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.

Currently all IVLP projects are being implemented virtually.

Upcoming Programs

  • Transparency & Accountability in Government | Saturday, October 2 at 10:00 AM

CCWA is virtually hosting a State Department-sponsored group addressing local and national efforts to strengthen the integrity and ethics of governments and businesses. Participants are representing 10+ countries throughout Francophone Africa. Virtual Home Hospitality aims to connect participants to individuals and families in the Cleveland area for an informal conversation and cultural exchange. For more information, please email Andrew Kovach, Program Officer, at

Custom and Student Exchange Programs

In addition to the IVLP, CCWA also 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.

Jóvenes en Acción Virtual Youth Exchange – Get Involved as a Home Host
October 13 – November 7, 2021

CCWA is welcoming 22 high school students from Mexico who will be developing action projects on various topics, including Mayan language learning, tech education, financial literacy, and English language learning. We are seeking host families to welcome and introduce one or two students to your community. Volunteer as a virtual home host.

Professional Fellows Program for Governance & Society
India, Pakistan & Nepal
May & October, annually

Four civil society professionals are placed in fellowships with local nonprofit organizations and government entities for four weeks. Volunteer as a local mentor (currently unavailable).

Fulbright Welcome Weekend
Various countries
August, annually

Fulbright graduate scholarship recipients from around the world come to Cleveland for a fun “weekend in the city” as part of their national orientation at Ohio University. Volunteer as a home host (currently unavailable).

Community Connections
Dates vary

Young professionals from Belarus are in Cleveland for three weeks to exchange best practices in their field with local experts and experience American volunteerism. Volunteer as a home host (currently unavailable).

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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