Italian Program:
how to apply

For eligibility requirements, length of stay, application deadlines and other details, please contact us directly by email or through your National Branch. If your country does not have a branch, obtain information from the contact person in your country or directly to the host country where you plan to participate in the Exchange Programs

Are you planning to participate?
Application form

You may download the application form or send an email to

Exchange programs for social workers and Youth leaders


The Council of International Fellowshipis an independent, private, voluntary organization, which promotes exchange programs for human service workers

C.I.F. main objectives are

  • to increase professional knowledge in the field of human services (in particular social work) by learning from one another; 
  • to increase the understanding of the world's diverse cultures through contact among the participants themselves and so
  •  contribute to promote world peace.


The Council of International Programs (C.I.P.), originally The Cleveland International Program, was founded in the U.S.A. in 1956, and it's the largest multinational specialist program of its kind.
Each year, about 200 human service professionals and volunteers from about 85 Countries participate in C.I.P. Programs in the United States, for either four months or thirteen months.
Since 1956, more than 5,000 participants from 110 Countries have been a part of CIP activities. Former C.I.P. participants officially organized the alumni association named The Council of International Fellowship (C.I.F.), establishing national branches.
C.I.F. INTERNATIONAL, constituted formally in 1960, has grown consistently through the years; in fact today it counts thousands of members in about 100 different countries.

The CIF ITALIA Program includes

 Introductory phase

The introductory phase give the participants the possibility to know and understand salient aspects of the Italian social and political life, as a background reference to better comprehend the general organization of the social service system. Seminars, meetings and agency visits are utilized to present the different realities. The participants also have the opportunity to exchange iinformation about their own Countries.

Fieldwork experience

Placements in the areas previously indicated are offered for a second period in various parts of Italy. Due to the limits of time and the language barrier during this phase, the participant will probably have the role of a mere observer. The combination itself of study, fieldwork, exchange, reciprocal learning and teaching on an international level gives the program its unique and peculiar characteristic.   

 Final evaluation and Other activities

In the last phase the participants express their ideas and feelings on the whole experience. 

 During the program, there is the possibility to live informal moments (social reunions, meals, social activities, etc.) that altogether represent other significant occasions for further interpersonal exchanges. So far our experience has been successful in creating the right conditions to allow people to get to know each other as people with full respect and appreciation for differences.

Peace Project

Among the objectives proposed by the CIF Association and therefore also the Italian section, there is that of promoting understanding between peoples and peace in the world. In this regard, Domenico Antonio Merola's proposal - former president of CIF Italy and then of the CIF international  - dates back to 2009, during the Conference held in Finland, to promote the “Peace Project”.
That is to directly experience the possibility of mutual understanding between people belonging to populations in conflict with each other. The occasion started with the observation of the situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, after the various delegations (starting with the Israeli one) agreed, the participation of Palestinian and Israeli representatives in subsequent conferences and exchange programs was practically promoted.
This model was then realized in the following programs which were held in Italy. Subsequently, other branches of the CIF, such as Finland, Norway and Israel, also carried out the project, thanks also to some donors.
Therefore, there were several Palestinian and Israeli participants who found themselves side by side to share their experiences lived "on the ground" in the hope of promoting ever greater mutual understanding. The project continued and culminated in a meeting organized by CIF Italy (at Sassone, Rome) in 2018 when dozens of participants from all over the world discussed the objectives of the "Peace Project" that will continue to be pursued.