“You welcomed a stranger and sent home a friend,” expressed by Madhura M. Chatrapthy, an alumna of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and trustee director of the Asian Centre for Entrepreneurial Initiatives in Bangalore, India.
GCWAC has a long history of administering international training and exchange programs for visitors. We are able to subcontract with local professionals to organize programs and professional/social interpreters (paid and volunteer) to help facilitate our programs. We have professional relationships that enable informative professional appointments and vigorous action planning sessions. The council hosts visits people from around the world through the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Congress Open World Program, Ohio University, Northern Kentucky University, and various embassies. We are open to helping you with professional and cultural programming for your students and local/international employees.
International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
For decades, the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC), and its predecessor organization, has been the sole local partner for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP is the Department’s premier professional exchange program, which seeks to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the United States for current and emerging foreign leaders. These visits reflect the International Visitors’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. GCWAC utilizes its united resources in the greater Cincinnati area, to ensure that the professional and cultural needs of each individual international visitor, as well as those of the overall foreign policy goals of the State Department are met. The council hosts between 200 to 300 emerging leaders each year.
More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including more than 335 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government. GCWAC custom-designs professional development programs for current and emerging world leaders who are selected by US embassies to come to the US/Greater Cincinnati to meet their professional counterparts to learn and exchange information and ideas about a specific topic; for example – Women Issues, Anti-Human Trafficking, Higher Education, Economic Development, Rule of Law, Human Rights, Journalism, Volunteerism, Environmental Sustainability and NGO-Capacity Building.
Volunteer Opportunities Available!
The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council staff and Board Chair attended and presented at the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting 2015. The national meeting is the premier gathering of organizations, U.S. government agencies, and leaders in the international exchange field. This year’s theme, New Diplomacy: Building on 75 Years, marks the 75th anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program – a rich history of building relationships between people and nations to continue our work to create a more peaceful and prosperous world. The council hosts visitors through this exchange program each year. What to learn more? Get involved?
Mexico Meet America!
Meet America is an exciting professional development program created and managed by Global Ties U.S. exclusively for international students interested in building their networking skills and preparing for the global job market. The program broadens students’ networks by connecting them with companies, nonprofit organizations, professionals, and communities across the U.S. while also providing them with hands-on career development activities and professional advice that will help them jumpstart their careers.
Each Meet America program focuses on a specific career field or topic, and is designed to provide an in-depth perspective on opportunities in that field; and more importantly, help the international student begin preparing for the global workforce. Virtually every professional career/topic can become a Meet America program, including: leadership, business and finance; engineering and technology; human rights; and much more.
The Mexico Meet America program is an exciting professional & cultural development program for international students interested in building their networking skills and preparing for the global job market. There are 20 students from Mexico (undergraduate student in senior year or in a MA program) coming to the Greater Cincinnati area in early December 2015 to discover Tech Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the U.S.
To learn more about Global Ties, click here.
To learn more about the summer programs, here are some articles from the Global Ties website:
American Immersion Weekend for Students
The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC) partners with universities within Ohio and Kentucky to place up to 40 international students overnight in greater Cincinnati homes. This is an opportunity for international students to immerse themselves for a short time in an American home and put their English speaking skills to use. This is a perfect fit for international students in Intensive English Language Programs at universities.
American Immersion for Professionals
The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC) partners with government and private entities in order to design and coordinate best-in-class programs for visiting delegations from around the world for a weekend, a week, or a month. Each program is designed to fit the specific needs of the visiting group. Programs may include some or all of the following: placement with a greater Cincinnati organization or business (Job Shadow/Internship); coordination of a professional meeting itinerary; arrangement of cultural activities; and overnight placement with local families for visitors in greater Cincinnati homes.
Past Program Highlights
U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (since 1961): The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council programs a professional schedule for 2 to 3 days in the region. The visitors often take part in lectures, round-table discussions, and professional site-visits and conferences, along the way exchanging and networking with professional counterparts from both the public and private sectors. They also get a taste of American culture, frequently touring historical sites, parks, and museums, diving fork-first into new foods, and experiencing every type of performing art from ballet to break-dancing, from a grand symphony to a small jazz club, or from community theater to the bright lights on Broadway. Depending on the project and theme, participants may be traveling alone, with others from their home country, or they may be in a group of all different nationalities. Most International Visitors are accompanied by either English language officers or foreign language interpreters, who explain American society, history, and culture, in addition to language interpretation.
Highlighted areas of interest:
- Support for Democracy and Democratic Institutions in Development
- Trafficking in Persons Heroes
- Conflict Resolution
- Non-Govermental Organizations Managements
- Health and Human Rights
- Empowering Women Against Domestic Violence
- Human Rights and Religious Freedom
- Working Togther to Support Victims of Gender Based Violence and Human Trafficking
- Non-Govermnetal Organizations Management and Civic Activism in the United States
- Strength those who Protect: Using Limited Resources to Protect Women of Manginalized Communities
- African American Hstory and Slavery Museums
- Citizen participation in Local Governence
- Supporting Diversity and Acceptance in Schools
- The Role of Non-Govermental Organizations in Global Women’s Issues
- IVLP Gold Star’s Tour: Alumni Connecting the World
- Legislative Processes in a Federal System
- Education and Activism for Young Women
- Oral Trials and Justice Reform
- Immigration, Border Security and Citizen’s Rights in the United States
- United States Cultural Preservation and Development
Ohio University, Department of Linguistics (since 2010) : The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC) sets up overnight stays for up to 40 international students to immerse themselves in American culture with local families. Since 2010, Ohio University has been a partner with the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council. The council finds and screens families who host students overnight. There are no planned activities for the students. Each family shows the students what they think America and specifically the region is all about to them.
