Planned activities include Grand Canyon trip, Disneyland weekend, and a real American prom
For Tempe youth who take part in the Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange program, spending a month abroad is only half the fun—because after the students return home to Tempe, they have the fun of playing host to their exchange brother or sister.
“All of the foreign delegates are here at the same time,” says Angie Thornton, a Tempe Sister Cities volunteer whose children are former delegates to Germany and New Zealand. “The kids get a chance to make friends with everyone in the program.”
A taste of America
Tempe student delegates, their parents, and Tempe Sister Cities volunteers make sure that the visiting youth get to experience authentic American activities, including:
- Three days at the Grand Canyon
- Three days at Disneyland
- In-town sights such as the Diamond Backs Baseball game and a tour of ASU
- A real American prom at the restaurant of Shalimar Golf Course
“The prom is so much fun for the kids,” Thornton says. “We decorate Shalimar, provide refreshments, and let the kids dress up.”
As an added delight for the youth, the girls get to wear a real formal gown provided by East Valley Women’s League, a non-profit organization that, among other philanthropic works, provides prom dresses to girls who could not otherwise afford one.
Lasting friendships worldwide
Of all the fun the Tempe and foreign youth will have this summer, perhaps the best part of the experience are the life-long memories and friendships that remain with the participants long after the exchange.
“The kids and their parents form lifelong friendships,” says Thornton. “Many of our participants will get the ‘travel bug’ and visit the people they meet this summer, continuing their friendships long after the summer is over. This experience truly provides the kids and their families with a lifetime of friendships.”
Interested in learning more about student exchange?
Do you know a Tempe youth who is interested in participating in our student exchange program? Please see our Student Exchange Program page for details and application information.