The International and Foreign Language program at the US Department of Education has awarded MSU Billings funding for a three-year program for Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL). Together with our consortial partner, Northwest College (NWC) in Powell, Wyoming, MSUB will lead a series of important actions to further develop international studies at both institutions and in Montana and northern Wyoming. 

Montana and Wyoming have strong historic ties to all world regions -- the European and Asian settlers in Montana in the 19th and 20th centuries joined twelve American Indian tribes, now occupying seven reservations. This legacy of “internationalness” has largely been forgotten in the post-WWII era, but today, as Montana seeks to develop new ties to the world students from MSUB and consortial partner NWC require global knowledge, skills and know-how to join the international marketplace of commerce, science, and ideas. Students wishing to increase their global skills at MSUB often enroll in Study Abroad or study Spanish language and culture. These programs are supported by dedicated professionals and attract a small number of students. This new project, funded by the UISFL grant, aims to increase the role and significance of Global Studies across all areas of campus partners, in Montana and Wyoming.

The Office of International Studies at Montana State University Billings has been awarded a major three-year Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) grant from the International and Foreign Language Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.

This will further internationalize the university by developing new Study Abroad programs in East Asia, creating a new Global Studies Certificate Program, and developing faculty expertise in international studies.

MSUB is one of only 32 U.S. universities to receive such funding, and is the only university in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota to be funded, further promoting MSUB as the regional center of excellence for international studies. Importantly, Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, a long-time recognized leader in international studies in the region, is the key partner in this grant. Both universities will develop programs to support their students and faculty.

Spring 2021 Semester

  • January 1: RFP for faculty grants announced
  • January 22, 1:00pm MST:  Virtual Information Session for MSUB faculty on the UISFL Faculty Travel Grants, led by OIS Director Dr. Paul Foster.
  • January 29, 1:00-3:00pm MST: "Global Studies Learning Outcomes" Virtual Workshop led by Dr. Dawn Whitehead, Vice President, Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community and Careers, AAC&U
  • February 11, 1:00pm MST: Virtual Information Session for MSUB faculty on the UISFL Faculty Travel Grants, led by OIS Director Dr. Paul Foster.
  • February 12, 1:30pm MST: Virtual Information Session for MSUB students on the study abroad and UISFL applications, led by Study Abroad Coordinator Abby Cook.
  • March 2: Deadline for faculty grant proposals
  • March 5: Deadline for student USIFL scholarship applications
  • March 15: Student UISFL scholarships awarded
  • April 2: Selection of Faculty Grants awarded and announced
  • May 3: USIFL Student Scholars publicly announced
  • May 24: Korean and Japanese language instruction for the UISFL 2021-22 student scholars commences

Fall 2021 Semester

  • September 9, 4:00-7:00pm, MSUB Campus: International Food Fair
  • September-December: East Asia Themed Semester Programming - Check out the full schedule!
  • September: USIFL Student Scholars start their studies abroad in East Asia
  • September 30, 4-6pm, LI 148: UISFL Faculty Grant Information Session - Learn about the UISFL faculty grant proposal process, led by OIS Director Dr. Paul Foster, and hear from the 2020-2021 faculty grant recipients from MSUB and NWC.

The objectives of the project are to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages at both institutions. Grant funds will be used to revise and update curricula, develop faculty expertise and add language instruction at both institutions. Some funds will support student study abroad in East Asia. The MSU Billings UISFL project will greatly enhance faculty expertise in international studies and East Asia in Montana and Wyoming. 25 faculty will receive funds to revise curricula and to travel to East Asian partner universities. Over 6,000 undergraduate students in a largely under-represented area will have full access to the activities and outcomes of the project (Global Studies Certificate, International Studies Minor –East Asia Track, Study Abroad, language instruction), thereby increasing their career prospects, especially in relation to service in areas of national need.

MSUB and NWC will use grant funds to increase opportunities for undergraduate students to grow their global skills by: 1) accessing a new interdisciplinary Global Skills Certificate Program and International Studies Minor, focusing on East Asian studies and 2) increasing faculty expertise in Global Skills learning outcomes and East Asian studies in service of these programs. There are 7 main objectives of this project: 1) increase faculty expertise in global studies and East Asia; 2) create new and revise existing MSUB and NWC courses with focus on global studies and East Asia; 3) develop and implement an interdisciplinary Global Studies Certificate Program; 4) increase participation in Study Abroad Programs in Korea, Japan, and China; 5) develop language programs in less commonly taught languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean); 6) develop a bi-annual Global Studies Seminar; and 7) form a Global Studies Advisory Committee.

Fall 2021 Highlights

Student Scholarship Highlights

We are pleased to announce that one MSUB student who received a UISFL Scholarship is currently studying Korean language and cultural studies at Hallym University in South Korea. The three MSUB student scholar recipients slated to go to Japan are eagerly waiting for the border to reopen and are in the meantime studying Japanese language virtually through MSUB's partner university - Prefectual University of Kumamoto (PUK). Two of the students are also undergoing a full virtual Study Abroad with PUK.

Check out MSUB's UISFL Student Scholars.

Learn more about UISFL Student Scholarships.

Faculty Grant Highlights

The twoMSUB faculty grant recipients - Jodi Lightner and Melanie Reaves - are busy making plans for their travel and research in Kumamoto, Japan. To hear from them about their progress and to learn how to submit a proposal for the 2022 grant session, make sure to attend the UISFL Faculty Grant Information Session: 4-6pm, Sept. 30 in LI 148.

Students can win a generous scholarship to study Japanese, Korean or Mandarin Chinese. Funding will also help to support students in studying abroad for one year in Japan, South Korea, or China. Learn more about the scholarship and application process!
Funding is available for faculty to help develop global learning outcomes, which includes travel to Japan, South Korea or China. Learn more about the application process as well as about global learning workshops offered as part of the grant's initiative.
MSUB is hosting weekly events throughout the Fall 2021 semester, focused on East Asian culture. All of the events are FREE and all on-campus events are catered with food and drinks.  Check out the full shedule!