International Visitor Program
At the request of the U.S. Department of State and cooperating program agencies in Washington, the World Affairs Council of Maine provides opportunities for international visitors to learn and establish friendly relations with people in Maine. The role of the World Affairs Council of Maine is:
- to establish friendly, working relationships with international visitors who come to Maine
- to program meetings for international visitors with business, academic, civic and state government officials
- to serve as a hospitable host for international visitors and to maintain continuing interest of Council members and the Maine community at-large.
Get Involved in the International Visitors Program
Home Hospitality Providers host visitors for delicious home-cooked. Meals in homes do not have to be fancy and wine does not have to be served, but the visitors should feel welcomed and well-provided-for. This kind of program can be a great way to involve one's own children in thinking about the International Community. It also goes a long way towards building a positive impression of Americans as generous and friendly hosts, and can lead to establishing meaningful long-term relationships between volunteers and visitors.
Subject Matter Experts host visitors in their work places. In the past, Subject Matter Experts have included and eclectic array of professionals including senior executives, community organizers and activists, people involved in the arts, academics, law, city services, religious leadership, the media, the airline industry- people from every walk of life in our area. Volunteers have one thing in common: a profound interest in meeting with visitors and diplomatically demonstrating their expertise of a specific topic.
Cultural Ambassadors entertain visitors. They give informal city tours, go to our museums, hang out in the Old Port until 2am, eat sushi with the visitors, and accompany visitors on cultural
outings. Fluent Foreign Language Speakers and photographers are particularly sought after for this role.
Assistant Program Directors collaborate with our Program Director to design and implement a delegation's itinerary end-to-end. This role requires experience experience with visitors, training, and some weekday work. Volunteers use their resourcefulness and personal networking skills to arrange meetings with decision-makers at relevant organizations in town. Ideal volunteers for this job are friendly, Portland-savvy go-getters who know people in all walks of life or they are willing to find them. Ideally, if you're interested in taking on this role, you will be willing to invest several hours per month to volunteer on multiple visits, thereby learning the ropes from experienced Programmer mentors.
Office Volunteers and Interns help the IVP with ongoing projects to capture our historical record, maintain a thriving volunteer corps, and research resources for entry into our database.
Drivers & Transportation Coordinators transport visitors to and from appointments and support their airport logistics. They provide useful advice and directions for driving efficiently around the Portland area.
Foreign Language Speakers provide welcome relief for visitors who are unaccustomed to interacting in English all day long.
Database Developers & Tech Support volunteers help provide process efficiency in the office by keeping in touch with our resources and adding or maintaining records in our nationally linked and Maine IVP database. Tech support helps with our webpage and future web-based collaboration applications.
Anyone wishing to get involved in the IVP program or wanting more information, should contact:
Maureen Hurley Director, International Visitor Program