International Visitors

WDM Valley Students talking with Journalists 2015The Iowa International Center administers two professional exchange programs for international visitors:
the International Visitor Leadership Program and the Community Connections Program.

International Visitor Leadership Program

What do Margaret Thatcher, Hamid Karzai, Nicolas Sarkozy and Helmut Kohl have in common? All are alumni of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

Since 1976, the Iowa International Center has participated in IVLP as a hosting organization, coordinating programs throughout Central Iowa for international delegates visiting Des Moines. IVLP brings over 5,000 visitors a year to the United States on themed projects, focusing on many diverse topics including economics, agriculture, the arts and the U.S. electoral system. Each participant is identified by embassy staff in their home country as a leader or potential leader in fields such as government, the media, the arts, and business. More than 200 current and former Heads of State, 1,500 cabinet-level ministers, and many other distinguished world leaders in government and the private sector have participated in IVLP.

In 2015 year, 165 IVLP participants came to Des Moines. The Iowa International Center serves as a facilitator during the visitors’ stay in Des Moines, coordinating professional meetings with delegates’ Iowa colleagues, visits to educational institutions, business tours, speaking engagements, job shadows, and hospitality dinners. These meetings have provided the starting point for many of the lasting personal and institutional ties between Iowa and other countries around the globe.

Current information on upcoming IVLP programs can be found on the Iowa International Center Calendar.

Interested in volunteering with IVLP? Find more information on our volunteer page.

The Iowa International Center is a proud member of  Global Ties U.S.


Community Connections

The Iowa International Center has also participated in the Community Connections Program, most recently welcoming visitors from Kazakhstan during the fall of 2014.

The Community Connections Program provides 3-week, homestay-based practical training opportunities in the U.S. for participants from post-Soviet states and Serbia. Visitors travel to the hosting city for hands-on professional enrichment, site visits, and cultural activities. Since 1996, the Iowa International Center has hosted over 400 visitors through this prestigious program.

The Community Connections Program is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID operates the Community Connections program in conjunction with World Learning and local programming agencies such as the Iowa International Center, which develop and implement local projects. All Community Connections participants are recruited through an open competition and selected by local USAID Missions.

Current information on upcoming Community Connections programs can be found on the Iowa International Center Calendar.

Interested in providing a home stay for a Community Connections participant? Find more information on our volunteer page.

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