Call for Applications

What is the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange (WCTE)?

WCTE is a unique opportunity for leaders in Germany and the U.S. to share promising approaches to welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into their communities. Participants will learn important new skills around issues such as community engagement, refugee outreach, positive communications, local policy development, evaluation, and many other areas critical for creating a welcoming community where all members can thrive. The program aims to build the capacity of local integration practitioners and, through them, strengthen the welcoming infrastructure of the communities in which they work. The program is administered by Cultural Vistas, Welcoming America, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America.

Each year, the program brings together 25 Germans and 16 Americans for site visits, workshops, and the creation of local action plans to improve the integration processes in their communities. The program consists of in-person exchanges and online interactions, with the goals of:

1. Collectively finding innovative solutions to the challenges of unexpected influxes of migrants to communities in the U.S. and Germany

2. Creating and strengthening the "welcoming infrastructures" in these communities

3. Creating a sustainable network of integration practitioners in the U.S. and Germany who can learn from and offer support to one another


Application Deadline: December 1, 2016 (Midnight, U.S. Eastern Time)

2017 tentative program dates are:

April 29 – May 9, 2017: German participants visit the U.S.
Nov 3 – Nov 13, 2017: U.S. participants visit Germany
Nov 11 – 13, 2017: Final program meeting in Berlin (all participants)
Nov – Dec, 2017: Impact work and multiplier events in communities

Who is Eligible?

The program seeks the participation of "teams" of integration practitioners from a common community, who will be able to work together to improve the integration processes at various levels of their community following the exchange. Teams should include representatives from different parts of the local welcoming “infrastructure,” such as city government, refugee resettlement agencies, local schools or universities, immigrant organizations, faith communities, etc. Diverse, gender-balanced teams are strongly encouraged.

A total of 4 teams from the U.S. and 5 teams from Germany will be selected to participate in the 2016 program, representing 9 communities total.

  • From Germany: 5 communities of 5 participants each = 25 participants per year
  • From the U.S.: 4 communities of 4 participants each = 16 participants per year

To strengthen their application, each candidate may, at their own discretion, include a letter of support from their organization as part of the online application. Applications will be reviewed, and acceptance decisions will be made by a selection committee representing Cultural Vistas, Welcoming America, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America.

Please note that the language of the exchange will be English, and that all participants must be able to communicate in and understand spoken and written English.

More Information and How to Apply:

For more information about the program, click here.

For general questions on the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange or the application process, please contact