Do you have what it takes to rep your city to visitors from around the world? The World Affairs Council - Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky (WAC) is looking for new Cincinnati ambassadors, and this is how you can get involved.
But first: who is the WAC? The nonprofit's mission is to prepare Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky “to thrive in the 21st century global environment by promoting international understanding, education, engagement, and cooperation.” They work with organizations like the U.S. Department of State to bring world leaders to Cincinnati to meet with local experts, exchange ideas, and build personal connections.
In 2018, WAC welcomed 314 visitors from 73 countries. You can get an international experience right here in the city by volunteering as a professional host, dinner host, overnight host, or local guide for the organization.
BE A PROFESSIONAL HOST
Professional hosts meet with visitors who work in similar sectors in their home countries and help them apply new ideas and practices to their projects. Whether you work in law enforcement, entrepreneurship, media, politics, nonprofit management or anything in between, WAC welcomes professional volunteers in every industry.
BE A DINNER AND/OR OVERNIGHT HOST
The council is also looking for volunteers to welcome international guests into their homes for dinner or an overnight stay. Many guests come through the International Visitor Leadership Program, which has hosted notable leaders like Nicolas Sarkozy—former President of France, and Theresa May—the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
“So, you never know, you could be talking to a future world leader in your office or over dinner!” says Director of International Programs, James McManus.
BE A LOCAL HOST
If you don’t have the space for guests, sign up as a local guide to accompany international visitors to your favorite spots around the city like Cincinnati Music Hall or even Skyline Chili.
“You get to be a global citizen diplomat and share your favorite things about the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area,” James explains. “We bring the world right to your doorstep.”
EDUCATION PROGRAMS & TRAVEL
WAC volunteers can also help spread international awareness to children in Cincinnati by participating in the council’s educational programs, like Art Meets World, which starts conversations about culture through hands-on art projects in local schools, and the Global Read Aloud program in partnership with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
And if the travel bug bites while volunteering, join the Travel the World program to go abroad on an annual guided tour with the World Affairs Council. The 2019 trip to Provence and Burgundy, France was led by WAC Executive Director Michelle Harpenau.
Whether you host international guests, share your culture with local children, or even embark on an international adventure abroad, the borders around your life are sure to expand when you work with the World Affairs Council.
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If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador for Cincinnati and hosting international visitors, you can sign up here.