International Exchange Programs

For more than fifty years, Utah Global Diplomacy has fostered citizen diplomacy by hosting meaningful person-to-person interactions between the people of Utah and individuals from around the world through our International Exchange Program.

Utah Global Diplomacy is the only official community-based member of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in Utah. Since 1967, we have welcomed more than 12,000 International Visitors from more than 200 countries to Utah.

Our flagship program is the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program and Utah Global Diplomacy's flagship program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. We arrange meetings with local organizations that reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. Find out more about the IVLP program.

Other International Exchange Programs we host include:

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative
Open World
Jóvenes en Acción
Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program
Central & Eastern European Journalists Fellowships

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. Since the initiative’s launch in 2015, more than 1,000 YLAI Fellows from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada have expanded their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and organizations across the United States. Through the YLAI Entrepreneurial Leadership Curriculum and individualized professional placements, YLAI Fellows have accelerated their commercial and social ventures’ success and developed specific action plans to implement upon return to their home countries. YLAI Fellows built networks, linkages, and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures. 

The Congressional Office for International Leadership (COIL), an agency in the U.S. Legislative Branch, administers the Open World program, a U.S. exchange program for countries of the post-Soviet era. Open World has brought over 26,000 current and future leaders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to the United States. During their visit to the U.S., Open World participants have engaged and interacted with Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and thousands of other Americans, many of whom are the direct professional counterparts of these Eurasian leaders.

The Jóvenes en Acción program is a ten-month civic education and leadership program for high school students in Mexico. Program participants begin with a four-week exchange experience in host cities and states. They examine how local communities develop a culture of lawfulness by addressing problems related to gangs; violence; substance abuse; bullying; human rights; social disintegration; access to a clean environment, financial literacy; creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; and technologies and methodologies for English language learning.

The program goals are to: 

  • Promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Prepare youth leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities.
  • Nurture a cadre of students to be actively engaged in addressing issues of concern in their schools and communities upon their return home, and to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become citizen activists.

Jóvenes en Acción is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy Mexico City, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, La Secretaría de Educación Pública and private funders. Jóvenes en Acción is administered by World Learning.

{tabs Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative}

Launched in 2015, the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers emerging business and social entrepreneurs from across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States, to realize the full economic potential of the region’s citizens. This program brings these young leaders to the cities across the United States where they are placed with a local host company for an entrepreneurial fellowship. YLAI fosters prosperity, inclusive development, and democratic values. Specifically, YLAI addresses the opportunity gap for young people, especially women, equipping them to transform their societies.

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) is a four-week summer exchange program funded by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is administered by our national partner, World Learning.  This flagship program provides Iraqi students the opportunity to develop leadership and community skills while learning about American culture as they travel across the United States.

The Central and Eastern Europe Journalist Fellowship Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State through the U.S. Embassy in Paris and administered by our national partner, Meridian International Center, expands the capacity of professional journalists and improves the sustainability of citizen-generated media in Central and Eastern Europe. This initiative brings journalists from across Central and Eastern Europe to the United States for training and a two-month professional fellowship at a U.S. media organization as well as journalism, media and digital literacy training at U.S. universities and organizations.

Get Involved!

Citizen diplomacy is a powerful tool for creating sustainable economic and social relationships in a globally connected world, so we need you to volunteer with us!

Please volunteer as a Professional Resource to meet with our international visitors and share your professional knowledge, resources, and best practices.

Or, become a Taste of Home Hospitality volunteer to open your home and provide a taste of local hospitality in Utah by hosting a casual dinner for our international visitors.

For questions about our International Exchange Programs, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2022 International Visitors in Utah

International Visitors in Utah