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 (NCA) announces the call for applicants for the 2021 Virtual Japan Tour

Every other year, the CIDD coordinates with the Japan Debate Association (JDA) to provide debaters and a coach to represent the United States. This year’s 2021 Japan Tour will leverage technology to foster public dialogue and debate. Students who are selected for this opportunity will be coached over the course of a preparation month and then will participate in 2-3 debates via Zoom with our counterparts in Japan in June 2021.

Dates of Involvement: May-June 2021

Eligibility: Any past or present forensic participant who is under 25 years old and is a full-time undergraduate in good standing (juniors and seniors preferred), or who has received an undergraduate degree but is still no older than 25, is eligible. We encourage applications from students active in all forms of debate, including Lincoln-Douglas debate, team policy debate, and parliamentary debate. Applicants should also have access to a computer with a webcam and reliable high-speed internet access provided the remote nature of this year’s tour. 

Evaluation: Students will be evaluated on the basis of their debating skills and their ability to teach debate basics in a variety of formats. Knowledge of political, social, and cultural conditions around the globe is a must. The student’s ability to represent the United States and American forensics (in all its forms) accurately, effectively, and professionally is a strong consideration. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their experience with different forms of debate and individual events in their letter of interest. The ability to educate students about the style and substance of debate in the United States is an important component of the tour. Personal diplomatic skills are a must.

Tryouts: Applicants will be notified of their status as finalists in April 2021. The application process will include a round of phone or video conferencing interviews and a second round of video tryouts in which applicants will showcase their debate skills.

How to Apply: If you are interested in trying out for the tour, send the following no later than March 19, 2021.

  • A letter of interest;
  • A copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable);
  • One reference letter addressing your skills in debate, your professionalism, diplomatic skills, research skills, and ability to work independently.
  • A current resume (including phone and email information).

Send these materials in one compressed zip file to nca.cidd@gmail.comMaterials received after March 19, 2021 will not be considered.

Finally, if you have any questions about the application and selection process, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Rebecca Dohrman, 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 (Randolph-Macon College)
  • Rebecca Dorhman, Chair (Maryville University)
  • Brianne DiPasquantonio, Program Coordinator (Aurora University)
  • John Koch (Vanderbilt University)
  • Kenneth Newby (Morehouse College)