The International Institute in Buffalo serves thousands of immigrants each year. It offers integration, refugee resettlement, and employment programs; provides services to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking; offers translation and interpretation services to break down barriers, presents global education programs for students, adults, and businesses, and hosts international visitors.
Many visitors to the Institute are new to America and come to learn English and job skills. Some learn to become interpreters or to seek refuge from oppression.
The International Institute started after World War I when 15 million people immigrated to America. The Young Women’s Christian Institute (YWCA) established international institutes across the country to provide social and humanitarian services. The YWCA established the International Institute of Buffalo in 1918 to work with female immigrants. In 1934, the International Institute of Buffalo became a nonprofit organization helping women, men, and children.
“In 2006, the Institute incorporated the former Buffalo/Niagara WorldConnect, an organization that hosted international visitors and provided global education programs to a variety of audiences. WorldConnect was a member of the World Affairs Councils of America and the National Council for International Visitors). The International Institute of Buffalo maintains these memberships and directs programming aligned with their goals.”
Some of the ways the International Institute in Buffalo helps immigrants are:
New American Integration
“The International Institute believes that refugees and immigrants are critical to the economic strength of Western New York. The foreign-born are reversing population decline, driving workforce and small business growth, supporting innovation and homeownership, and expanding the cultural richness of our community.”
“If you are a survivor and need help. Please call us at 716.883.1900. Or call the New York State Hotline at 1-800-942-6906. Our services are free. We will not call the police. Survivor Support offers safe, free, and confidential services for those affected by domestic violence and human trafficking.”
Interpreting & Translation
“The International Institute provides reliable, quality foreign language interpretation in more than 100 languages and by multiple delivery methods: in-person, video, or telephone. Interpretation services may be requested for any time, 24 hours per day, seven days a week, independent of the Institute’s business hours. Translation and localization of written content are available in more than 60 languages from qualified and certified translators.”
Education and International Visitors
“The Institute’s educational programming is designed to enlighten learners of all ages about global events, how the world is represented in Western New York, how culture affects behavior, and how to work with diverse cultures. Whether the participants are from the US or abroad, they will find engaging resources to help them explore and connect. The programs also promote an appreciation for diversity, as well as understanding, sensitivity, and tolerance for one another.”