Citizen Diplomacy Program

Today's visitors... tomorrow's leaders


Since the early 1980’s International House’s Citizen Diplomacy Program has brought thousands of international leaders to Charlotte. With varying areas of professional expertise including banking and finance, energy, healthcare, small business development, arts and culture, entrepreneurship and government, these individuals have aided the expansion of Charlotte’s cultural, educational and economic diversity.
Our community has grown and transformed into an internationally diverse region. Through our Citizen Diplomacy Program, community members have become “Citizen Diplomats” helping to shape U.S. foreign relations one handshake at a time. Through our U.S. State Department sponsored international exchanges, our programs have helped local businesses learn how to better compete in a global marketplace and connected local government members to their overseas counterparts, sharing best practices and finding solutions to common challenges.


A key part of citizen diplomacy is introducing the international visitors to American home-life and Charlotteans from all walks of life. International House offers home-hosting and dinner-hosting opportunities for people who live in the Charlotte area and are interested in getting to know the visitors on a personal level. Home hosts do just that - host the visitor at their residence for part of or the entire duration of their visit in Charlotte. Dinner hosts prepare a meal for a larger group of people in order to enjoy an evening of conversation with the visitors. If interested, please fill out the form below and check the News & Events sections for upcoming home and dinner hosting opportunities!


"The most exciting part of being in Charlotte was getting to know my host family. After 9 months I'm still in touch with them... they really made me part of their families and we skype every other weekend. That was a gift I didn't expect and Charlotte became a beloved city because of that. I have always joked and sometimes complained about how Americans think they're the center of the world because of what I saw in the media and in movies, but I experienced something different. I met so many kind and humble people in Charlotte who acknowledged how equal we all are and how small our differences are once we get to know each other. I loved it."

- Jairo Dan Hernández Sanhueza, International Visitor from Chile