About International House
International House of Chicago, founded in 1932 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. is a dynamic program center and residence capable of housing up to 486 advanced undergraduates, graduate students and interns from around the world, including the United States. The mission of International House is to promote cross-cultural understanding, mutual respect and friendship among students and scholars and on the part of the people of metropolitan Chicago toward individuals of all nations and backgrounds.
Chicago's International House is part of a larger vision conceived by YMCA official Harry Edmonds that included Houses in four other cities – New York, Berkeley, Paris and Tokyo. Today the vision of International House is a vital reality. The Chicago House has been home to over 40,000 persons from virtually every country. Living together in an atmosphere that provides for free interchange of ideas and knowledge, its residents are stimulated by diversity while being secure in their own unique backgrounds. International House has recently completed a multi-year $30 million restoration which has modernized resident and guest accommodations as well as updated meeting, conference and public event spaces to serve future generations of students, scholars and the Chicago community.
The House serves the greater Chicago community as a cultural center for programs of outstanding diversity. Activities range from politics and international films, to dance and music, from cultural celebrations and educational programs to discussions and debates on world issues. As we begin a new century, International House of Chicago plays a vital role in preparing tomorrow’s leaders for a global future.