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Professional Leadership Exchanges

Each year, Citizen Diplomacy welcomes more than 450 current and emerging leaders from 147+ countries to Philadelphia through programs and initiatives of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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We coordinate unique experiences in and around Philadelphia for these international guests, such as virtual and in-person professional meetings, tours, cultural and social events, and home hospitality.

Relationships Drive Diplomacy

Exchanges typically bring visitors to Philadelphia for 4-10 days and fellowships for 3-4 weeks. As a member of the national Global Ties U.S. network, Citizen Diplomacy International serves as the Philadelphia region’s sole coordinator of the International Visitor Leadership Program and is one of the top member-based organizations to host exchanges.

As a Citizen Diplomat, you can volunteer to host many of these international guests, which allow professional leadership exchange participants to explore issues in the U.S. context, learn more about U.S. society, and understand American values, directly from you! Two-way fellowship programs allow you to be nominated to travel for an exchange to your Fellow’s country.

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Sign up to host an international visitor!

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Exchanges that Matter

Passionate individuals from around the globe are working to create just and equitable societies where all people can pursue happy lives with dignity, access to education, personal and political freedoms. We host programs that cover a range of topics Philadelphia has expertise in including: entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, social justice, civic activism, medicine, democracy, fair elections, free speech, journalism, sustainability, culture, interfaith, education, and volunteerism.

Our Exchange Programs

International Visitor Leadership Program

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. American embassies abroad nominate current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields to participate in short-term exchanges in the U.S. Citizen Diplomacy’s goal is to connect IVLP visitors with non-profit, business, and civic leaders in the Philadelphia region to spark meaningful dialogue and collaboration. More than 500 IVLP participants are current or former heads of foreign heads of state or government.

Sports Visitor Program

Brings youth athletes, coaches, and administrators from around the world to the United States for sports-based exchanges that address U.S. embassy and consulate priorities and U.S. foreign policy goals.

Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists

Brings emerging international journalists from around the world to examine journalistic practices in the Philadelphia region and United States.

Open World Program

Brings emerging leaders from Eurasian countries including Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan to the United States with their professional counterparts on topics including accountable governance, American judicial system, women as leaders, NGO development and management, public health, economic development, and the environment.

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Brings young leaders from sub-Saharan African countries to the United States each year for academic coursework and leadership training with the goal of creating unique opportunities in Africa for Fellows to put new skills to practical use in leading organizations, communities, and countries. Each summer, when Fellows are at Drexel University, we contract to arrange dinner hosts.

Professional Fellows Program

Is a two-way, global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, as well as build lasting, sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from Europe, Eurasia, Southeast Asia and the United States. Participants are placed in intensive 5-6 week fellowships in non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices across the United States for an individually tailored professional development experience. Annually Philadelphia hosts 4-9 Fellows each year.

African Women Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP)

Building networks of women entrepreneurs across Sub-Saharan Africa who are poised to transform their communities by owning; running; and operating small and medium businesses, and driving social and economic progress in their communities and countries.

YTILI Fellowship Program

The Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program is a two-way exchange program for emerging entrepreneurs. We are partners to World Chicago to host 6-9 fellows in Philadelphia.

Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program

Enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to research and study in the United States for one year or longer at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions. When Fulbright students are in Philadelphia for a weekend-long leadership seminar, Citizen Diplomats like you host a dinner for them, either at home or at a restaurant. More than 130 of the brightest scholars from around the world are eager to see the real Philadelphian during their visit—learn how to host a Fulbright Scholar below.

Expo 2020

Is a World Expo to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Originally scheduled for October 2020 – April 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new dates are October 2021 – March 2022. Five Youth Ambassadors and one Cultural performer, Penn Masala, will travel from Pennsylvania to the United Arab Emirates to represent America.

Dinner and Homestay Hosting

As a Citizen Diplomat, you are matched with professionals who share your interest in specific languages, countries, or topics such as the environment, politics, culture, and more. Then, you can personalize the experience from there. There is no other way to have fascinating, international professionals and authentic cultural experiences brought right to you. Citizen Diplomacy leads to truly unique experiences that may deepen your understanding of a foreign country, help you grow as a person, and make you new friends overseas. Sign up to host an international visitor!

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CDI Citizen Exchange program

U.S. Citizen Exchange Programs

The U.S. Department of State offers many programs for American citizens wishing to go abroad for cultural, educational, or professional exchange. Please visit the ECA’s Exchange Program Finder to get the information you need to get started on your journey abroad.

We believe relationships
Change the World

Join us in creating a more peaceful, prosperous world, one conversation at a time. Become a member to receive first priority for new opportunities and events. Or make a donation to empower Philadelphia’s citizen diplomats. 

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