International Exchanges



The Cleveland Council on World Affairs is a nationally-recognized leader in creating meaningful international exchange experiences complete with engaging professional meetings, home hosting experiences, and memorable cultural activities. We welcome hundreds of international visitors from around the world to Cleveland each year through various Citizen Diplomacy initiatives. Citizen Diplomacy is founded on the idea of people-to-people diplomacy, where Citizen Diplomats play a role in shaping international relations.

International Visitor Leadership Program

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support our country’s foreign policy goals. IVLP projects are conducted virtually or through an in-person travel experience. 

Upcoming Programs

  • Please check back soon for updates and hosting opportunities in early 2023. 

Volunteer as a home hospitality dinner host. For more information, please email Andrew Kovach, Senior Program Officer, at

    Custom and Student Exchange Programs

    In addition to the IVLP, CCWA runs customizable and longer-term exchanges, including exchanges for students and fellowship program recipients. We often seek Citizen Diplomats who are willing to host visitors for 2-4 weeks in their homes or as Experts-in-Residence in their places of work.

    American Leadership Youth Exchange
    Saturday, October 29 – Sunday, November 6, 2022

    CCWA is welcoming 12 teenagers (ages 17-19) from Senegal as part of the American Leadership Exchange Youth Program focused on leadership and environmentalism. Participants will be placed with host families from October 29 – November 6. Volunteer as a home host.

    Ready to join a community of globally-citizens who are eager to welcome international visitors to Cleveland? Register to become a Citizen Diplomat today! You can get involved by meeting with visitors, welcoming them into your home for dinner or overnight stay, or providing a ride. Share your knowledge of Cleveland. These personal touches help make these visitors’ time in Cleveland truly unforgettable.

    Last year, we welcomed visitors from 86 countries.
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