Open World, U.S. Congress – Accountable Governance with a group from Russia (2013): The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC) programmed a one week professional schedule for 6 delegates from Russia on the theme of accountable governance. Notably, the group met with Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory; Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Outreach Service; The Brandery; Bearcast Radio – University of Cincinnati; and PBS – CET Connect. Throughout the week, the delegates shared their home life and professional life at a handful of the professional appointments. In particular, the delegates mentioned how inspirational Mayor Dan Brooks of North College Hill was to meet. The visitors wanted to meet with someone who governed a smaller community and discuss the challenges and problem-solving that comes with it. In addition, the delegates had a chance to give a presentation to the Greater Cincinnati community through the council’s program, Global Gaggle: Views from Abroad. They shared their views on the importance of Russia’s efforts to support accountable governance and their view on the US. There was a lively discussion about Russian culture, household, and government policy.
The Empower Access Program (EAP) (2013): The Empower Access Program (EAP) is a regionally-focused professional exchange program for individuals and organizations working directly with people with disabilities. EAP is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, EAP is administered by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS. Three visitors from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan traveled to the greater Cincinnati region to undertake a month-long fellowship Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati, Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati that allowed participants to explore in-depth issues including: NGO management and capacity-building, inclusive practices in the arts, adaptive technology, inclusive education, inclusive policies and legislation, wellness initiatives, and advocacy. In addition, EAP enabled one of the participants, Project SEARCH, to participate in a reciprocal visit to Pakistan.
Legislative Fellows (2013): The Legislative Fellows Program (LFP) is sponsored by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine it is administered by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS. The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council hosted 2 promising young professionals from Georgia, and Turkey in our community to gain practical experience in, and exposure to, United States government. The council placed the visitor from Georgia for one month at the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. The visitor from Turkey was placed in four 1 week internships with the City of Blue Ash, Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, Colerain Township, and the Cincinnati Police Department. The two visitors were placed with host families for the month.
U.S. Public-Private Mentoring Partnership for Young African Leaders (2012): In June 2012, GCWAC served as a local partner for “U.S. Public-Private Mentoring Partnership for Young African Leaders” (MYPAL) funded by the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State and administered by Meridian International Center. In our role, we coordinated a 10-day mentorship program for 8 participants from Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Gabon, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, and Mozambique. The council arranged a cultural orientation, a welcome potluck event, six hospitality dinners with local host families, a cultural programming day, a business skills workshop with the University of Cincinnati, and a volunteer activity with Camp Joy. The GCWAC’s strong ties to the community allowed the visitors to be mentored by BRIDGES for a Just Community, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Brooksource, University of Cincinnati, Junior Achievement of Cincinnati, Welt Branding, webFEAT, The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Powerhouse Factories, Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Windows on America Program for Germany (2012): In March 2012, GCWAC served as a local partner for “Windows on America” Program funded by the Embassy in Germany and administered by Cultural Vistas. In our role, we coordinated a 1 week program for 10 German youth participants. All of these visitors were born in Germany, but their ethnic background was quite diverse (Thai, Lebanese, Turkish, South Korean, Palestinian, and Russian). We took careful measures to make sure their stay was cultural appropriate. The council arranged for the visitors to stay with 5 different host families for the 1 week program. The group participated in a volunteer activity with FreeStore Foodbank, a Professional Leadership Workshop through Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Workforce Development Center, and a 2-day internship placement specific to their professional interests (hotel management, wholesale retail management, or restaurant management). The participants interned with Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Garfield Suites Hotel, Jean-Robert’s Table, Sam’s Club, and The Restaurant Depot. The council monitored the week program by phone and hosted an appreciation dinner to discuss and evaluate the program.
Forecast – Egypt Short Term Training Program (2011): In early 2011, GCWAC served as a local partner for the FORECAST – Egypt Short Term Training Program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and administered by World Learning. In our role, we coordinated a one month program for two professionals (NGO youth leader and NGO hospital board member/doctor). As part of their program, on a weekly basis, the visitors participated in action planning sessions led by an experienced facilitator and GCWAC staff, in order to develop concrete strategies on implementing their U.S. based experiences and research upon returning to Egypt, after spending time with a dedicated Cincinnati nonprofit organization. Through the exchange of various sectors and hands-on opportunities, our council was able to enhance these international professionals’ skills in staff and volunteer management, program implementation, fundraising practices, community outreach initiatives, and strategic planning. All of this helped them to better understand and apply innovative and successful organizational and advocacy techniques and practices in their work.
Open World (2014): Since 2009, the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council (GCWAC) has been selected as a training organization to design and conduct the Open World Program, which is sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center through the Library of Congress. The Open World Program is a distinctive, nonpartisan project of the US Congress. Its mission is to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia and the Baltic States by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and its free-market system. Open World combines professional learning with people-to-people relationships.
Open World in Cincinnati:
July 2013 Russian Mayors – Accountable Governance
June 2014 Russian Young Entrepreneurs