A Day in the Life of an IVLP Intern

By Samy Samandu, IVLP Intern

IVLP. What does that stand for? It stands for International Visitors Leadership Program. The program was introduced by the Department of State to bring emerging leaders from all over the world to the United States to talk to people just like them professionally. These projects take a special kind of planning, diligence, and patience.

IVLP Delegation from Brazil visiting the
Indiana Department of Education

My first set of visitors came from Brazil. As an intern, I submitted my first proposal for events that program participants might do, which was pretty neat and I listened to phone calls confirming different appointments that we set up for our visitors. It is a lot of hard work but it is so fun at the same time. I got to plan cultural activities for our Brazilian visitors. While researching some activities for our visitors, I found some fun ways for our Brazilians to enjoy Indianapolis, like a visit to the International School.

The month of March happens to be a busy month for us. We had our Brazilian visitors, then we were honored to host an International Women of Courage honoree. The interesting part is that we did not know who she was until close to her arrival in Indy. Most of us played a guessing game to figure out who she is. In the end, our International Woman of Courage honoree was an inspiring judge from Guatemala. We planned lots of events for her to see and experience Indianapolis and to celebrate the hard work that she did.

Michelle Obama and Dep. Secretary Higginbottom Honor
Judge Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, IWoC Honoree (center)
Photo courtesy of US State Department

Brazil and the International Women of Courage visits were a huge success. Both sets of visitors were very pleasant and we were honored to have them in our presence. With all of these visitors coming in, there is a lot of preparation and things that need to be done. I am excited and look forward to the rest of our visitors coming to our city of Indianapolis. Being an IVLP intern has its challenges but it has so many benefits.

Soon we will have European journalists who will visit Indianapolis to discuss the US Foreign Policy challenges and then we have Women in Science and Engineering guests coming to experience Indy.