Our student exchange, educator exchange, and professional exchange programs are among our many valued programs that help promote international good will and cultural understanding. Tempe Sister Cities’ encourages cross-cultural cooperation and collaboration by building friendships between people and partnerships between communities. Tempe has eight sister cities worldwide and the number continues to grow.
Sending students abroad through our Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange program is our top priority, as well as supporting our sister cities through activities to promote international goodwill and cultural understanding.
Where are Tempe’s Sister Cities?
- Skopje, Macedonia – Established 1971
- Regensburg, Germany – Established 1976
- Lower Hutt, New Zealand – Established 1981
- Zhenjiang, China – Established 1989
- Timbuktu, Mali – Established 1991
- Beaulieu sur Mer, France – Established 1997
- Carlow, Ireland – Established 1998
- Cuenca, Ecuador – Established 2008
A High School Student’s Opportunity of a Lifetime
Our Student Exchange Program allows our community’s next generation of leaders to reach across geographical bounds to experience the variety of life and culture the world offers.
Our program sends Tempe high school students to spend five weeks abroad with a host family in our sister cities and host students from those cities here in Tempe. We do this because we believe these cultural experiences are an investment in the future of our Tempe youth. More than 700 Tempe teens have had the opportunity to experience another culture firsthand and be ambassadors for Tempe worldwide.
How does Tempe Sister Cities promote peace and goodwill?
Tempe Sister Cities volunteers address immediate needs in addition to investing in our future by providing humanitarian aid to our sister cities in need.
Assistance to Timbuktu
Timbuktu, our sister city in Mali, was once a fertile hub of learning, but now it faces drought, poor education and little healthcare.
Tempe Sister Cities partnered with Timbuktu to address pressing needs, building seven drinking water wells and providing school and medical supplies, and is now a partner in building a desperately needed new primary school .
Wheelchairs for Peace
Over 700 wheel chairs were divided evenly amongst our sister cities of Timbuktu, Mali; Skopje, Macedonia; and Zhenjiang, China.
Tempe Sister Cities also partnered with Project C.U.R.E. to provide wheel chairs and medical supplies for Hilla, Iraq. Other joint projects to support Hilla are in the works.
U.S. State Department Partner in Peace
In 2005, the U.S. State Department selected Tempe as one of five U.S. cities to be a “Partner in Peace” with a city in Iraq, pairing us with Hilla, Iraq, the capital of Babylon.
We Put the FUN in Fundraising!
Our annual Oktoberfest is a three-day festival attended by nearly 200,000 people. Talk about a party! Plus, all the profits fund our international exchanges and charitable works—now that’s really something to celebrate.
Our volunteers’ creativity makes Tempe Sister Cities a national leader in innovative fundraising strategies. Hackett House, Tempe’s historic bakery complex that we’ve operated for 25 years, is a smashing success with its programs and parties that inject life into the local community and fund our sister cities programs.
Why not support a winning organization with a bright future?
Tempe Sister Cities has received an Overall Best Sister City Program in America award four times and more than 20 additional awards ranging from “Overcoming Geographical Distance” to “Developing Local Awareness” to “Contribution to World Peace and Understanding.” None of this would be possible without our dedicated community volunteers, two of whom have received “Volunteer of the Year” recognition (selected from some 1,500 sister cities). Please volunteer your talents with Tempe Sister Cities today.
You and your family can also join the Tempe Sister Cities organization for just $35 (tax-deductible) and expand your horizons, meet new people, and change the world one friendship at a time.
Sister Cities International
Sister Cities International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building relationships between the United States and other countries through its mission of promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time.
How do Sister Cities International and Tempe Sister Cities Work Together?
As our parent organization, Sister Cities International certifies and supports Tempe Sister Cities’ international partnerships. Sister Cities International champions the cultural, educational, and municipal projects that we undertake.
It is with Sister Cities International’s backing that Tempe Sister Cities can enable student exchanges with our sister cities through a partnership with the American Cultural Exchange Service and continue our humanitarian work.
What other causes does Sister Cities International support?
Sister Cities International also works to improve quality of life worldwide and to promote diversity through various initiatives:
- The Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program that provides water, sanitation and healthcare to African sister cities
- Partnership & Peace Tours that allow visitors to interact with locals on a deeper level
- Muslim World Partnership Initiative to increase the number of and awareness about U.S. partnerships with primarily Muslim cities
For more information, please visit the Sister Cities International website.
Other information on Tempe Sister Cities
Tempe Sister Cities is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization, which means that all donations can be allocated directly toward achieving our mission of promoting global goodwill and cultural understanding for the people of Tempe.
Members and donors who make charitable contributions to Tempe Sister Cities, a public charity, are eligible for tax deductions.
Our community partners
We are proud to partner with organizations in our Tempe community that believe in the work we do. We thank the following community partners:
- City of Tempe
- Tempe Chamber of Commerce
- Arizona State University
- Tempe Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Tempe Union High Schools
- Tempe Elementary Schools
- Tempe Historical Museum
- Mesa Community College
- Harrison Middleton University
Would you like more information on Tempe Sister Cities, how to become a member, or to volunteer?
You are welcome to contact Tempe Sister Cities with any questions or comments you have. We look forward to hearing from you!