Open World

GCIV is always seeking volunteer home-stay hosts for an Open World delegations.

This is a great opportunity to get to know emerging world leaders on extended visits to Georgia and show them how citizens like you live, work and play.

Hosts are asked to provide a private bedroom, drop off on weekdays at a central meeting location by 9:30 a.m. and some meals. Hosts are invited, but not required, to participate in some cultural activities. If you are interested in being a volunteer host or would like more information please contact Irene Bailey at irene@gciv.org or 404-832-5560 x 13.

Since its founding by Congress in 1999, the Open World Program has enabled more than 17,000 current and future Eurasian leaders to experience American democracy, civil society and community life; work with their American counterparts; stay in American homes; and gain new ideas and inspiration for implementing change back home. Some 6,500 American host families and their communities in all 50 states have partnered with the U.S. Congress and Open World to make this ambitious public diplomacy effort possible.

The program’s short but high-intensity exchanges emphasize hands-on practical activities—such as workshops, job shadowing, and site visits—related to the delegates’ professional or community work. Other key features of Open World are its large size, competitive selection process, emphasis on young regional and local leaders, homestays, lack of an English-language requirement, and focus on fostering mutual learning, partnerships and long-term results.

Open World currently operates exchanges for participants from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.

Open World’s goals are to build mutual understanding between the United States and participating countries, to create a network of emerging Eurasian leaders dedicated to effecting positive change in their home countries, and to connect these leaders with their American professional colleagues and hosts who are interested in post-visit cooperation and collaboration that will generate concrete results.

Delegates come from all levels of government, NGOs, the media, and the private sector. Past participants include members of parliament and local legislators; Supreme Court justices and justices of the peace; senior civil servants and young NGO activists; and election committee officials and political party organizers, to provide just a few examples.

In addition to targeting decision makers and opinion leaders—especially those at the regional and local levels—Open World recruits delegates who are relatively young (the average age is 38), and politically, ethnically, and geographically diverse. Women have made up 51 percent of Open World delegates over the life of the program.

Contact Irene Bailey to be added to the pool of home-stay hosts for these delegations.