Become a Mission Partner

Join the Mission, Inspire the Upstate

What is Upstate International?

We are Open & Inclusive

Founded in 1998, Upstate International (UI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is a hub of information, language classes, cultural events, and relocation services that engages our region in a broader world perspective. UI empowers people and businesses of all nations to thrive in the Upstate by connecting them through programs, events, and initiatives that foster the dynamic exchange of international cultures and ideas.

We Strive to Learn from Each Other

And Share Our Cultural Differences

We invite you to become a Mission Partner or Program Sponsor and together we will embrace and enjoy the cultural diversity that makes our region a unique place to live, work, and play in the southeastern United States.

Sponsor One of Our Programs

Invest in the Upstate

Countries Represented by UI Members
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Volunteers Lending a Hand Annually
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Hours of Volunteering
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Partnering Builds a Globally Connected Upstate

Fulfill Your Corporate Social Responsibility

Upstate International Mission Partners believe in a diverse community where global engagement, celebration of cultures, and education on international business and foreign affairs enrich our region, and our lives.

Each UI Mission Partnership is tailored to support our over-arching mission while fulfilling your community engagement and corporate social responsibility goals. Financial investment ranges from $1000 to $20,000 with discount opportunities for small or new businesses.

Reasons for partnership include:

Companies that engage in the community from the top down are more likely to remain & grow in that location.

Support for International Families, Employee Cross-Cultural Training for Global Business, Language Training to Improve Sales, & Employee Upskilling

A globally diverse community with support for diversity & international organizations, goods and support services can be a deciding factor for companies looking at the Upstate for their new location.

Attract & retain international talent

49% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company investing in a non-profit, and 82% of customers consider company outreach when deciding where to spend their money.

The Upstate has approximately 98,500 International Residents

Support for International Families helping to make them at home in our communities; employee cross-cultural training for global business; language training to improve sales and employee communication

A Few of Our Partners Include

Why Upstate International is Great for Community

25 Years of Service

Benefiting the Upstate community for over 25 years now, UI is the hub that connects the Upstate community to newcomers and diverse cultures around the globe. Through language classes, speaker series, fun events, and conferences, we work to bring the world to the Upstate.

Learning new languages builds job skills, improves memory function, and increases cultural compentency.

Our community believes in diversity & inclusion and Upstate International lives it through a vibrant mission.

To shape the world is to educate the world on issues and policy from a non-partisan position.

America was build on immigration and Upstate South Carolina is home to the world.

The world is an interesting place to explore.

Friendships built at Upstate International can last a life time.

The U&I Experience

There is no Upstate International without U&I

Randy is very enthusiastic about Spanish and it was catching! He gave me the courage to get out at speak it in public. Thanks Randy!!

Julianne Summer

UI responds to the needs of a community growing rapidly in opportunities to engage in international business, education, and connectivity by providing a platform for services, events, and educational initiatives.

T. Smoak

An important organization for our ever-growing international community in the Upstate with many different clubs/groups/events with which to get involved.


I am thankful not only for the terrific instruction given in class but also for the congenial classmates. Although several no longer attend classes, we developed a friendship and are still in touch.

Janis B.

If the first time didn’t work, she found another way to tell us what we needed to know – the mark of a true teacher!

UI Class Participant

Mr. Rivera tried to create a class atmosphere where it was very informal, inclusive and conversation- oriented which made it very effective for me as a student learning a foreign language as an adult.

Saku G.

A better community. At UI’s base is the desire to make the world a better place, starting here in the Upstate.

S Reinhardt

Monica is an outstanding teacher and created a pleasant and fun ambience which contributed to my learning so much and improving my conversational Spanish!

Janis B.

For 25 years UI has been a leading driver of diversity and inclusion in our region by laying a foundation of people meeting people, of people helping people.

T. Smoak

A very positive experience for those who took languages early in life and want to refresh and relearn them.

Barbara B.

By supporting UI, you’re supporting our mission of global education, cultural acceptance, and celebration of diversity. In the end we all benefit from a more open and loving community — not just our members, but our neighbors and our children, too.

S. Reinhardt

UI is a great way to learn without the pressure of college classes with tests and weighted grades.

UI Class Participant

Atsuko was so patient! I loved that the class was so small, so we all got very individualized instruction!

Mary F.

World Affairs Council of America

& Sustaining International Engagement

Upstate International is a member of World Affairs Councils of America, the largest nonprofit grassroots organization in the United States dedicated to educating and engaging Americans on global issues. At World Affairs Council Upstate, we are participants in shaping a global tomorrow.

Dedicated to fostering a deep understanding of global affairs and cultures, and supported by individuals and businesses, UI engages globally-minded South Carolinians directly with each other and with topic experts, government and civic leaders, and professionals from around the world. UI works with partners to reach all generations and sectors and is always looking to enhance those collaborations.

Supporting Upstate International is your chance to promote global identity in the Upstate, sustain international engagement in our region, network through a nationwide system of councils, and get involved in leading intellectual discussions on critical issues facing the world.

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