University Relations and Communications


January 5, 2017

 International Students having lunch

Students enjoy an array of food from a past International Food Fair at MSUB. 

International Students Welcomed by MSUB

Community support of university students from abroad encouraged



Paul Foster, Director International Studies, 247-5785

University Relations, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — When does university orientation include trips to the mall? For students coming to Montana State University Billings from abroad, a quick excursion to find a winter coat and snow boats may be a fun necessity.


Over the coming days, nearly 30 students from around the globe are expected to arrive at MSUB. The near record breaking number of students arriving this semester will take part in an in-depth orientation process January 12 and 13.


International Studies Director Paul Foster explained the event includes class registration and campus tours, much like traditional students take part in, and more.


“Some of these students have never even seen snow before and even though it’s fun at first the novelty wears off pretty fast when you aren’t dressed for the weather we’ve been having,” Foster said. “Part of the orientation includes shopping, to get them extra items they may need. The other part is connecting them to the culture and to the Billings and campus community.”


That means international students can get a crash-course on things like banking and even how to access cellphone service.


dancers“We really try to go the extra mile to provide support and I think that’s where we excel. It’s really remarkable because out of anywhere, these students are coming to Billings to study,” Foster said.


Community support is another factor.


Neil Beyer, the program’s international marketing and outreach specialist explained that the Billings Friendship Families is an excellent opportunity for both international students and community members. The BFF program exists to enrich students understanding of American and Montana culture by experiencing holidays, family meals and weekend activities with volunteer families within the Billings community.


“We have many partner families that give tours and take students shopping, they provide an anchor for international students to the community but we are always looking for ways to increase participation,” Beyer said.


About a dozen of the expected students are coming from France to take part in a 10-week program aimed at improving English speaking skills while concurrently learning business education.


Other students are coming from Slovakia, Japan, Macau, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Korea. Some will stay for just one semester, while others may complete degree programs at MSUB, said Foster.


“We even have transfer students from Bozeman,” he said.


For more information about ways to host students contact the Office of International Studies at