West Virginia Council of International Programs
West Virginia University
Room 331, Stansbury Hall
Morgantown, WV 26506
President: Amanda Fillipelli
West Virginia Council of International Programs (WVCIP) is a non-profit organization run by a 22 member volunteer Board of Directors who reach out to international mid-career professionals and groups to foster professional development, training, and career opportunities. WVCIP offers cross-cultural and multidisciplinary benefits; maintains an active roster of 32 volunteer families (in a data base of 150 families), who open homes to various host international professionals. For 44 years, WVCIP holds unique track record in international development; the non-profit organization has placed 83 international professionals in 61 different agencies since 2002; will place up to 8 professionals in 2015 and, notably, assist about 20% of the participants to return and complete a Masters or PhD degree.
With the assistance of West Virginia University, the WVCIP has become a regional leader in promoting international advancement and inter-cultural experiences. The participants apply to gain new knowledge, add to their experience, and develop skills for the benefit of organizations in their home countries. Members and friends of WVCIP recognize that friendship and understanding are created through cross-cultural experiences. To achieve this goal, the WVCIP provides personalized opportunities for professionals, integration into community and campus life, and interactions with local citizens to experience other cultures.
Types of Programs Offered:
Agency placements for international mid-career professionals in the community and on a university campus.
Hosting agencies include social work, engineering (various), nursing and health sciences, agriculture, intensive English, business, community schools, education, non-profit NGOs, and others.
Highlights from Recent Programs:
The WVCIP international professionals have completed multiple community tasks: they have led free community health events, articulated environmental issues and described women's issues in their countries (multiple years), and made presentations at professional conferences (2010, 2012). The activities reached audiences on campus and in the community. Examples: a powerful presentation by a Rwandan women for WVU's Diversity Week (2012) regarding African tribal politics; a participant from Nigeria (2014) took part in the Goodwill City Ambassadors program to welcome visitors to the WVU-Texas Christian University football game. A China doctor presented traditional Chinese medicine to multiple local audiences (2006); a German physical education teacher assisted WV adventure programs (2005). The events have been aired on local Morgantown WV TV stations and ESPN Game Days, while the local Dominion Post, has featured many articles.
Also, WVCIP participants have organized International Festivals (2013-2014) at The SHACK a social outreach located in a poorer area of our county, and participated in the university's annual International Festival during for many years since 2005, with the aim to expand cultural awareness locally. Host families and the CIP Board have combined off and on since 2002, to help participants attend religious services (if they ask) and experience different faith communities; invite them to county fairs, local historical sites, and U.S. celebrations. During orientation ever year, the newly arrived professionals learn of local services and tips on topics such as dealing with safety, handling health issues, overcoming cultural shock.