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Citizen Diplomacy International connects Philadelphia with leaders worldwide and promotes our city as a global hub of commerce and culture. We introduce international professionals and students to their Philadelphia counterparts through events, programs, and exchanges. These connections create partnerships and lasting relationships that become powerful tools to address some of our world’s greatest challenges.

Youth Exchanges

Educational exchanges create global learning opportunities for students in Philadelphia, cultivating leadership, diplomatic skills, and cultural competencies among students and preparing them for in-demand global careers. 

For 30 years, our Sister Cities High School Exchanges have connected Philadelphia high schools to schools abroad for reciprocal travel experiences. Each exchange is unique to the schools' curriculum and features collaborative projects, site-seeing, college visits, and in-home immersion.  Students learn to be Citizen Diplomats when Philadelphia students travel abroad and represent America and international peers visit Philadelphia. We look forward to re-instituting this program after the Coronavirus pandemic when in-person, international travel is safe and possible.

Beginning in April 2021, Philadelphia students will have opportunities for virtual exchange through the Citizen Diplomat Academy. These free, virtual international exchanges are exclusively designed to connect students between the ages of 14 - 18 years old, who are interested in  “How to Succeed as a STEM Innovator” and “How to Succeed as a Social Innovator.” As many of our region’s students have had to put studies or internships abroad on hold, this program aims to offer 800 students each year the opportunity to continue global exchange. Citizen Diplomat Academy strengthens person-to-person relationships with their peers in our Sister Cities of Frankfurt, Germany, and Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Israel, as well as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. 

University Student Exchanges, Internships & Scholarships

Citizen Diplomacy promotes Philadelphia’s universities to our Sister Cities and other delegations. We work with local universities to offer Sister City Scholarships attracting international students to study in our region and support Sister City Scholars while studying in Philadelphia.

For Philadelphia students interested in global business, marketing, international affairs, and global studies, Citizen Diplomacy hosts internships in our own office, offers summer virtual international exchanges in the Citizen Diplomat Academy, has a discounted membership, and connects students to opportunities operated by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Our future global leaders need vital dialogue skills to be able to work with people from other countries, to understand the complexity of global issues, and to develop cross-cultural relationships, and Citizen Diplomacy makes that possible.


Citizen Diplomacy International is Philadelphia’s official representative for the U.S. Government’s premier exchange program: the International Visitor Leadership Program. Through this program, Citizen Diplomacy attracts more than 500 international visitors from over 100 countries and books more than 1,500 hotel rooms each year. Within Citizen Diplomacy, the goal of the International Visitor Leadership Program is to promote Philadelphia as an international destination and global city. These programs connect Philadelphia leaders in a wide variety of fields to professional foreign peers who are experiencing the U.S. firsthand on professional fellowships. Participants exchange professional knowledge and best practices, experience real American values, see our region’s top tourism destinations, and form their own opinions of the U.S. 

NEW - while in-person exchanges are on hold during the Coronavirus pandemic, you can connect with international leaders in our weekly Diplomacy & Dialogue virtual conversations. See upcoming programs and watch videos of previous conversations here.


International relations strategy and protocol services provide advice to the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, the Mayor’s Office, universities, and corporate partners on the official procedure for diplomatic occasions, agreements, and documents. By promoting international student enrollment or supporting Memorandum of Understandings, we make it easier for international students to transfer and finish their degrees at Philadelphia colleges and universities. 

Sister Cities Program

Philadelphia is officially linked with 11 Sister and Partnership cities in ten countries and one "Partners for Peace" city with the Iraqi city, Mosul. Citizen Diplomacy is a member of Sister Cities International, works with the City of Philadelphia, private citizens, and partners to execute official exchanges.  Each Sister City is supported by volunteers who are committed to the goals and objectives of the program.

Philadelphia’s Sister Cities are:

Florence, Italy; Tel Aviv, Israel; Torun, Poland; Tianjin, China; Incheon, Korea; Douala, Cameroon; Nizhny Novgorod Russia; Kobe, Japan; Aix-en-Provence, France, and Abruzzo, Italy

At the heart of the Sister Cities program is an agreement signed by the mayors of each city confirming their commitment, and that of their successors, to the program. Each Sister City agrees to send and receive delegations of political and business leaders, arts and cultural representatives, educators, technical experts, and students.  Areas of cooperation include:

- Economic development and trade
- Youth and education
- Municipal and technological cooperation
- Sports, Arts and Culture