Host to the World

A History of International Cultural Exchange

International House was conceived by the late YMCA official Harry Edmonds following a chance encounter with a Chinese graduate student in 1909. The philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the Cleveland H. Dodge family led to the construction of the first International House in New York City in 1924. 

Founded in 1932 by John D. Rockefeller Jr., International House of Chicago is today one of 19 members of International Houses Worldwide network. For over 85 years, the International House of Chicago experience of international cultural exchange in a diverse community has transformed the lives of more than 42,000 people. 

Learn more about International Houses Worldwide

Diversity of Thought and Experience

The mission of International House is to enable students and scholars from around the world to live and learn together in a diverse community that builds lifelong qualities of leadership, respect, and friendship. 

This mission is achieved by daily interaction among its students and scholars through programs, facilities, and community life designed to foster diversity of thought and experience.