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The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2020, is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The goal of the IVLP is to provide firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture, and politics, while cultivating lasting relationships. By connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts, IVLP fosters lasting relationships and helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world.

Who administers the IVLP?

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funds and administers the IVLP in cooperation with a group of private, not-for-profit organizations based in Washington, D.C. In addition, the IVLP relies on the commitment and skills of more than 90 volunteer-based community organizations in 44 states that are members of the Global Ties U.S. network.

What do International Visitors do in the U.S.?

Participants typically visit four U.S. communities over three weeks, and projects vary by theme and requests from U.S. Embassies around the world. As they travel, participants:

  • Meet with representatives of U.S. public and private sector organizations related to the project theme.
  • Explore American society, history, and culture, led by international visitor liaisons or foreign language interpreters.
  • Engage in home hospitality with American families.

There is no application for the IVLP. Participants are nominated by the staff at U.S. Embassies around the world and project topics are tied to key U.S foreign policy priorities.

Projects cover a broad array of themes, some of which include:

  • English language instruction
  • Entrepreneurism
  • Environmental protection
  • Food security and safety
  • Human rights
  • International health
  • Journalism
  • National security and counter-terrorism
  • U.S. foreign policy
  • Volunteerism
  • Women’s leadership
  • Youth leadership