Since 1950, the Council's International Visitor Program has fostered meaningful connections between Oregon communities and leaders worldwide. The Council's visitor program annually hosts more than 500 emerging world leaders. These rising stars in key fields are connected for business exchanges, professional development and hands-on experience with local/regional business and community leaders. Because of Portland and Oregon’s strong culture of volunteerism and civic innovation, visionary sustainability and environmental policy, progressive governance practices and a thriving NGO/nonprofit community, the region has in recent years become a magnet for international visitors seeking professional development exchange. Aside from professional hosting, Oregonians have the opportunity to connect with these visitors and become citizen diplomats by hosting visitors in their home for dinner, or even overnight.
Watch this video featuring 5-time World Figure Skating Champion and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of State, Michelle Kwan, as she shares how to "Expand Your World" by becoming a citizen diplomat.
579: Total Number of Visitors
129: Number of Countries Represented
220: Number of International Visitors who were Hosted for Dinner
45: Number of International Visitors who were Hosted on Overnight Programs
840: Number of Professional Resources who met with International Visitors
Most Represented Countries in 2012: Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, People's Republic of China, Russia, Turkey, and Yemen.
A huge Thank You goes out to all of our Professional, Dinner, and Overnight Hosts who, as true Citizen Diplomats, enable the success of this program. We could not do it without you!
Have you wondered if the challenges you face in your profession were unique to the United States, and maybe to Oregon? Would you like to speak with leaders in your profession from all over the world? We constantly seek new professional resources to represent Oregon’s vast and diverse professional workforce.
Nothing sets the table for mutual understanding better than a shared meal and shared experience. Hosting International Visitors for dinner is an excellent way to exercise everyday diplomacy as an ambassador for Oregon. Hosting international visitors in your home is one of the many benefits of membership in the World Affairs Council of Oregon.
Share your home and build lifelong connections! The Council regularly offers overnight home-stay hosting opportunities that provide international visitors with an American home experience. Hosting opportunities range from three nights to five weeks depending on the program.