Cultural Exchange

Our Cultural Exchange program hosts young Italian women in New York City and sends Italian American women to Rome, on alternating years, for immersive professional and educational experiences.

During the ten-day visit, the students tour the city and meet with prominent professionals.

In collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), we launched this program in 2007 to enhance relations between the United States and Italy. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the cultural exchange program is offered at no cost to participants.


NOIAW’s Cultural Exchange program is open to female undergraduate students, currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited four-year academic institution. Applicants must be between 19 and 23 years of age and must have at least one ancestor of Italian descent.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States.

All majors will be considered. We give preference to applicants with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and a functional/conversant knowledge of the Italian language.

Application Requirements

Please review the requirements outlined below.

Required materials:

  • One-page essay* (double-spaced): Tell us about you and your family. Describe your interest in the Italian language and culture and why you would like to participate in the Cultural Exchange Program; how you feel that participation in the program would impact your life; and how you feel you could give back after such an experience. Would you be willing to volunteer with NOIAWon future exchange programs if feasible? Would you be willing to be a mentor to another student? Please include any additional information that you feel we need to know about you.
  • Two recommendations: one personal, one academic (each must be submitted in a sealed envelope signed across the opening)
  • $25 non-refundable application fee

Semifinalists will be scheduled for a personal interview.

Selected participants will be required to submit the following to the NOIAW office by May 1, 2016 for completion of the application process:

  • Copy of official college transcript
  • Copy of valid passport with passport number
  • Proof of medical insurance with coverage outside the United States
  • A medical release/letter from participant’s personal physician attesting to health status and ability to travel abroad
  • An electronic passport-style photo for identification purposes

*Personal statements provided to NOIAW are not subject to return and will become the property of NOIAW.


Round trip air transportation to Rome from a designated New York international airport will be provided. Participants will be responsible for transportation to and from designated New York airport. Participants are advised to bring money for incidental personal expenses.

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide accommodations and participants will be required to stay with the group for the entire program. The NOIAW Exchange Program is an educational, enlightening, and cultural experience with a full schedule. Although some free time will be scheduled, participants will be expected to take part in all Cultural Exchange Program events and activities.