The history of our program goes back to the 1950s, when the first international exchange training took place in Ohio. The Council of International Programs USA (CIPUSA) and its affiliates have since then worked to promote intercultural understanding and assist each of its international participants in their educational and professional goals.
The founder of CIPUSA, Dr. Henry B. Ollendorf, initially had a hope to reconnect the U.S. and Germany during the period after the Second World War. He acted upon this desire by hosting 25 Germans in Cleveland, Ohio for four-month youth leadership training. Over time, this program gained popularity and was expanded to provide training for participants from a wide range of locations and in varying professions. To accommodate for this growth, the Council of International Programs was officially created in the 1960s and affiliate offices opened all around the U.S. CIPUSA is what served as the inspiration for the Columbus International Program (CIP).
Dean Richard Medhurst of Ohio State University (OSU) and Dr. Len Schneirderman founded the Columbus International Program in 1970. Mrs. Ruth Schildhouse was appointed to administer the program, which was originally housed at OSU. The program attracted participants from all over the world who sought training in the USA, in a wide range of professional fields. Since that time, CIP became independent of OSU and has hosted over 1,100 professionals from 118 different countries. Placements have been made in over 150 businesses, schools, and agencies throughout Central Ohio. We are the only organization in Central Ohio that provides this support to International Professionals in Residence (IPR).
Another partner organization is the Council of International Fellowship (C.I.F.) - a private, voluntary, non-profit, politically and religiously independent organization founded in 1960 following up the Cleveland International Program - later on Council of International Programs and CIPUSA. Throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, North and South America and Oceania more than 30 countries have established C.I.F. National Branches. Most of them run also C.I.F. Exchange Programs.
During October of 2017, CIP merged with US Together, Inc. (UST) - a mutual assistance, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. US Together coordinates, organizes, and implements services to refugees and immigrants through education, advocacy, support, community building, referrals and networking opportunities. The organization provides a wide array of services and initiatives that help refugees and immigrants integrate into the community. UST interpreting services division is recognized throughout the state of Ohio.
CIP is now operating as the International Program of US Together and hosts professionals from around the globe in an effort to enhance public and cultural diplomacy. The program also offers opportunities for U.S. residents to volunteer abroad. UST shares the CIP value of promoting international understanding through intercultural exchange.
We are now a community partner of CIPUSA which is a United States Department of State authorized J-1 sponsoring organization. Through our partnership we provide numerous opportunities for international professionals to experience high quality training in the USA. To find out more about J-1 Visa programs, click here.