August 07, 2023

The Impact of International Exchange Programs in Utah

Since 1967, Utah Global Diplomacy has facilitated international exchanges for the United States Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). During this time, it has expanded its resources to host a variety of congressional international exchanges and engage Utah communities in citizen diplomacy. These efforts include lecture series, symposiums, podcasts, fundraisers, home hosting, and cultural event participation. The connections through these visits have a lasting impact on both the participant and people in Utah. Business connections have resulted in development within the international communities, organizations have greater capacity and resources, and people have improved perceptions of the United States thereby increasing long-term connections. For over 65 years, the US government has invested millions of dollars and effort into hosting and promoting international exchange programs as a tool of diplomatic connections on a government, business, and personal level. These connections are created to help reduce the need for militarized strong-arming and promote the economic development of nations, and overall goodwill towards the US.

The following report - The Impact of International Exchange Programs in Utah: Shaping Utah's Diplomatic Relations, One Handshake at a Time -  examines the long-term impact of international exchange programs hosted by the US Department of State and the US Congress within Utah. Programs examined include the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP), Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), and others. This report will help government entities and nonprofits involved with the US Department of State and Congress exchange programs better understand its global and local impacts and help the American people understand the important role they play as citizen diplomats.

The following infographic is a snapshot of international exchange programs hosted by Utah Global Diplomacy and a brief summary of the report's findings. (Click the link above to access the complete qualitative report.)