Adult Exchange Programs



Intercultural engagement is a crucial component of our mission. We have programmed professional and cultural exchange programs for emerging leaders from a variety of fields from countries around the world since 1948. Through 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. International visitor programs help make connections and global ties across borders, promote the sharing of ideas, break cultural stereotypes, and leave a lasting impact on the participants’ lives. International visitor programs help change the world, one handshake at a time.

* If you are interested in getting involved with any adult exchange program, please contact Katie Ferman, International Visitors Program Officer, at or 216-255-9008 or you can sign up HERE. *


Launched in 1940, the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program . Through short-term visits to the United States, more than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through IVLP. With a roster of more than 300 current and former heads of state and 50 Nobel Laureates as alumni, IVLP is making an impact at the highest level.

The majority of IVLP exchanges include visits to four different U.S. communities over three weeks, spending 3-5 days in each city. The goals are to share best practices in a particular focus area, provide participants a chance to connect with Americans, and highlight the diversity of our country.  Our role at CCWA is to plan these programs throughout the year and showcase all that Cleveland has to offer. Each year we host 200-300 emerging leaders in Cleveland across a variety of fields ranging from Youth Entrepreneurship to Museum Management…and everything in between.

To get involved in this program, Citizen Diplomats offer to host 2-4 international visitors in their home for dinner and conversation.  Family and friends are encouraged to join! This is a great opportunity to bring the world into your home and to build bridges of mutual understanding.  And you never know, you could be hosting a future president.

By planning meaningful programs complete with professional meetings, home hospitality visits and interesting cultural activities, our goal is to strengthen Cleveland’s engagement with countries all over the world.  To see a listing of upcoming IVLP programs here in Cleveland, check out our calendar.

Ready to sign up as a dinner host?  Fill out our new volunteer form here.



We offer a number of opportunities for professionals, schools, families and individuals to engage with our international visitors:

  • Dinner Host: Welcome international visitors to your home for an evening of dinner and conversation with friends/family.
  • Home Stay Host: Open your home to international visitors or students for a short or extended overnight stay (2 nights to 3 weeks).
  • Host Family: Share your home with an international student for a semester or an academic year.
  • Professional Resource: Share your expertise, exchange ideas and provide a presentation about your work.

To become a Citizen Diplomat and engage with our international visitor programs, contact Katie at or (216) 255-9006 or click here to sign up.

Cleveland Council on World Affairs Portal
If you're a member, enter your login information and password below to access your account.