International Visitor Leadership Program

International Visitor Leadership Program

Country: United States
Duration: October 2012 to December 2017
Funder: U.S. Department of State

My recent experience in the IVLP program is so far the deepest ever for me to see and understand the full picture of what America as a country is like. I strongly believe this program will have a very long-term impact on my views about America and the world and to some extent it has already helped me to understand many long-time questions.

George Chen, Managing Editor, International Edition of the South China Morning Post

Each year, the International Visitor Leadership Program brings about 4,500 visitors to the US for observational study tours from a few days to three weeks in duration. The program is administered as a partnership between the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of International Visitors, and private sector partners in Washington, DC, and cities around the United States. World Learning, and its predecessor Delphi International, have been developing these programs for more than 25 years. World Learning is responsible for designing and administering programs for about 800 international visitors from 140 countries annually. 

These distinguished professionals, chosen to participate by U.S. Embassies worldwide, include:

  • parliamentarians
  • government officials
  • entrepreneurs
  • NGO leaders
  • journalists
  • academics
  • arts administrators
  • mid-career professionals

Programs focus on policy issues in areas such as:

  • government
  • media
  • foreign policy
  • environmental protection
  • women’s leadership
  • education
  • public health
  • arts
  • agriculture
  • economy and trade
  • disability rights and inclusion

World Learning staff members design national itineraries, arrange logistics, set meetings in Washington, DC, and coordinate the collaboration of State Department program officers, interpreters and International Visitor Liasions, and more than 90 community-based organizations from the Global Ties Network who arrange local programs nationwide.


Most participants are mid-career professionals; for many, this is their first visit to the United States. Groups are of varying sizes, from single visitors to groups of 25 or more. World Learning program staff work closely with their State Department colleagues to design a program customized to the project objectives and the visitors' interests. 

Participant Selection

IVLP candidates are selected solely by U.S. Embassy personnel in each country. There is no application form. World Learning is a private sector partner of the U.S. Department of State; our role is restricted to designing programs for participants once they arrive in the United States. For further information regarding the program, please consult the U.S. State Department’s website.

Program Design

A typical project includes up to a week of meetings in Washington, DC, to provide an orientation and overview of the theme and to introduce visitors to federal officials and agencies, national organizations, academics and think tanks, nonprofits and NGOs, and professionals in their specific field of interest. All projects include a briefing on the US federal system of government. Meetings may include panel discussions, site visits, workshops, individual interlocutors, job shadowing, or service opportunities. Visitors typically travel to an additional three or four cities in geographically varied regions of the country; the itinerary may include a state capital and a small town to provide first-hand exposure to the great diversity that exists in the United States. Also included in the program design are hospitality dinners, school visits, volunteer or service activities, and cultural events such as rodeos, state fairs, festivals, visits to sites of scenic beauty, or events that highlight seasonal events or some unique aspect of the region visited.

Home Hospitality

World Learning is looking for individuals and families interested in hosting visitors at their home for dinner. Learn more about this opportunity and how to participate.


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