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The International Center of Syracuse (ICS), founded in 1965, is an independent, community-sponsored, not-for-profit organization.

The idea for the Center began after a 1963 study documented the large numbers of international visitors that came to the CNY area annually in addition to resident international students. The ICS soon found that its services were both necessary for visitors and welcomed by the community. A Board of Directors was formed, and over 100 volunteers became involved in carrying out the work of the Center. Many corporate sponsors added their support to the program.

The International Center of Syracuse has served our community, its international visitors, and students for more than 43 years. Leaders and prominent citizens from virtually every nation participate in the visitors program sponsored by the United States Information Agency (USIA).

USIA program officers and the “sending agencies” in Washington, D.C. offer international visitors a choice of resources and cities to tour. Those who choose to visit Syracuse are referred to the ICS. The ICS coordinates the visitor’s travel and lodging plans, enlists volunteers to provide pick-up and escort services, and establishes a program in the visitor’s field of interest. A visitor’s program often includes a home stay or dinner with an ICS member or host family, meetings with professional counterparts, and interaction with many facets of our community. If you have international guests, whether here for business or pleasure, the ICS programming services are also available to you.


The International Center of Syracuse, along with 104 other centers in the US., is a member of the Global Ties U.S., formerly COSERV and then NCIV (National Council for International Visitors).  COSERV was formed to assist the US State Department and implement a 1961 Congressional law which incorporated into US foreign policy an Educational and Cultural Exchange Program between the people of the US and the people of other countries, and it became NCIV in 1961.

The purpose of the Global Ties U.S. is to develop and coordinate services for visitors in the US on short-term observational visits, international exchanges and training programs. Centers such as the ICS arrange for visitors from around the world to meet Americans in their homes and places of work, to exchange ideas, traditions, customs, etc., all on a voluntary basis.

The International Center of Syracuse serves the community by introducing international visitors to many different aspects of life in our area, including educational, cultural, social and business opportunities.

International visitors are not just unconcerned visitors. They are from a particular country where they are actively engaged in a meaningful and important occupation, and they come here to observe and gather information about their field. They are usually people of authority in their own communities; they take what they see and learn from our community back to their countries. They also make contacts in our area which often lead to long-term relationships, both personal and professional.