WHAT WE DO
Citizen Diplomacy International connects Philadelphia with leaders worldwide and promotes our city as a global hub of commerce and culture. We introduce international professionals and students to their Philadelphia counterparts through events, programs, and exchanges. These connections create partnerships and lasting relationships that become powerful tools to address some of our world’s greatest challenges.
High School Exchanges
High School Exchanges create global learning opportunities for students in Philadelphia, cultivating leadership development among students and preparing them for in-demand careers at home and abroad. Our Sister Cities High School Exchange serve 100-200 high school students, both Philadelphia students traveling abroad and international peers traveling to Philadelphia. In 2020-21, although in-person travel is on hold, Citizen Diplomacy is working to transition our exchanges to virtual opportunities. Planning for in-person exchanges is underway for 2021.
University Student Exchanges, Internships & Scholarships
Citizen Diplomacy promotes Philadelphia’s universities to our Sister Cities and other delegations. We work with local universities to offer Sister City Scholarships attracting international students to study in our region. We welcome and support Sister City Scholars in Philadelphia while they study at local universities throughout the year, including invitations to First Thursday networking receptions and Sister City holiday events.
For Philadelphia students interested in global business, international affairs, and global studies, Citizen Diplomacy hosts internships in our own office, offers virtual international exchanges, has a discounted membership, and connects students to opportunities operated by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Our future global leaders need vital dialogue skills to be able to work with people from other countries, to understand the complexity of global issues, and to develop cross-cultural relationships, and Citizen Diplomacy makes that possible.
NEW - In August 2020, we are launching a New, Free Virtual Exchange for University Students "How to Be An Innovator". Click here for more info and to register.
PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP EXCHANGES
Citizen Diplomacy International is Philadelphia’s official representative for the U.S. Government’s premier exchange program: the International Visitor Leadership Program. Through this program, Citizen Diplomacy attracts more than 500 international visitors from over 100 countries and books more than 1,500 hotel rooms each year. Within Citizen Diplomacy, the goal of the International Visitor Leadership Program is to promote Philadelphia as an international destination and global city. These programs connect Philadelphia leaders in a wide variety of fields to professional foreign peers who are experiencing the U.S. firsthand on professional fellowships. Participants exchange professional knowledge and best practices, experience real American values, see our region’s top tourism destinations and form their own opinions of the U.S.
NEW - while in-person exchanges are on hold during the Coronavirus pandemic, you can connect with international leaders in our weekly Diplomacy & Dialogue virtual conversations. See upcoming programs and watch videos of previous conversations here.
International relations strategy and protocol services provide advice to the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, the Mayor’s Office, universities, and corporate partners on the official procedure for diplomatic occasions, agreements, and documents. By promoting international student enrollment or supporting Memorandum of Understandings, we that make it easier for international students to transfer and finish their degrees at Philadelphia colleges and universities.
Sister Cities Program
Philadelphia is officially linked with 8 Sister Cities and 3 Partnership Cities in 10 countries. Areas of cooperation include:
- Economic development and trade
- Youth and education
- Municipal and technological cooperation
- Sports, Arts & Culture
The Sister Cities program links Philadelphia to the world by creating special relationships with the ten Sister and Partnership cities and one "Partners for Peace" city with the Iraqi city, Mosul.
At the heart of the Sister Cities program is an agreement signed by the mayors of each city confirming their commitment, and that of their successors, to the program. Each Sister City agrees to send and receive delegations of political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, educators, technical experts, and students. By building friendships between the residents and governments of Philadelphia and our Sister Cities, we:
- Promote a positive image of Philadelphia and the U.S.
- Educate our citizens about the world and its diversity
- Promote tolerance and mutual understanding among nations
- Strengthen our economies through business alliances
- And promote democracy through government-to-government exchanges
The City of Philadelphia's Sister Cities Program, a member of Sister Cities International, works with the City of Philadelphia, committees, and partners to execute official exchanges. Each Sister City is supported by volunteers who are committed to the goals and objectives of the program.
Adding New Sister Cities
As much as we'd like to have a Sister City in every country, the economics of maintaining relationships doesn't permit it. At this time, Philadelphia is unable to accept additional Sister Cities because we are committed to strengthening the relationships with the ten cities with which we have established relationships. Our hope is to add more in the future. When we do, it is essential that there is a large local ethnic community and an established organization within the community to support each Sister City relationship. It is equally important that anyone interested in requesting that a new city be considered, contact our office for advice.