Sept 23 - 26: Foreign Policy and National Security

A Visitor from Belgium

Austin will welcome a visitor from Belgium to discuss foreign policy issues of concern to Europe and the United States, including transatlantic relations, the changing roles of international organizations such as NATO and the United Nations, counterterrorism and security, and global trade trends that frame positions in U.S. foreign policy. The visitor will also explore the range of policy views in the public and private sectors and the various players in U.S. foreign policy formulation. These Visitors are Available for Home Hospitality


Sept 24 - 28: Volunteerism in the U.S

A Project for Thailand

Austin will welcome two visitors from Thailand. While in the United States, they will examine the impact of volunteerism in U.S. communities and how volunteers are inspired to help foster a culture of service, civic involvement, and responsibility. They will look at best practices in recruitment, retention, recognition, and management of volunteers and will understand the various types, functions, and motivations of volunteers as based on background, age, objectives, and beliefs. They will have an opportunity to better understand the growth of social entrepreneurship and learn about and exchange experiences on best practices for the mobilization and management of volunteers by government and non-government sectors. They will participate in the culture of social and civic responsibility in the U.S. and its intersections with new social media outlets. These visitors are available for hosting.


Sept 25- 29: Egypt: Energy Efficiency Development

A Project for Egypt

Seven visitors from Egypt will be visiting Austin to explore the diverse methods of energy efficiency in buildings, industry, agriculture, and transportation. During their visit, they will identify policy measures and technological options for energy conservation and efficiency. They will also examine best practices in energy efficiency. These Visitors are Available for Home Hospitality


Sept 28 - 29: E-Government: Developing Technology Architecture and Solutions to Improve Government Responsiveness and Transparency

A Project for Colombia

Developing Technology Architecture and Solutions to Improve Government Responsiveness and Transparency


Oct 5 - 6: India Climate Change and Environmental Pollution Controls

A Project for India

Seven visitors from India will be analyzing environmental/energy models employed in the public and private sectors. They will look at U.S. approaches and experience on energy modeling, data management and analysis. The latest technological and innovations in mitigating harmful environmental externalities through the implementation of green building and clean energy sources will be showcased. The synergies between environmental conservation/protection and economic development will be demonstrated and policy planning and initiatives regarding environmental policy at the federal, state, and local levels will be explored. These visitors are available for home hospitality.


Oct 5: Working for the Underserved

A Project for Romania

These visitors will examine programs that address poverty in multi-ethnic communities. They will have an opportunity to observe the integration and empowerment of migrant populations from impoverished regions and conflict zones including immigrant integration policy-making and challenging racism and negative attitudes towards migrants and discriminated ethnic groups. They will observe efforts to combat discrimination against minority and immigrant populations and best practices to promote their inclusion in society. Programs that include youth as participants in decision-making and in drafting policies that affect them as a tool to promote social inclusion will be explored. Examples of efforts to engage women in politics and public life, particularly women from economically disadvantaged communities will be studied. They will look at innovative mechanisms and policies that promote the inclusion of children and youth from economically disadvantaged communities.


Oct 8 - 9: Current US Political Trends

A Project for Germany

Six visitors from Germany will explore current U.S. domestic and foreign policy issues of concern, including economic development, environmental and energy issues, immigration, and diversity. They will be introduced to the U.S. system of government and political processes at the federal, state, and local levels of government and will have an opportunity to examine current trends in the U.S. election process, including political strategies, campaign financing, grassroots activism, and the use of new media. They will consider transatlantic relations and mutual understanding.


Oct 14 - 17: Grassroots Democracy and Citizen Activism

A Project for Venezuela

Austin welcomes six visitors from Venezuela who will be examining the critical role of citizen participation in the democratic process. The visitors will explore how citizen groups, communities, and political organizations, candidates, and election officials prepare and organize the elections at the national, state, and local levels. By observing the interplay amongst interest groups, local communities, and the media they will gain insight into the ways they influence the public agenda. The involvement of youth in political campaigning, organizing, advocacy, volunteering, and other types of political and civic activities will be examined as well as the use of the Internet and social media as tools for political and social mobilization amongst youth. Experiences during their program will deepen the participants’ understanding of democracy as defined and practiced in the United States and of citizens’ participation in their own governance. These Visitors are Available for Home Hospitality

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