Home Hospitality Hosting
The Council offers overnight home-stay hosting opportunities through a number of international exchange programs. Hosting opportunities for Council members range from three nights to five weeks depending on the program. All overnight hosting opportunities require a private bedroom for the international visitor (sharing a room with host family members is not allowed) breakfast, most dinners and an American home experience. For most overnight hosting host families also provide their guest with lunch on weekends and some transportation to and from the Council office. Requirements and requests vary depending on the program. The Council provides a professional program that includes weekday lunches, cultural events, professional meetings, transportation to meetings and appointments, and a full-day or half-day weekend activity for the visitors.
International Visitors Programs
The Community Connections Program is designed to promote public diplomacy. Participants come from former Soviet republics, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Beginning in 1993 with the breakup of the Soviet Union, the World Affairs Council of Oregon has hosted over 45 Community Connections groups with over 450 entrepreneurs and other professionals. Each participant stays with an American family for three to five weeks, participates in professional training opportunities and receives exposure to the American free market. Over time, the program is designed to encourage public-private partnerships in Europe/Eurasia and create more robust links between American and European/Eurasian regions and communities. Community Connections is managed by the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by World Learning.
The Open World Program currently operates exchanges for participants from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. Founded by Congress in 1999, the goals of the Open World program are to build mutual understanding between the United States and participating countries, to create a network of emerging Eurasian leaders dedicated to effecting positive change in their home countries, and to connect these leaders with their American professional colleagues and hosts who are interested in post-visit cooperation and collaboration that will generate concrete results. Visitors stay with host families for a period of one week and gain new ideas and inspiration for implementing change back home. All professional programs are implemented with the assistance of U.S.-based locally hired interpreters.