This Month's International Focus News

November 2015
Visitors and members sharing stories and

engaging on the topic of international trade

and exchange
Recap: Citizen Diplomacy Series
In October, delegates from the International Visitor Leadership Program from across East Asia and the Pacific spoke with members of International Focus during the monthly Citizen Diplomacy series. The group, consisting of representatives from Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, and Thailand had come to the Research Triangle as part of a program dealing with negotiations around the Trans Pacific Partnership- looking at how international trade is dealt with on the state level and the impact this trade has on the North Carolinian economy. The group consisted of trade lawyers, trade officers, and journalists covering the trade agreement.

A moving moment at NC General Assembly
Program of the Month: IVLP -Young Leaders from the    

East Asia and Pacific Region

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade deal that encompasses much of the Asian-Pacific Region as well as the United States to work to bring down the trading barriers that exist amongst these countries. Late September brought in a diverse group of professionals that all specialized in this particular trade agreement. With the deal having such an impact on various industries, the North Carolina leg of the IVLP visit was as diverse as the participants. 


A journalist from Morocco during a professional session enquiring about politics and media in NC
International Focus celebrating the kickoff of the 10th Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists  

The Edward R. Murrow initiative is a program developed by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of its Intentional Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP).
In North Carolina, with the partnership of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Media and Journalism & International Focus, the participants took part in professional seminars and field activities with administrators, faculty, and students. Visitors explored the rights and responsibilities of a free press and observed media coverage of government, politics and foreign affairs. 
The IVLP Murrow journalists enjoyed a visit to UNC_s famous Keenan Stadium during their program at UNC_s School of Media and Journalism

Several opportunities were provided during the national program to experience American civic life and grassroots involvement.In Chapel Hill, NC visitors were hosted by American families through home hospitality.All these unique moments exposed the delegates not only to American life style and culture, but also the ways in which American citizens engage and contribute to their communities.

Zach (UNC alumnus), Mary (NCSU alumna), and Greg (Elon alumnus), are still making International Focus proud at Meridian (and looking good doing it)
Snapshot from IF's smart and fabulous past interns!

Former International Focus interns Zach Adams, Mary Sauerborn and Greg Sutton strike a pose before heading to the annual Meridian Ball in Washington, DC. After completing their internships in Raleigh in 2014-2015, all three have continued their work with the IVLP program in the Professional Exchange Division at the Meridian International Center.


Upcoming Delegations

November 5-11
"100,000 Stronger Initiative"
Western Hemisphere
Home Hospitality: CONFIRMED
November 11-14
"International Trade"
NEA Region
Home Hospitality: Not requested
November 11-17
"Entrepreneurship and Social Change"
Home Hospitality: CONFIRMED
November 15-18
"Thai Assembly: Introduction to U.S. Presidential Elections Preparations Exchange"
Hotel: Raleigh
Home Hospitality: NEEDED in Raleigh OR Chapel Hill OR Durham (Sunday, November 15 for lunch or dinner.
December 5-10
"How Legislators Can Fight Corruption and Boost Transparency"
South Asia
Hotel: Raleigh
Home Hospitality: CONFIRMED

**If you are interested in Home Hospitality, a Homestay, or volunteering with any of International Focus's programs, please contact the IF Office at (919) 782-0552

Save the Dates for Upcoming Events:
 "Coffee & Conversation" with Emerging Foreign Leaders
When: Friday, November 13 from 8:00am to 9:00am
Please join us for a unique opportunity to interact with visiting international delegations!
International Focus, Inc. is delighted to open this new to help create ties between Raleigh and the rest of the world. For more information about upcoming event, contact
"Citizen Diplomacy Series"
Theme: "Working in Global Health and Development in the Era of the Sustainable Development Goals"
When: Tuesday, November 24 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm
The Citizen Diplomacy Series draws together thirty to forty attendees (IF members and special guests of working professionals, retired international affairs leaders, and graduate students) to engage with local leaders and visiting delegates who are interested in international issues and affairs. For more information about upcoming event, contact
International Focus "Christmas Party"
When: Tuesday, December 8 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
IF longtime friend and talented artist Bob Rankin will open his home and studio for an exclusive showing of his latest artwork to IF members and special guests! For more information about upcoming event, contact
Meanwhile please visit Bob Rankin's page at

Jean Sculati and John Towmey at

Tre Cimi - Three Towers in the Dolomites
IF Members's Corner
"What we did on our Italian Vacation!"

We've been lucky to be able to go to Italy more than once, so this trip we did not have the "must do's" - Rome, Florence, Tuscany, etc. Also, being retired we were free from the constraints of a public education career and could go after Labor Day and enjoy a, if not tourist free, at least a tourist light experience. 

We decided to fly into Milan and wander across northern Italy with a rather loose agenda.  That meant taking the train from Milan to Verona, then Vicenza and while we were there, Venice. Then we would rent a car at the Venice airport and make our way back to Milan through the Dolomites, Lago Garda and Lago Maggorie.  (Note - there was no drop off penalty! It would be nice to be able do this in the USA!)  READ MORE
A glass furnace in Murano (Venice)

Visitors with Mr. Kekas
Colombian Rectors Visit Triangle, learn about STEM in RTP

In October, a delegation of rectors and deans of academics from Columbia visited our area to experience North Carolina's world renowned research universities under the program "Innovation in Higher Education: Linking U.S. and Colombian Universities" sponsored by the U.S Embassy in Bogota. The goal was to learn about best STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education practices and how North Carolina universities were pioneering new ways to engage students.


Join and become a member of International Focus
Please consider becoming a member of International Focus today; with IF membership you will always be invited to exclusive member events and programs throughout the year.
IF membership offers a constructive global engagement and multiple occasions where you meet and experience peer-to-peer exchange with visitors from around the world; you will be considered for home hospitality and homestay as more international groups and individuals come to explore global affairs. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your consideration!
International Focus Team

For more information about the International Festival or International Focus of NC visit us at 

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