell and Glacier; and a number of cultural activities such as whitewater rafting, baseball games, concerts, etc. The Institute culminates in a 14-day visit to Oklahoma City, OK; Athens, GA; and Washington, D.C.

We pay $4000, plus all expenses for trips throughout Montana, five nights in Oklahoma City, five nights in Athens, and four nights in Washington, DC. You are then required to work an average of 50 hours a week throughout the six-week program. Your duties include helping the participants to process the information gained from speakers and site visits, support the program team in identifying and addressing any concerns developing within the group, managing on-site logistics and problem-solving, driving a van on field trips, and assisting us in providing the participants with cultural activities to become better immersed in U.S. society. This would include introducing them to American cultural life and to the general activities that you enjoy doing in the summer. Generally we expect you to be available throughout the program, but we rely on two graduate students to ensure that each gets the breaks they need. Only one needs to be present at each academic session and you will have a minimum of two weekends off. The study tour outside Montana is very rigorous with long travel days and one free day per stop. There are a lot of long days the first week as we orient them to Missoula and the program. We are seeking students who are extremely organized and detail-oriented, successful in operating in cross-cultural environments, interested in engaging with people, and able to work as part of a team. For more information, or to apply with your resume, formal letter of interest, two references and copy of a passport or driver’s license (for air ticket purposes), contact Sophie DeMartine.

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