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 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 - 1st and 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 - 4th Tuesdays
Contact: Roxanna van der Mensbrugghe nikroky@hotmail.com (301) 299-3675


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.