Democracy demands discourse.

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.

Featured Trip

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.

More Information

July 14-21

Alaska's Glaciers and the Inside Passage

Cruise the Inside Passage from Vancouver to Juneau for seven nights aboard the exclusively chartered, all‑Suite small ship STAR BREEZE. During naturalist-led excursions, enjoy views of Alaska’s scenery and wildlife. Experience unspoiled islands and fjords and historic Gold-Rush-era towns and cities. Vancouver/Victoria Pre- and Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks Post-Program Options.

More Information

July 24-01

Circumnavigating Iceland

Discover the beauty of Iceland on this seven-night circumnavigation aboard the Five‑Star expedition ship LE BELLOT. See crystalline glaciers atop slumbering volcanoes. Cross the Arctic Circle on Grímsey Island, cruise along Surtsey Island, and marvel at dramatic Goðafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods.” A Reykjavík and the Golden Circle Pre-Program Option is also available.

More Information

September 30-14

Legendary Turkey

Exotic sights, scents, and sounds reign in this fascinating land where Europe and Asia meet. From Istanbul, magnificent “Empress of the World,” to ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, and the dramatic Turquoise Coast where you will board a privately chartered yacht for a day cruise, Turkey engages and beguiles, offering us an unparalleled small group experience.

More Information

October 08-16

Island Life Ancient Greece

Join this nine-day Aegean Odyssey from Athens, Greece, aboard the Five-Star LE BOUGAINVILLE. Visit Delos, Mykonos, Pátmos, Rhodes, and Santorini and explore the legendary ruins of Meteora, Mycenae, and Epidaurus. Engage with local residents during the ISLAND LIFE FORUM.

More Information

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...

May 10 2022

Jr. Model United Nations

The Student Diplomat - Jr. Model United Nations Program is a five-month journey (January to May) that introduces over 750 middle school students to international affairs and cultural diplomacy. With an emphasis on developing students’ research, writing, cultural competency, and communication skills, the program helps meet the growing demand for global affairs curricula in local middle schools.

Learn More

The Council in the News

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

click here

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

Click here

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

Click Here

  • 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