ICDLA puts the right people together to tackle global issues, creating dialogue that would otherwise not be possible. Our people-to-people programs make connections and facilitate discussions that can change the world!
It was my pleasure to have this opportunity to visit L.A. and I would love to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to [International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles] for the design of such an outstanding program providing an exceptional experience. I came back to Armenia inspired with innovative ideas and concepts which could be useful and effective for our museum, and could become a base for future exchange projects.
~ Participant from Armenia on a program about
International Visitor Leadership Program
I wish to personally commend the U.S. Department of State for making my trip to the U.S. a life-long experience. I certainly made tremendous friendships with my colleagues and many Americans. I am fully committed to reciprocating good will to those who visit my country. Thanks a million for the extension of friendship we felt at home away from home.
~ Participant from Guyana on a program about Ensuring Citizen Security
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is ICDLA's primary exchange program. Launched in 1940, IVLP is one of the U.S. Department of State's most effective public diplomacy activities. The program strengthens U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivates lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their U.S. counterparts.
Most IVLP exchanges are three weeks long and include visits to four U.S. communities, such as Los Angeles. Through carefully designed programs, IVLP participants meet with professional colleagues, visit U.S. public and private sector organizations, and participate in cultural and social activities.
There is no application for IVLP. Participants are nominated and selected annually by the staff at U.S. embassies around the world. Nearly 5,000 exchange participants come to the U.S. on the IVLP each year. Alumni of the program include more than 335 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government. ICDLA hosts on average 700 IVLP participants each year.
Watch the video below of the 80th Anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program
The award-winning film Hidden Figures inspired an IVLP program called #HiddenNoMore that brought 48 women in STEM from 48 different countries to the United States. Click here to learn more about the program.
CITIZEN DIPLOMACY MAP
ICDLA (formerly IVCLA) was honored to participate in in the launch of Global Ties U.S.' Citizen Diplomacy Map: a Journey of International Friendships! Global Ties collected stories from across the national network to highlight and celebrate the power of exchange programs and relationships built through citizen diplomacy.
This narrative map highlights the various nonprofits throughout the U.S. who work with the Department of State Bureau of Education Affairs to host international programs and the alumni who have joined us.
Read their stories here!
U.S. Department of State Information
The program in L.A. was designed and planned in an excellent way. In a span of two and a half days, we met with the most relevant people and organizations and have been able to establish linkages with them. All of them are eager to work in collaboration with us and that's the most successful part that came out of our L.A. visit.
~ Participant from Pakistan on a program about Building Women's Coalitions To Prevent Extremism
ICDLA created International VIP Services (IVIPS) to provide our skills in arranging professional and cultural exchanges between sponsored visitors and local businesses, cultural and academic institutions and foreign governmental agencies in the greater Los Angeles area. Drawing on more than 35 years of experience in the field of international exchange, our staff will design individualized itineraries to match the objectives of a delegation or an individual. With ICDLA's wealth of local resource contacts, programs can be arranged in a wide range of fields such as science, the arts, education, security, government, social issues, or media.
The ICDLA International VIP Service provides the following:
Preparing an itinerary of professional appointments for individuals or groups corresponding to their specific areas of interest
Preparing additional itineraries for spouses or other delegates
Hotel arrangements at discounted rates
Tours including Los Angeles, Hollywood area, Beverly Hills, and the beaches
Cultural activities including theater performances, museum visits, sports events, or visits to local theme parks
Dinner hospitality in the private homes of ICDLA Citizen Diplomat members
Interpretation and translation services
Assistance in arranging similar services in other cities throughout the United States
Fees vary depending on the number of participants and the services required.
For more information, please contact Danica Kreculj at email@example.com.
International VIP Services
OPEN WORLD PROGRAM
ICDLA has participated in the Open World Program since it began in 1999. Open World was originally established as a Library of Congress administered pilot project giving emerging Russian leaders firsthand exposure to American democracy through visits to local communities in the United States. The program is now administered by the Open World Leadership Center, an independent entity established in 2000 in the U.S. legislative branch. In 2003, Open World began expanding to other countries, and now includes participants from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and most recently Poland. The principles of accountability, transparency, and citizen involvement in government are among the concepts emphasized by the Open World Program.
ICDLA members and resources have responded by opening their offices and homes to these visitors. Open World is ICDLA's only program requiring participants to stay in homes during their time in the L.A. area. This provides an opportunity for them to experience day-to-day life in Los Angeles. Home hosts also receive a unique opportunity to learn about a different culture up close, make new friends, and then, perhaps, visit their guest's home in Eurasia.
When I saw so many successful business women enter the door it made my day. I enjoyed the fact that they had pride in our futures before they even got to know us. These women were from all over the world, and showed me from a women entrepreneur's point of view that women can make it anywhere in the world with their business…overall I learned things I will take with me for the rest of my life.
~ John Muir High School student whose class was visited by a group of women entrepreneurs from around the world
Over and over, studies show U.S. students are often unable to locate countries on a map and may not even be aware they exist. As a whole, Americans have a reputation for not knowing much about the rest of the world.
Through ICDLA's Citizen Diplomacy in the Classroom Program, international emerging leaders visit local classrooms, educating students about their countries and cultures while sharing their thoughts and ideas. The classroom interactions provide role models for L.A.'s student population, whose heritage is as diverse as our International Visitors. This program opens up unique and exciting ways for Los Angeles area students to learn about different cultures firsthand. It breaks down misconceptions that can arise through lack of knowledge.
Our children live in a world where social and economic conditions demand global interactions. There is no better place for the future generation to develop understanding of and practice communicating with other cultures than in their classroom. Our Citizen Diplomacy in the Classroom Program helps ensure their interactions with the rest of the world are positive and productive.
If you are a teacher or administrator and are interested in receiving international visitors at your school, please contact Danica Kreculj at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CITIZEN DIPLOMACY IN THE CLASSROOM
ICDLA WORLD PARTNERS
2015 World Partners Trip to Kyrgyzstan
When an International Visitor's plane takes off from LAX to return home after an exhilarating experience in the United States, ICDLA's World Partners Program is ready to keep the dialogue going. Through ICDLA World Partners, we continue to reach out to our International Visitor Alumni by facilitating collaborations with resources the visitors met in the L.A. area, celebrating personal friendships that continue with their home hosts and helping our members and resources connect with alumni when they travel to their countries.
ICDLA hosted our first World Partners international trip in 2015, where ICDLA President Janet Elliott and five ICDLA participants traveled to Kyrgyzstan. The trip arrangements were made by former ICDLA Director of International Programs Natalia Lvovich in collaboration with our Open World Alumni in Kyrgyzstan. During eight amazing days the group enjoyed private tours of museums and other historic sites in Bishkek and visited the U.S. Embassy there. They traveled on the Silk Road to Lake Issyk-Kul, where they stayed at a former Soviet resort on the lake and toured nearby ancient cave drawings sites. One of our alumni returned the favor of the hospitality she received in L.A. when she invited the group to experience a Kyrgyz feast with her entire family. A dinner on the final evening with our IVLP and Open World alumni was the perfect ending to a fantastic journey.
The second World Partners trip was planned for May of 2020 to St. Petersburg, Russia, which was postponed due to the pandemic. It was rescheduled for July 2022 but has now been cancelled due to the war in Ukraine. Even though we were not able to have the trip this year, we look forward to planning another interesting ICDLA World Partners trip in the near future.