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, cultural exchanges will be cancelled if the school district where the meeting is being hosted cancels 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 alisonk1326@gmail.com (703) 465-8440; Marilyn Horwood mghorwood@verizon.net (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 yarnoverboard@verizon.net (703) 533-2162; Juliana Madan julianamadan@gmail.com (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: Kathie Klass KJKlass@aol.com (202) 337-8274

Hiking: This group meets bi-monthly for 5-9 mile hikes around the D.C. area. Contact: Denise Taylor yarnoverboard@verizon.net (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 nancy.anne.regan@gmail.com (202) 450-1582

Bethesda/Chevy Chase, MD - 1st and 3rd Tuesday mornings
Contacts: Lynda Slayen  lyndaslayen@verizon.net (301) 229-6605
Sarah Moss smoss5204@gmail.com (301) 520-0504

Potomac - 2nd and 4th Thursday mornings
Contact: Nancy Coyle nancylcoyle@aol.com (301) 404-5996

Arlington, VA THIS/AAUW - 2nd Wednesday mornings
Contact: Karen Bopp KJBopp@aol.com (703) 354-1337
Alicja Terzian awalisz@hotmail.com (617) 899-2867

Northern Virginia - 1st and 3rd Wednesday mornings
Contacts: Seyoung Thomas ohseyoung2@yahoo.com (703) 534-2772
Mary Orban orbanmm@gmail.com (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
Contacts: Toyin Rose toyinrose@aol.com (301) 767-1718
Rita Kopin kopinr@verizon.net (301) 530-2344

Arabic - 4th Monday
Contact: Abeba Telahun abegeb14@hotmail.com (301) 957-3585

German - 2nd Friday
Contacts: Johanna Nutter johanna2n@verizon.net (703) 281-7177
Tina Bailem nicholas8555@msn.com (301) 638-7088

Italian - 3rd Friday mornings
Contacts: Maria Grazia Stephanz mgstephanz@gmail.com (301) 530-9603
Elena Rocchio emrocchio@juno.com (703) 379-0397

Japanese - 2nd Friday morning
Contacts: Sheila Platoff sjpwashdc@verizon.net (202) 244-9230
Gail Roache gail.roache@gmail.com (301) 840-6291
Naomi Freeman arfnrf@aol.com (301) 654-5903

Spanish - 1st and 3rd Monday mornings
Contacts: Elena Olson eolson4@aol.com (202) 333-3948
Nan Coughlin nan.coughlin@mac.com (202) 413-7606

Chinese - 2nd Sunday mornings
Contact: Kris Day day.kristen@gmail.com (703) 645-0122

French - 2nd Mondays
Contacts: Roxanna van der Mensbrugghe nikroky@hotmail.com (301) 299-3675
Kately Demougeot katelyd@hotmail.com (301) 728-9209


THIS VOLUNTEERS: Please access the Cultural Exchanges Report that has been provided to help Committee members report after each meeting. Click here to download the form.