Founded in 1976, the International Hospitality Center (IHC) is a private, community-based, volunteer organization. 

We provide a variety of cross-cultural experiences, homestays, English language study and professional training to sponsored exchange students and government and foundation grantees.

With the help of more than 1,000 community volunteers, we bring global living and learning experiences to homes across the State of Hawaii and the Mainland United States.

IHC is funded by administrative fees for services and the support of an extensive network of volunteers.


Barbara Bancel, founding director, has devoted her professional career to providing international educational and cultural exchange opportunities and building the global IHC family.

She has personally traveled and studied abroad, experiencing the enriching and life-changing effects of homestays in Europe, South America, Japan, and Australia. 

Barbara has enjoyed teaching and working with both American and international students; she taught English in Brazil and French at Le Jardin Academy in Hawaii. She is married to a French ex-pat and treasures her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. She speaks French and Spanish and can say "hello" in approximately 32 languages and counting.

Barbara is aided by an advisory council, composed of community leaders, who suggest policy and new programs and assist with community relations.