Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages Program (UISFL)
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). MSUB will found the Yellowstone Consortium (YC) for International Studies and Foreign Languages and lead a series of important actions to further develop international studies at these colleges in Montana and northern Wyoming.
Yellowstone Consortium members:
- *Montana State University Billings - Billings, MT
- *Northwest College - Powell, WY
- Little Big Horn College - Crow Agency, Baaxawuaashe, MT
- Dawson Community College - Glendive, MT
- Miles Community College - Miles City, MT
*MSUB and its consortial parter in northern Wyoming, Northwest College (NWC), also received the UISFL grant from 2020-2023, and the new grant will build upon the successes from the previous three years.
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 members of the Yellowstone Consortium will need global knowledge, skills and know-how to join the international marketplace of commerce, science, and ideas. This new project, funded by the UISFL grant, aims to increase the role and significance of International Studies across all areas of campus partners, in Montana and Wyoming.
The Office of International Studies (OIS) at Montana State University Billings (MSUB) was 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. The three-year grant runs from 2023-2026.
Building upon the success of its first UISFL grant (2020-2023), the second redition will help to further internationalize the university and its four consortial partners. The programs and activities are open to everyone within the Yellowstone Consortium.
The UISFL program acitivies comprise of four pillars:
- The USIFL Project will include opportunities for faculty development at all consortial partners, course development and travel grants to faculty and professional development seminars on COIL, language pedagogy and incorporating international/area studies into new and existing curriculum in all disciplines. Each semester, the Project will develop a Global Studies Seminar on one of the campuses of the Consortium.
- With UISFL's focus on East Asian lanugage acquisition, beginning Japanese, Korean and Mandarin Chinese will be offered in a HyFlex manner to any interested student within the Yellowstone Consortium. All students enrolled in these courses are then encouraged to apply to study abroad at one of MSUB's East Asian partner institutions to continue with lanugage learning for a second year.
- UISFL will provide support for return study abroad students to transition into graduate programs or careers, both in and out of government.
- The UISFL Project will provide grants for academic and non-academic departments to promote global perspectives through special programming.
- UISFL supports numerous cultural events open to the public to expand global perspectives and awareness.
Spring 2024 Semester
- March 3: UISFL Faculty Fellows Grant Proposals Due
- March 3: UISFL Student Study Abroad Scholarship Applications Due
- April 3: UISFL Faculty Fellows Grant Awardees Announced
- April 3: UISFL Student Study Abroad Scholarship Awardees Announced
Check back for updated information about the Spring 2024 Global Studies Seminar.
Fall 2023 Semester
- The Global Studies Seminar - Japan Themed Semester ran from mid-September to the end of November and entailed a multitude of events on a near-weekly basis.
- Dec. 19, 10am-2:30pm, LA 716: Project Launch - Yellowstone Consortium for International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL 2.0) Grant
- Dec. 18, 11am-1pm, LA 716: Office of International Studies Advising Training & Luncheon
- Nov. 3, 9-10am, LA 716: Global Studies Advisory Board Meeting
- Sept. 30: Announcement of UISFL 2.0 Grant Award from International Studies and Foreign Lanuages Department of the Dept. of Education
The objectives of the project are to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages at both institutions. Grant funds are being used to revise and update curricula, develop faculty expertise and add language instruction at both institutions. Some funds support student study abroad in East Asia. The MSU Billings UISFL project is greatly enhancing faculty expertise in international studies, with an emphasis on East Asia, in Montana and Wyoming. Over the course of the grant period, faculty will be receiving funds to revise curricula and to travel to 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 (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.
The Yellowstone Consortium institutions are using grant funds to increase opportunities for undergraduate students to grow their global skills by: 1) accessing a renewed interdisciplinary 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 seven main objectives of this project: 1) increase faculty expertise in global studies, with priority given to East Asia; 2) create new and revise existing MSUB and NWC courses with focus on global studies; 3) integrate newly revised or developed courses into the renewed interdisciplinary International Studies Minor; 4) develop language programs in less commonly taught languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean); 5) increase participation in Study Abroad Programs in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China; and 6) support an annual Global Studies Seminar for faculty development and an annual Global Studies Seminar: Themed Semester to provide a global perspective and cultural enrichment for the entire MSUB and Billings communities.
Student Scholarship Highlights
International Studies was proud to award three UISFL Student Scholarships to MSUB students for the 2023-2024 academic year and was excited to welcome back the three returning 2022-2023 UISFL scholarship recipients.
Faculty Grant Highlights
We were so excited to award 11 new faculty UISFL International Travel grants for 2023. Since 2020, we have awarded 25 travel grants to faculty at MSUB and NWC in order to build global learning outcomes into new or existing curricula. The amount of impacted courses totals nearly 60 between MSUB and NWC campuses.