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International Visitor Leadership Program

The International Institute of Wisconsin is currently the only organization in Wisconsin to host the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), an affiliate of the U.S. State Department’s National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), based in Washington, D.C. The IIW is currently one of 93 different sites throughout the U.S. to host groups of emerging international leaders from a variety of professional fields. Visitors are selected by embassies overseas to participate in the IVLP.

The IVLP’s overall mission is to promote citizen diplomacy, the concept that the individual has the right, even the responsibility, to help shape United States foreign relations, “one handshake at a time.” This is accomplished through IIW’s coordination and facilitation of professional, cultural, and interpersonal exchanges between the visitors and their counterparts and experts in their fields throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Visitors begin their program in Washington, D.C., and over the course of approximately three weeks visit three to four different host sites in the United States to gain a better understanding of the U.S. and their professional field in this country. As a host site, the IIW schedules meetings and tours with different experts and organizations in various fields throughout Wisconsin. Examples of program topics that Wisconsin has participated in include state government, agriculture, water resources, and biotechnology.

An equally important component of this program is local cultural events, including home hospitality visits, which gives both visitors and local citizens the chance to gain mutual understanding and appreciation. The International Institute of Wisconsin works with local volunteers and organizations to help the visitors experience another side of Wisconsin.

For more information, or to learn how you can be involved in this program as a professional contact, host for home hospitality or volunteer in another capacity, please e-mail or call 414-225-6220.