Connecting Philadelphia to the world.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a non-partisan, international affairs experience provider with more than 70 years of expertise in connecting Philadelphia to the world. The Council serves as the region’s premier platform for influential figures shaping policy today, helping the community evolve their perspectives through respectful conversation. To further the region’s understanding of foreign affairs, the Council offers educational experiences, in-school curriculum enhancements, programming, and professional development training focused on cultural diplomacy and global fluency beginning with students in middle school and extending offerings through adulthood. The Council’s flagship travel program also leads international tours to all seven continents where travelers receive in-depth cultural, historical, and political experiences.

Get involved with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

Join the Council in our mission of bringing global affairs education to Philadelphians of all ages

Join the Council

Become a member to provide year-long support of global affairs education for the youth of Philadelphia. Show your support as one of Philadelphia's premier global citizens and join a wide and diverse community of globally-minded Philadelphians.

Gain access to world affairs

Engage with world leaders, policy shapers, and experts on the most important global issues of our time. Go beyond the headlines to hear directly from these speakers at more than 25 events each year.

Support more than 2,500 Philadelphia students

95% of the world’s population and 85% of global economic growth is outside of the United States. 14% of Philadelphians are foreign-born. Help the Council to prepare Philadelphia’s youth – the next generation of political, cultural, and economic leaders – for success in an increasingly international workforce.

2023 Travel Brochure

Featured Trip

May 17-25

The Charm of the Amalfi Coast

Italy’s Amalfi Coast will dazzle you with its unending splendors. Enjoy seven nights in Sorrento and explore seaside villages, including Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano! Unravel history in Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum, visit a rural farm and experience vibrant Naples! Plus, tuck into delicious local dishes and engage with the region’s welcoming locals. Your Italian daydreams come to life on this handcrafted, small-group journey! This program features first-class accommodations and an extensive meal plan.

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February 10-24

Egypt & the Eternal Nile

Accompanied by an expert Egyptian guide, this exceptional 15-day small group journey reveals antiquity’s treasures in Cairo, followed by a Lake Nasser cruise and a classic Nile voyage from Aswan to Luxor, before returning to Cairo. Discover fabled Petra, ancient Jerash, and Amman with an optional 5-day/4-night post-tour Jordan extension.

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February 12-19

Costa Rica & the Panama Canal

Go by expedition ship for a unique 2-day Canal transit and rare opportunities to explore deep in the jungle. Journey through the intricate locks of the Panama Canal for an up-close view, plus enjoy special access to Corcovado National Park, and visit with inspiring families living in remote communities on the Osa Peninsula.

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March 05-10

Great Trains & Grand Canyons

Experience the scenery of Grand Canyon National Park & the red rocks of Sedona, the Native American history at the Montezuma Castle National Monument, the Old West nostalgia of Two Train Rides & 5 Nights at a picturesque property in Sedona, Arizona, known for its jeep rides, artist galleries and breathtaking red rock scenery.

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April 02-13

Cruising the Elbe River

The Elbe River has long been an important delineator of east and west in Europe. Linking two of the most fascinating capital cities—Prague and Berlin—it traverses a land filled with captivating treasures, including cosmopolitan cities and picturesque towns, terraced vineyards and lush orchards, fortress-crowned crags, and the spectacular gorges of “Saxon Switzerland.”

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May 14-19

Inside Washington

Our hallmark program! 5-night schedule of inside the beltway small-group briefings and cultural highlights. Keynote speakers include ANGELA STENT, DEREK SCISSORS, and MICHAEL MANDELBAUM. Stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel, dinner at the exclusive Cosmos Club, and much more!

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Education Programs

  1. 07 11

    Summer Global Leadership Seminar

    The Summer Global Leadership Seminar is a week-long summer institute open to all rising high school freshman,...

  2. 06 27

    United Nations Summer Camp

    The United Nations Summer Camp: Sustainable Development Goals in Action, is a weeklong summer camp for middle school...

September 02 2022

High School Membership

A High School Membership confers access to all World Affairs Council Education programs! Registration is now open!

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The Council in the News

Bodine students don’t just study other cultures; they live them | The Philadelphia Tribune

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Bodine High School for International Affairs celebrates 40 years | The Philadelphia Tribune

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U.S. policy in Middle East pushes action without strategy | Opinion

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  • It was a terrific week with many excellent speakers. I think it was the best IDC I’ve attended and I’ve been going since 2010. Thanks for putting together such a great week. Everything appeared to go off without a hitch, at least from the attendees' point of view. The clouds even parted and the rain stopped when the group arrived at the Taipei representatives office... I look forward to next year.

    Bill Korstad

    "Inside Washington, DC" traveler
  • On behalf of Bishop Shanahan High School's World Affairs Club students and myself, I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you provided us [to attend an event with Secretary Janet Napolitano]. As always the event was amazing. The chatter in the van on the drive home sealed the testimony--tiny screens and texts were no match for the impact of Madame Secretary Janet Napolitano on teens (and their teacher).

    Joan Hayes

    English Department and World Affairs Club Moderator at Bishop Shanahan High School
  • "[The Whole Truth is]…a refreshingly thoughtful look at the challenges facing our country and the world. No shouting, no talking over each other; just respectful debate and discussion.”

    The Exeter Bulletin

  • “When traveling abroad, we like to get the real ‘feel’ of the country through sight, sounds & smells. This trip accomplished all spades! History, architecture, political atmosphere, social situations and seeing the standard of living up close and personal. The music and spirit of the people can only truly be appreciated by being in the country. Many thanks for a wonderful experience!”

    Suzanne Simpson, CT

  • “[The Whole Truth brings the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia’s] lecture and discussion series, considered to be a jewel on the political and diplomatic circuit, to a wider audience, one that did not have to be present in a Philadelphia auditorium to partake or participate in often probing debates.”

    Delaware County Daily Times

  • “This tour was wonderful! Our Cuban guide was one of the best! She knew a lot of history as well as current issues.”

    Dianna Jabis, NY

  • “The Game Drives were the highlight of this trip. Seeing the large animals in their natural habitats was just spectacular!”

    Barbara Weiss, CA

Winner of Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly 2019 - Speaker Series