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.

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 - 1st and 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
Contacts: Kris Day (703) 645-0122

French - 4th Tuesdays
Roxanna van der Mensbrugghe (301) 299-3675