There are over one million exchange program alumni around the world — including almost 1,700 government ministers and 364 current and former heads of state. In 2014, WorldChicago hosted 925 international visitors from 139 countries. Our programming and the contributions of our volunteer hospitality and professional hosts provide enriching opportunities for global idea-sharing, networking, and professional development.
• Help build a more peaceful and prosperous world
• Connect local government to overseas counterparts to share best practices and find solutions to local challenges together
• Return home with valuable experiences and great impressions of Chicago
• Make a positive impact in their home communities through follow-on projects
Explore our Global Impact map!
Click on the pins to learn about some of our visitors and their experiences in Chicago
“Chicago is a great city, full of movement and activity, and the mix of ethnicities make a person feel that he is not a stranger in a strange land.”
— Visitor from Palestine
International exchange programs don’t just benefit foreign countries. Local American communities reap huge benefits as well. The Global Ties U.S. network — of which WorldChicago is a member — created $48 million dollars in positive economic impact nationally in 2012.
• Tourism: in 2014, WorldChicago visitors booked 3,277 Chicago hotel rooms, generating around $500,000 revenue — about $80,000 in hotel taxes alone
• Business & Culture: professional networking opportunities promote international economic, educational, cultural partnerships with Chicago
• Community Engagement: Chicago-area volunteers, members, and students gain opportunities to learn about international affairs and engage directly with international emerging leaders
• Service: in 2014, our visitors contributed 651 volunteer hours to improving the Chicago community