For Diplomats

International Cultural Exchanges

Cultural exchange groups meet once or twice per month at the homes of diplomats and volunteers. These groups are free of charge. In the event of inclement weather, these cultural exchange groups will be cancelled if the school districts in which the meeting is being hosted, cancel school.

Book Discussion: This group meets on the last Friday of every month from 10:00am-12:00pm to discuss international literature. Volunteers host and lead discussions. Contacts: Alison Kerr (703) 465-8440; Marilyn Horwood (703) 620-9373   

Bridge: This group plays contract bridge in the informal setting of volunteers’ homes every Monday from 10:00am-2:00pm. A fundamental understanding of bridge is required to participate. Contacts: Denise Taylor (703) 533-2162; Juliana Madan (703) 560-6578

Home Hospitality: Diplomats may request to be hosted by volunteers in their homes to share a family dinner, weekend brunch, afternoon picnic, barbeque, or holiday celebration. Contact: Lashley Wolf (703) 521-4846

Hiking: This group meets bi-monthly for 5-9 mile hikes around the D.C. area. Contact: Denise Taylor (702) 533-2162


Geographic Cultural Exchange Groups: These meetings are hosted by volunteers and provide an informal setting in which to discuss topics of mutual interest. Current meeting times are:

Washington, DC - 1st and 3rd Wednesday mornings
Contact: Nancy Regan (202) 450-1582

Bethesda/Chevy Chase, MD - 1st and 3rd Tuesday mornings
Contacts: Lynda Slayen (301) 229-6605
Sarah Moss (301) 520-0504

Potomac - 2nd and 4th Thursday mornings
Contacts: Nancy Coyle (301) 404-5996

Arlington, VA THIS/AAUW - 2nd Wednesday mornings
Contacts: Karen Bopp (703) 354-1337
Alicja Terzian (617) 899-2867

Northern Virginia - 1st and 3rd Wednesday mornings
Contacts: Seyoung Thomas (703) 534-2772
Mary Orban (703) 541-3234

Culture-Specific Exchange Groups: Individuals meet informally to polish language skills and to explore cultures. The African, Arabic, and Japanese groups showcase cultures and are conducted in English. The groups identified by asterisks (*) are conducted in the referenced language. Current meeting times are:

African - 4th Fridays
Contact: Toyin Rose (301) 767-1718
Rita Kopin (301) 530-2344

Arabic - 4th Monday
Contact: Abeba Telahun (703) 957-3585

German - 2nd Friday
Contacts: Johanna Nutter (703) 281-7177
Tina Bailem (301) 638-7088

Italian - 3rd Friday mornings
Contacts: Maria Grazia Stephanz (301) 530-9603
Elena Rocchio (703) 379-0397

Japanese - 2nd Friday morning
Contacts: Sheila Platoff (202) 244-9230
Gail Roache (301) 840-6291
Naomi Freeman (301) 654-5903

Spanish - 1st and 3rd Monday mornings
Contacts: Elena Olson (202) 333-3948
Nan Coughlin (202) 413-7606

Chinese - 2nd Sunday mornings
Contact: Kris Day (703) 645-0122

French - 2nd Mondays
Contacts: Roxanna van der Mensbrugghe (301) 299-3675
Kately Demougeot (301) 728-9209