International House envisions a Charlotte that welcomes and embraces the world.
Our mission is to promote international understanding and help immigrants integrate fully into our community.
International House has been working since 1981 to build an inclusive, welcoming Charlotte - a goal that is more relevant now than at any point in our 35 year history. Charlotte is in the midst of a fundamental transformation into a truly international city, both as an attractive place for immigrants to settle down and as a player on the world stage. International House plays a central role in these changes, and through its various programs and services is helping to ensure that this transformation is beneficial for the City and the people who live in it.
International House serves as a welcoming place for our new neighbors to gain the hard skills needed to succeed in the U.S. and the support network needed to be happy and build the kind of life everyone seeks – full of meaning, community and the prospects for a brighter future.
International House’s core programs are both unique and necessary. They include:
The Rising Readers Program
Founded in 1981, International House has evolved over the years along with the City of Charlotte. What began as a meeting spot for Charlotte's small population of internationals in the early 80's now serves thousands of people every year in one of the country's fastest growing cities.
Among the earliest programs of International House was the "Friendship Connection,” aimed at helping internationals make new friends and develop English language skills in an informal setting. Early on, International House also focused on raising interest and awareness among the local population about international issues and culture. Americans were invited to weekly "Foreign Language Lunches," to break bread and practice various foreign languages such as Spanish, French, and Italian. The core of these early programs can be seen today in International House's adult education offerings and several different language conversation hours.
Originally named the Community College and International Ministry of Charlotte, Inc. (CCIM), the organization obtained its first permanent home in 1985 at St. John's Baptist Church at 322 Hawthorne Lane. In 1989, the organization changed its name to International House, and in 2012 moved to its current location at 1817 Central Avenue.
In the meantime, International House shifted programs and priorities to meet the community's changing needs - incorporating an international visitors program in the late '80s, an Immigration Law Clinic in 2002, and a summer literacy program for young English learners in 2010. Still, at its core, International House remains the same organization that was founded at St. John’s Baptist Church on Hawthorne Lane all those years ago - a center for diversity, a welcoming place for people from different cultures and backgrounds and a hub that brings globally-minded residents of the greater-Charlotte area together.
International House is led by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of Charlotte area leaders from various sectors. Programs are implemented by a small, dedicated staff. Click here to learn more about Our Team.