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International Exchanges

Connecting Cultures

Our international exchange programs bridge barriers between different cultures in Western New York and others across the globe by promoting understanding, sensitivity and mutual respect. Beyond these cultural gains, our programs empower the economy! With just one program, we turned $84,000 in federal funding for our mission into nearly $8 million in economic impact.

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How it Works

We bring international leaders and professionals from around the world to connect with local professionals. These visits allow participants to exchange knowledge, share best practices, develop new collaborations, forge relationships and boost economic growth. Recent topics have included human and civil rights, community-based leadership, combating human trafficking and NGO management.


International Visitors

International visits strengthen our local economy and create new professional synergy and affiliations. While these guests are in Buffalo, we arrange their itinerary, including professional meetings, hotels, transportation, home hospitality meals and cultural activities. Many of these exchanges have focused on the topics of human and civil rights, border security, entrepreneurship and transparency and accountability.

International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

IVLP connects emerging leaders from across the globe with their professional peers in the United States. U.S. embassies select visitors who tour through our country for three weeks, making stops in two to four American cities. This program is funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (Community Partnership Program).

Open World

Our Open World program enhances understanding and cooperation between the United States, post-Soviet Bloc countries and Eurasia. This eight or nine-day journey begins in Washington, D.C. and is followed by a week-long stay in an American city. We plan Open World groups’ professional meetings, transportation, homestays and cultural activities for the duration of their visit. The U.S. Library of Congress funds Open World through the Congressional Office for International Leadership.