Committee on International Discussion and Debate

Committee on International Discussion and Debate

NCA’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) promotes international understanding and the practice of communication through discussion and debates between students from the United States and other nations.

Generally, two students from another nation travel to the United States and visit host campuses throughout the country for discussion and debate with U.S. students.

Ongoing since 1922, the CIDD program strives to broaden the scope of international exchange, facilitate the international exchange of information and ideas, and reinforce the value of dialogue as a preferred means for resolving international and intercultural differences.

The Committee for International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) of the National Communication Association is pleased to announce the Fall 2019 British National Debating Team Tour. This year’s NCA convention theme of Communication for Survival provides us with the opportunity to reflect on how communication and its various forums, particularly debate, remains paramount in our everchanging society. We hope you will consider hosting this fall as an opportunity to continue the critical activity of civic dialogue within local and global settings. 

We are currently seeking US colleges, universities, and community organizations to host the two debaters selected by the United Kingdom’s English Speaking Union (ESU).

Approximate Tour Dates: September 17, 2019 to November 14, 2019

Fees: Hosting fees support travel and coordination costs incurred by the tour. The hosting fee for a single school or organization is $800.00. Two or more coordinating schools in close geographical vicinity may qualify for a discount (see volume discounts below).

Hosts must provide, at minimum, suitable lodging, meals, and local transportation.

Deadline: Applications are due by Friday, July 12, 2019.

How to Bid: To place a bid to host the team, please enter all information into our online submission form: 

Please consider conflicts with university holidays and other major events on your campus before placing your bid. Note that host institutions will be asked to sign a hosting contract before bids are confirmed. The CIDD Program Coordinator or Chair will notify hosts about the status of their bid via email. 

Suggestions for Prospective Hosts: It is expected that all hosts will hold at least one public exhibition debate. Previous hosts have offered the following events and teaching opportunities:

  • Tour participants are usually interested in opportunities to do coaching sessions with high school or college students. The British Team has in the past been particularly interested in working with Urban Debate Leagues.
  • Hosted their exhibition debate in conjunction with a major campus or community event, such as “International Week,” alumni events, or symposiums.
  • Featured the British debaters in guest lectures, presentations, or question and answer periods with classes on debate, rhetoric, or British culture.
  • Taken their guest to major (or minor) attractions of cultural or historical significance.
  • Sought opportunities for visiting debaters to interact with students, alumni, and local dignitaries.

Before the tour commences, we will provide an informational hosting packet with a hosting contract, debater bios, possible debate topics, and other details. We will ask hosts to provide a projected itinerary (so we can help other hosts schedule time for breaks, laundry, and other essential needs) and copies of promotional materials. Hosts will also be expected to provide feedback about event attendance and academic/programmatic impact to CIDD at the conclusion of the visit.

Volume Discounts: Multiple tour stops in adjacent communities reduce overall travel costs and allow hosts to economize through collaboration. If there are other potential hosts in close geographic proximity (in other words, close enough that movement from school to school can be done by ground transportation at the host school’s expense) coordinating schools or organizations may be eligible for a discounted hosting fee. We offer $100 discounts for two coordinating schools and a $200 discount for three or more coordinating schools in a geographic area. To qualify for the discounted fee, ground transportation between coordinating schools must be provided. For example, if Northwestern, Loyola-Chicago, and Roosevelt University in Chicago bid to host in succession, each school would submit an application and pay a $600 hosting fee.  If you are interested in a volume discount, please contact John Rief for more information.

Inquiries about the tour should be directed to Dr. Ruth Beerman, CIDD Chair at

Specific objectives of the CIDD program are to:

  1. Broaden the scope of international educational and cultural exchanges by providing a channel for the exchange of ideas and attitudes among students and young people in America and throughout the world;
  2. Make possible informal meetings among students, college and university personnel, and the general citizenry of participating countries;
  3. Facilitate the exchange of information and ideas about the educational systems of the countries involved;
  4. Reinforce the importance of dialogue as a preferred means for resolving international and intercultural differences;
  5. Maintain and enhance the ties between the National Communication Association and forensics organizations, forensics programs, and their sponsoring academic departments throughout the United States; and
  6. Provide opportunities to enhance an understanding and appreciation of the discipline of Communication both in other nations and in the United States.
  • Ruth Beerman, Chair (Randolph-Macon College)
  • John Rief (Duquesne University)
  • Matthew Gerber (Baylor University)
  • Rebecca Dorhman (Maryville University)
  • Brianne Giese, Program Coordinator (Aurora University)