Connecting Philadelphia to the world.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a non-partisan, international affairs nonprofit with 75 years of expertise in connecting Philadelphia to the world. Through authentic people-to-people diplomacy and exchange of ideas, the Council advances Philadelphia’s understanding of the world by creating the next generation of global citizens and furthering Philadelphia’s position as an international hub for business, education, culture, and sub-national diplomacy. The Council curates speaker programs, professional development, youth education, and public diplomacy. The Council hosts international exchange visitors and travels the world reaching more than 125 countries annually.

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 3,000 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.

Featured Trip

October 06-19

Tanzania Adventure: Serengeti to Zanzibar

From the depths of Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti plains; off-the-beaten-path Tarangire to exotic Zanzibar, our small group encounters the breadth of tranquil Tanzania’s riches: abundant wildlife, exquisite landscapes, and diverse cultures.

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May 21-30

Ireland & Northern Ireland: Circumnavigate the Emerald Isle

Circle the shores of the Emerald Isle on a captivating journey brimming with resplendent beauty, proud traditions, and a warm, welcoming ambience that radiates along the lanes of small towns and buzzing cities alike. Destinations include County Cork, Dingle, the Aran Islands, Skellig Michael, and the Giant's Causeway.

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October 03-11

Flavors of Tuscany

Embrace the bewitching enchantment, bucolic ambiance, and charismatic culture of Tuscany. Meander through Tuscany’s colorful cities, cypress-studded hilltop towns, classic cucinas, and idyllic vineyards during this small-group journey. Explore the Italian countryside that provides endless inspiration for artists, chefs, and vintners alike.

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August 11-26

Journey to Southern Africa

From lively Cape Town to incredible safaris, Victoria Falls to an elegant Rovos Rail journey, discover the magic of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana!

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April 28-03

Inside Washington

Our Inside Washington tour is an in-depth, exclusive look into the behind-the-scenes world of international politics, foreign affairs, and diplomacy in the bustling city of Washington, D.C. We procure the most knowledgeable speakers on a wide variety of international affairs topics and find the most interesting venues to ensure that when the tour is completed you will be a more informed global citizen.

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Education Programs

  1. 09 12

    High School Membership

    A High School Membership confers access to all World Affairs Council Education programs!

  2. 04 18

    Citizen Diplomat Academy

    Citizen Diplomat Academy is a free, direct enrollment virtual high school exchange program open to students (ages...

March 22 2024

Global Economic Forum

The Global Economic Forum (GEF) is a high school simulation program focused on the creation, presentation, and marketing of policy solutions to pressing issues facing the global community. In school-based groups, students compete with their peers for fictitious funding from the World Bank. Students create policy proposals prior to attending the program and present these solutions to a panel of judges who ultimately award the fictitious funding to the best policy solution paired with the strongest presentation from student delegates.

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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