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International Visitors Programs

Every year over 300 emerging leaders from around the world visit Northeast Ohio through the Council’s International Visitors Programs. These programs include both short-term and long-term exchanges and are typically sponsored by the U.S. Department of State as part of our ongoing public diplomacy efforts.


U.S. diplomats find that foreign decision makers who have firsthand experience in the United States are more understanding of the factors that shape our foreign policy and are more open to U.S. negotiating positions. In addition, the National Council on International Visitors (NCIV) surveyed participants from multiple countries and found:

97% of IVLP alumni respondents agreed that the program helps achieve the legislative 
            goals of increasing mutual understanding between Americans and people of other 

91% have communicated more accurate information about the United States to other 
            people in their home country based on the knowledge they gained 
            during their IVLP experience in the U.S.

77% felt their IVLP exchange experience increased their willingness to trust Americans to a
            great or moderate extent, while 71% agreed that the United States is a trustworthy 


All International Visitors hosted by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs have been identified by U.S. embassies abroad as emerging leaders in their respective fields. The Council’s staff and volunteers organize professional meetings, cultural events and home visits for program participants, the main goal being to build bridges of mutual understanding.   

As we open our hearts, minds, homes and businesses to foreign visitors we strengthen Northeast Ohio’s commercial, cultural and educational ties with the rest of the world. Want to get involved? 

                                    JOIN OUR TEAM OF CITIZEN DIPLOMATS!

Curious about the next group of international visitors coming to Cleveland?  See our Events Calendar.

Upcoming Youth Programs

If you would like more information on any of these programs, please contact Madeline Rife, Global Youth Programs Officer, at or 216-255-9007.

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) July 10 - July 24, 2014 
High school students from Iraq will come to the Cleveland area to learn about entrepreneurship, social action, and leadership. CCWA coordinates daily schedules of events and meetings for the students. Host families are needed for the duration of the exchange. Apply now to host!

Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action) July 21-August 2
, 2014 
CCWA will bring 16 students from Mexico to deepen their leadership skills and explore topics ranging from the environment to family relations. CCWA coordinates daily schedules of events and meetings for the students. Host families are needed for the duration of the exchange. Apply now to host!

Kosovo Youth Exchange Program (KYEP) August 2014 - June 2015 (or single semester)
KYEP invites student leaders from Kosovo to study in American high schools for one academic year, while improving their commitment to community service and leadership skills. Learn about Kosovo, share American culture, and make a friend for life!  American host families (preferably with a child in high school) are needed for the 2014-15 academic year, or a single semester. Apply now to host!