The Cultural Affairs section works with cultural and artistic organizations, artists, arts managers, museums, and politicians to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the United States and Portugal. Cultural Affairs also works with NGOs, human rights organizations, and minorities’ representatives in Portugal and the United States to promote democratic values as well as ethnic and religious diversity.
The Cultural Affairs section organizes programs and cultural events in Portugal with American artists and invites American speakers to Portugal to speak on cultural and human rights issues; furthers cooperation between Portuguese and American museums and other cultural institutions; nominates Portuguese citizens for International Visitors, Voluntary Visitors, and other government exchange programs; gives financial grants to projects that promote cultural exchange between Portugal and the United States, and supports a wide range of American artistic programs in Portugal.
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is focused on increasing mutual understanding through communication, interaction, and exchange of ideas and information at the personal and professional levels. This program is fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, and brings participants from all over the world to the U.S. to meet and interact with their American counterparts. IVLP candidates are current or potential leaders in government, politics, the media, education and academia, the arts and other fields, and are carefully selected and nominated by the Embassy. More than 200 current and former Heads of State, 1,500 cabinet-level ministers and many other world leaders in government and the private sector have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program.
Through the Voluntary Visitor Program (VolVis Program), the Office of Public Affairs in Lisbon, with the help from the Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau of the U.S. State Department and volunteers across America, arranges high-level professional programs for important Portuguese individuals and groups who are paying their own way to the U.S. Voluntary Visitor Programs and are usually generated at the request of professionals in Portugal who are already planning a visit to the U.S.
The academic exchange program (Fulbright Program) between Portugal and the United States is managed by the Luso-American Educational Commission which administers the national selection process for Fulbright grants and provides counseling on American educational opportunities to Portuguese students, whether or not they are scholarship recipients. More information about studying in the United States is also available on Study in the U.S. pages in this site.