Saturday, February 28, 2015

IVLP Documentary Showcases European Visitors' Experience of America

Cultural Vistas is proud to announce the release of Connecting Cultures, Impacting Lives: The IVLP Experience, a short documentary showcasing a behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Department of State's premier professional exchange program.

The film follows a group of 13 emerging leaders representing 12 countries across Europe that participated in an International Visitor Leadership Program project during the summer of 2014 focused on advancing youth leadership and engagement.

The group traveled to the United States for a five-city, 22-day tour on which they experienced America firsthand – meeting with youth experts and those engaged in youth-focused projects from the public and private sectors in Washington, D.C., New York City, Concord, New Hampshire, Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington.

Connecting Cultures, Impacting Lives showcases all that makes the International Visitor Leadership Program, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2015, a unique and unrivaled professional exchange experience.


Through IVLP projects, visitors have the opportunity to see Americans as Americans themselves – through professional meetings, cultural activities, and the very personal experience of sharing a meal and evening of home hospitality with an American family.

Since 1940, more than 200,000 visitors have interacted with Americans through this program, including 35 current and 300 former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government, who proudly call themselves IVLP alumni.

Speaking about the important role IVLP holds in U.S. public diplomacy efforts, Rick Ruth, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department, said, "This is where Americans engage the world.  Where we tell our story.  Where we talk about who we are."

Alberto Soler Soto of Spain, one of the 13 young and emerging European leaders who took part in this project, provided one of the most important reflections on the impact of exchange programs like the IVLP: "I'm very thankful for this opportunity. I learned a lot. I lived a lot. I felt a lot. This really changed me. I feel like I am a better version of myself."

Connecting Cultures, Impacting Lives was shot, produced and directed by Kate Hoof.

Countries Represented in this Project
Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine

Post-Project Reflections
Meet Alberto, Anna, and Jitka: three young leaders from Spain, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic who visited the United States as part of this project. Cultural Vistas caught up with each of these participants following their IVLP experience to learn about the program's impact.


About Cultural Vistas
A nonprofit organization, Cultural Vistas annually serves more than 5,000 students, professionals, and emerging leaders through career-focused international internships, educational study tours, language immersion and cultural exchange programs in the United States and around the world. As one of seven National Program Agencies, Cultural Vistas works in close cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and the Global Ties U.S. network to administer, design, and implement IVLP programs that directly support and advance U.S. foreign policy goals.  Learn more at

Follow @CulturalVistas on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment