CIF-USA
Council of International Fellowship-United States of America

What to expect when living with a host family
by Louise Anderson
Louise joined CIF in 1986 and has served in many capacities for the program. She is currently vice-president of CIF-USA. She has participated in CIF exchanges to Sweden, India, Tanzania, Turkey, and Nepal, which have all added to her appreciation of the complexities of the world. READ MORE
My experience in the Norway CIF Program
by Sue Bissell
Sue first became involved with CIF in 1990, participating in CIF India that year. She lives in northern Michigan where she enjoys the beautiful outdoors and recreational activities that are offered year-round. She loves to travel and learn about other cultures, so CIF programs have been a great opportunity for her. READ MORE

(These stories were submitted by CIF members. If you would like to submit a story, please contact us.) 

More than a "Tourist Experience"
by Anne K. Cohn, LCSW-C, Psychotherapist

Anne has been practicing clinical social work for more than 40 years. She has a bachelor‘s degree in psychology and sociology, and a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College in New York City. She is currently working as a private practitioner in Brussels.
Her experience includes working as a public school teacher in the Virgin Islands. She also worked for an agency in New York helping foster children, foster parents, and birth parents cope with the impact of domestic violence and neglect. She has assisted, and continues to assist, in the treatment of military veterans and returning soldiers. READ MORE

Cif-usa news

NASW member Barbara Sims traveled to Estonia and Latvia earlier this year to learn about the social work profession there and share information about the role social work plays in the U.S.

Sims heard about the program — offered by the Council of International Fellowship (CIF) —last year when she read an article in the NASW News about international opportunities for practicing social workers. The article included a chart that the NASW International Committee developed, which outlines various programs.

“CIF provided an unforgettable learning experience and challenge to thrive in the midst of a different culture and unfamiliar language,” Sims said. “Connecting with social workers, clients, and regular citizens from other countries was an opportunity to grow personally and professionally ...”

The Baltic countries have been through much trauma in their history of being war-torn, occupied by others and living under communist regime, but Sims said the resilience of the people amazed her.

“I came away from the experience feeling like part of a large family of social workers, participating in a worldwide profession dedicated to peace, tolerance, understanding and support,” she said.

CIF is a worldwide organization founded in 1960 to provide possibilities for in-service training and the exchange of professional experiences in the field of social work and human services. The goal of the organization is to promote international understanding, fellowship and world peace.

To see NASW’s chart called “International Experiences for Practicing Social Workers,” go to: socialworkers.org/nasw/swan/ International_Chart.pdf.

CIF-USA treasurer visits Japan

This article appeared in the November 2016 issue of NASW News.

We are saddened by the news of the passing of our dear CIF-CIP  friend and colleague, Lollie Bailey-Nilsson. Lollie will be remembered by many as a woman who traveled the world, spoke several languages, and lighted the room with her beautiful smile and out going personality. She will be missed greatly.

My experience at the 2015 CIF-Turkey program
by Hiram Ruiz
CIF USA member Hiram Ruiz participated in the 2015 Turkey program, spending three weeks in Ankara and Istanbul. He met and shared great experiences with CIF members and visited a number of social service programs, particularly those serving refugees (Hiram's area of work). READ MORE
My CIF fellowship in The Netherlands
by Stacy Moreno
Stacy has a passion for international and cultural exchange. She holds a master's degree in social work with a specialization in international and community development, and a Spanish minor. She lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her four children. Stacy has studied in Spain, interned in Nova Scotia, and worked in England as a child welfare worker. She is starting her own business, with both local and global aspirations, called Empower International, LLC. She enjoys helping educate others about opportunities to see the world and making a positive impact on others. READ MORE

Professional & cultural exchange program for social workers and youth workers

by Maris Caravaca Ontivero

"It was an unforgettable experience: exotic, simple, beautiful, meaningful, enchanting, enriching, educational, challenging, diverse, and so much more." READ MORE

Goodbye to a dear friend

An unforgettable experience: 2018 PEP participation in Morocco

Spending time with the Hmong people
A poem by Charles Startup
Charles participated in the CIF Sweden/Finland program in 1981. He remained involved in CIF until his passing on October 10, 2015. READ MORE

by Hiram Ruiz

CIF-USA treasurer Hiram Ruiz visited Japan in October 2018. While in Tokyo, he met with the president of CIF Japan, Mr. Masamichi Sakamoto, and his CIF colleague, Mr. Shingo Kajimura Messrs. READ MORE