A volunteer-based citizen diplomacy organization, Colleagues International enriches local community with global diversity in Kalamazoo, one relationship at a time. We are committed to making Kalamazoo a more globally engaged community, in all of its diversity, drawing strength from international exchange, while enriching the professional, cultural and personal lives of visitors from around the world.


 

Since our start in 1971, thousands of international visitors representing more than 100 countries have come to Kalamazoo. Opportunities offered by Colleagues include professional exchange, internships, job-shadowing, and seminars. Each training program is tailored to the specific professional interests and needs of both the exchange visitor and the local hosting organization or business.

Visitors are offered home stays and many forms of hospitality: a personal experience in American ways of life. Transportation is provided by staff and volunteers for short-term visitors. Long-term visitors receive a metro transit orientation and a monthly bus pass. Many lasting friendships are forged.

Colleagues International is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. As a member for the Global Ties U.S. network, in the past two years, Colleagues has hosted more than 200 emerging and established international leaders in Kalamazoo through the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Through our affiliation with the Council of International Programs, USA, we offer J-1 Visa training programs for professional development in many fields, especially in social service fields. We have been hosting social workers in long term exchange since 1971. Since 2002 we have hosted small groups from countries of the former Soviet Union through the Open World Leadership Center, the first and only international exchange agency in the U.S. Legislative Branch.

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