This is your chance to be a Citizen Diplomat!

IYLEP 2016
The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana is actively seeking host families for all programs, and we need your help volunteering and spreading the word!
Seeing Kentucky and Southern Indiana through the eyes of local families gives visitors a deeper understanding of our community and builds international diplomacy from the bottom-up. Hosts provide a bed, breakfast and dinner, transportation to and from the Council’s downtown office during program days (if possible), and an American home experience! Weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the visitors will visit youth groups, meet with civic leaders, attend workshops, and complete community service projects coordinated by the World Affairs Council. The Council also provides lunches, cultural events, transportation to meetings and appointments, and a recreational activity one day over the weekend.
About Adult Programs:
2000px-usaid-logo-svgFor over 30 years, WAC has brought in international visitors through the Community Connections program via USAID. The Community Connections Program provides 3-week, homestay-based practical training opportunities in the U.S. for participants from post-Soviet states. Visitors travel to the hosting city for hands-on professional enrichment, site visits, and cultural activities. WAC has hosted hundreds of visitors  in Louisville through this 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, which develop and implement local projects. All Community Connections participants are recruited through an open competition and selected by local USAID Missions.
openworld_logo_mark1More recently, WAC has hosted delegations from the Open World Program via the Open World Leadership Center, one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs for countries of the post-Soviet era. The program has enabled more than 25,000 current and future leaders from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan to meaningfully engage and interact with Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and thousands of other Americans, many of whom are the delegates’ direct professional counterparts. The Open World program focuses both on assisting the Congress in its oversight responsibilities and on conducting exchanges that establish lasting professional relationships between the up-and-coming leaders of Open World countries and Americans dedicated to showcasing U.S. values and democratic institutions. The Center’s bipartisan nature and independence from the priorities of any presidential administration is an important asset for the program. Aimed at establishing mutually beneficial relationships between future leaders of other nations, Open World is a value-added program that permits practical and depoliticized options for engagement.
About Student Programs:
logo_wl_vrt_rgbYouth Leadership Exchange Programs through the U.S. Department of State foster mutual understanding, respect, and civic engagement among young Americans and their international peers. During the exchanges, students and educators participate in workshops, community service activities, team building exercises, meetings with community leaders, leadership development, and live with American families. Upon their return home, the students apply what they have learned to implement projects that serve needs in their communities.
The students are between the ages of 15-17 and come to us through a very selective process. Many of the students speak English and have been carefully vetted by the U.S. Department of State. They do not pay to come on the program – instead, they are chosen and paid for by their respective U.S. Embassies and the U.S. Dept. of State. We’ve found that this means, though they are still teenagers who want to enjoy shopping and soccer, etc., they are also incredibly insightful, experienced and serious about their time here. Participants in this program have gone on to implement incredible things in their home countries and serve as young ambassadors while here.
A little more about the programs/schedules:

On weekdays, visitors are in programming about leadership activities, volunteerism, and their specific program sub-themes from morning until early evening (usually ending around 4:00pm or 5:00pm).

Evenings are left free but there are some of the inevitable outings to a baseball game or shopping. We generally do cultural activities as a group on Saturdays. Past examples have included a trip to Mammoth Cave, Holiday World, etc. (hosts are welcome to attend but are not required to). Sundays are left free for host time as well as time to rest.
We do not require that hosts assist with transportation and can coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs but if it is convenient to bring downtown, then that is always appreciated, too! As we often tell our hosts, we do not expect that their lives come to a halt during the program. Our visiting adults and/or students are kept busy, and in the past, other hosts have been happy to help when needed. We can arrange for other plans and activities during times of an evening conflict, for example.
Host Responsibilities: 
– Provide a private sleeping area (adults visitors/students may share rooms but need separate beds)
– Include the guest(s) in breakfast and dinner
– Share your city with them!
WAC Provides:
– Professional cultural programming
– 24/7 On-call assistance
– Orientation and cultural programming for adult visitors and students
 
Join us in welcoming these amazing adult and youth leaders, as well as their mentors, to Kentucky and Southern Indiana!
Please feel free to contact Laura Duncan, our Visitor Program Manager, if you’d like to discuss the programs in more detail at [email protected]