Meet The Center: Rebecca VanVliet

First things first: tell us a little about your background.  I’m a Hoosier transplant – originally from Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus and the home of Wendy’s, giant concrete corn, and the largest three-day Irish festival in the world. I moved to Indy a few years ago to attend Butler University to study marketing. I loved Indy too much to leave after graduation, and so now I live in Irvington with over a dozen houseplants at various levels of life.  What drew you to your role at The International Center? I started with The Center as the spring

Meet The Center: Leslie Grishin

First things first: tell us a little about your background.  Originally from Indianapolis, the travel bug bit early and I’ve always enjoyed learning about different countries, cultures, and languages. Spending my senior year of high school as a Rotary Exchange Student in Germany helped to set my future professional direction and solidified my love of travel. Later, I spent time teaching ESL in Japan before coming back to Indiana for graduate school. Most of my professional background was spent in International Higher Education, but I’m quite excited to now shift gears and join The International Center as the International

Meet The Center: Audrey Hughey

First things first: tell us a little about your background.  I’m a local girl. My degree is in Geography…who lives where and why. I got my passport before my driver’s license. I prefer my Geography without an itinerary, round trip tickets, guidebook, map, phone, apps, watch, camera, etc. Just go, Be. You never know what the tide might bring in. This is how I came to drive a train in Paris, catch a Muskie in Canada, hear Oscar Peterson play “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the Montreux Jazz Festival, romp in an open field with a tiger cub

Meet The Center: Sandra Pfister

First things first: tell us a little about your background.  Was born in Germany. Hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Psychology. Lived and worked in Germany, USA, Australia and France. What drew you to your role at The International Center? I liked what the IC does and in particular the role in Relocations as having moved and lived overseas myself, I can relate. What is your favorite aspect of your role? I like to arrange/organize and help people who come from overseas settle in Indiana. If you have traveled or lived abroad, which location was the most impactful on

Indianapolis Sister Cities: Onitsha, Nigeria

Explore Onitsha, Indianapolis' newest Sister City relationship!

Meet The Center: Peter Kirkwood

First things first: tell us a little about your background.  I was born and raised on the intracoastal waterways and sea islands of South Carolina. As a military dependent, I had the opportunity to visit many parts of the U.S. and ultimately attended high school in Okinawa, Japan. After finishing up high school back in the states, I attended Ball State University (Chirp Chirp!) in East Central Indiana, where my father hails from, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins still live. At BSU, I studied Japanese, Anthropology, and Linguistics which prepared me for my next endeavor of teaching English

Alecia Kissel—International Explorer, Hoosier Host

Home hospitality host Alecia Kissel’s nephew responded to every child’s favorite question to receive— “What do you want to be when you grow up?” —with an answer Kissel loved to hear: “An explorer like you!” Kissel has her own collection of travels, from Spain to Thailand, but she expands her international explorations by acting as a home hospitality host for The International Center. As a home hospitality volunteer, she hosts international visitors that are in Indianapolis as part of professional development programs coordinated by the United States Department of State, national program agencies and local organizations, including The International

Indianapolis Sister Cities: Taipei, Taiwan

BLOG: Explore Taipei, the first of Indianapolis' nine sister cities!


Americans’ relationship with their flag is a special and patriotic one- so much so that they’ve devoted a day to celebrate the Stars and Stripes and the impact that it has made on flag displays in the U.S. In commemoration of the American Flag adoption in 1777, Flag Day is celebrated annually on June 14. While it’s not recognized as a federal holiday, many states have incorporated parades and ceremonial raisings into their observance of Flag Day. Twenty-six variations of the flag have flown since the first flag was adopted, and the 50-star flag that Americans know and love today

Autobahns and Bicycles: Bike to Work Day

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to give biking a try. But wait: Why do we need to encourage folks to ride their bike? In my native Germany, people are bicycle-friendly. I remember riding my bike to school every day. Many ride bicycles from barely out of diapers to well into their 80s. Seeing people on their way to-and-from school or work with a bicycle is a