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IUPUI Office of International Affairs
902 W. New York St.,
ES 2126
Indianapolis, IN 46202 USA
Phone: (317) 274-7000
Fax: (317) 278-2213
Email: oia@iupui.edu

Front Desk Hours
Monday - Friday,
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Global Voices Speakers Program

The Global Voices Speakers Program is a resource available to faculty members wishing to internationalize their course content. GVSP volunteers are international students who participate in in-class panel discussions or provide formal presentations on topics related to their home country and culture. Faculty can work together with GVSP volunteers to create an interactive inter-cultural experience for their students.

Why use Global Voices Speakers?

In today's age of globalization, it is essential to prepare students for contact with the wider world. Even students who choose to never leave the borders of the State of Indiana will find themselves in contact with individuals of varying nationalities, cultures, races and religions when they enter the workplace. To succeed in a multicultural environment, students must know how to effectively communicate with people who are different from themselves, and to approach relationships with open-mindedness and tolerance. Graduates without cross-cultural skills or global awareness are likely to find themselves at a marked disadvantage.

Not all students have the opportunity to study abroad. Therefore, it is important that we infuse opportunities for cross-cultural engagement into the curriculum while students are still here at IUPUI. Global Voices volunteers are excited to share their experiences and knowledge to help attain this goal.

Discussion Format and Topics

A panel format is recommended for general class discussion. This format provides the opportunity for multiple views to be represented, giving the discussion greater breadth and depth. Additionally, volunteers may feel more comfortable participating as a group rather than as an individual. However, with advance notice, certain volunteers may be willing to provide a more formally structured presentation, either alone or with a team of volunteers. In the case of formal presentations, more advance notice is required.

Faculty are encouraged to use their creativity in designing a class experience incorporating GVSP volunteers, and any topic can be proposed. Some suggested topics are:

  • General country overviews (culture, demographics, government, etc)
  • National or regional economy and/or politics
  • Diverse viewpoints on current or historical events
  • The experience of being an international student
  • Diverse perspectives on U.S. culture/society
  • Ettiquette and business practices across cultures

Submitting your Request

Please complete the Global Voices Request Form at least one week prior to your event. (If requesting a formal presentation, one month advance notice is recommended.) The earlier the request is received by the Office of International Affairs, the more likely we will be able to connect you with appropriate volunteers. Additionally, a detailed proposal on your part will help OIA find the best possible volunteers for your class or event.

OIA will review your request and compare it with our database of Global Voices volunteers. OIA will contact students to verify their interest and availablility for the proposed class/event. Upon verification, faculty/staff will be notified of the names and contact information of their volunteers. Faculty/staff are then responsible for contacting the volunteers to make final arrangaments.

After a match has taken place, faculty/staff should hold a pre-class discussion with their volunteer(s) to reach a common understanding of goals and expectations. Faculty/staff should keep in mind the students' abilities according to their academic level, age, English proficiency and availability, and set goals/expectations accordingly.

Guidelines for Class/Event Discussion

It is the responsibility of the faculty/staff to create an environment of mutual respect and tolerance. The volunteers should not feel any discomfort as a result of their race, religion, nationality or expressed opinions.

Faculty should guide audience members to focus their questions on topics agreed upon in the pre-class discussion with volunteers. to avoid topics the volunteer may not feel comfortable speaking about. OIA encourages voluteers to speak freely on a range of topics, but they are also told that they are in no way obligated to speak on topics that cause them any level of discomfort.

While participating in classroom discussions or other events, volunteers represent their own opinions, which may not necessarily represent that of other individuals from their country, religion, ethnic group, race, etc. Global Voices volunteers cannot be expected to be representatives of a larger group of people in a generic sense. Additionally, the Office of International Affairs functions as an intermediary between volunteers and faculty, but does not necessarily endorse the opinions of the volunteers.

Your Feedback

Following the event, please fill out the Faculty Feedback Form. Your comments and suggestions regarding this program are greatly valued.