Fostering Intercultural Understanding

As our name indicates, CIED’s mission is to build bridges of understanding among cultures. We design exchanges focused on understanding, not assimilation. We have a strong track record of success in helping business and government leaders and students from around the world to deepen their understanding of U.S. perspectives and culture.

We have purposely recruited a multilingual and multicultural staff with unique insights into the many, often subtle, ways cultural differences can affect the success of exchange programs. Our unparalleled experience working with governments around the world also gives our team a keen understanding of global political culture and its effect on intercultural relations. We do not ignore cultural differences, but embrace them in designing program structure and participant experiences.

In the digital age, once isolated nations and cultures have become inter-connected, and we embrace technology as a tool for building intercultural understanding—using webinars to broadcast real-time information across time zones and social media to share participants’ stories.

However, we also recognize the importance of face-to-face and person-to-person communication in building understanding between countries, cultures, and individuals. We personally meet with nearly all of our international participants because we value the opportunity to learn from their cultural perspective as much as we are honored to introduce them to ours.

Related Programs


Youth Ambassadors

Youth Ambassadors is a cultural exchange program designed to strengthen the leadership skills of young people from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. It builds bonds of friendship and understanding between people of the Americas and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

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Student Leaders Program

The MEPI Student Leaders Program is a U.S. Department of State sponsored leadership program for undergraduate student leaders from the Middle East and North Africa. The CIED-designed curriculum allows students to develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society and democratic leadership.

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Sports Diplomacy

CIED’s Sports Diplomacy programs are international people-to-people exchanges that build mutual understanding and cooperation through sports. Programs bring together those interested in sports, recreation, and leadership to promote tolerance, cooperation, and life skills using the platform of sports teamwork.


SEED Program

The SEED Program was a USAID sponsored exchange initiative that provides U.S.-based technical training to youth and community leaders. The program creates productive and mutually beneficial academic, economic, and social relationships that benefit people of the United States and the Latin American/Caribbean region.