Travel abroad and make friendships that will last a lifetime.
The Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange Program provides an opportunity for high school students living in Tempe and their families to engage in cross-cultural exchange and build friendships with their peers in sister cities around the world.
More than 700 Tempe students have had the opportunity to experience another culture firsthand on this exchange and be ambassadors for Tempe worldwide learning to embrace diversity and extend international goodwill.
No impersonal representation of a culture can fully communicate its reality to others who have never known its living substance. Through personal relations our curiosity can be fulfilled by a sense of knowledge, cynicism can give way to trust, and the warmth of human friendship be kindled.
~ President John F. Kennedy
Enabling high school students to connect on a personal level with their peers in our sister cities brings about awareness, respect, and friendship that cannot be taught by anything but first-hand experience.
Tempe Sister Cities will send high school students overseas, visiting most of Tempe’s sister cities for five weeks in June and July during the summer between their junior and senior years:
- Four will venture to Tempe’s oldest sister city, Skopje, Macedonia, to experience Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
- Four will travel to Zhenjiang, China, Tempe’s largest sister city with more than a million people, which means lots of chances to make friends!
- Eight will head to Regensburg, Germany to explore Romanesque and Gothic architecture and meet our German counterparts at the Regensburg-Tempe Friendship Club.
- Four will visit the beautiful French Riveria, staying in Beaulieu sur Mer, France, and brush up on their French where European royals once vacationed.
- Four will journey to Carlow, Ireland, the first electrified city in the British isles and home to a thriving university culture.
- Four will head “down under” to visit Lower Hutt, New Zealand, and have the opportunity to see some of the beautiful coastal country, the capital city of Wellington and visit sites from the filming of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and other movies made in the region.
- Two will fly south to the UNESCO World Heritage Trust Site of Cuenca, Ecuador, Tempe’s newest sister city teeming with living history.
- Two will journey to Trollhattan, Sweden, one of our newest relationships, to experience life with a Swedish family, see local sites such as Lake Vanem and perhaps visit the SAAB factory.
All of the students will have the opportunity to acclimate to their host countries, sightsee and build relationships with their host families, regardless of where their adventure takes them.
The Tempe Sister City Selection Committee places students in the country they believe to be a perfect fit for the student’s summer abroad.
Don’t be a tourist, be part of a family
What better way to experience Tempe’s Sister Cities than with a family of your own?
Each student is matched with a family who is enthusiastic about cultural exchange and friendship-building.
Participants will move in with their new host sister or brother and experience all aspects of the culture first hand: family meals, chores, outings, traditions, parties, activities, responsibilities—You name it! Students experience a true cultural immersion.
We encourage students to participate in as many activities as possible while abroad: trying traditional dishes, attending city festivals, visiting museums, shopping at local stores, learning and speaking their host countries language, eating in cafes and making new friends.
Costs to the students and their families are kept to a minimum.
Tempe Sister Cities organization covers all of the travel expenses, and host families will provide housing. Students need to furnish their own spending money for their time abroad, and families should budget to host an extra teenager for five weeks in July and August.
Tempe Sister Cities will host fundraising events in collaboration with selected students’ parents to reduce the cost of hosting.
When students return to Tempe, they can share their unique experiences with family, friends, classmates and community members to help better the understanding of Tempe’s sister cities.
Student participants get to host their brother or sister and show what America is all about
After returning with stories from their summer abroad, students then get the opportunity to host their sister or brother in Tempe.
Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange Program is truly built upon relationships: Teenagers sharing mutual learning experiences. Tempe students have five weeks to show their new sister or brother how things are different here in America during July and August.
Students can show off their hometown, introducing their summer friends to the beauty and history of Arizona
Arizona is like no where else on Earth. Our students can share these one-of-a-kind experiences:
National parks, forests and monuments:
Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest national parks; Canyon De Chelly, Casa Grande, Chiricahua Mountains, Hohokam, Montezuma Castle, the Navajo Reservation, Organ Pipe Cactus, Walnut Canyon, Pipe Springs, Saguaro, Sunset Crater, Tonto, Tumacacori, Tuzigoot, Wupatki, South Mountain Park, and Kartchner Caverns
Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum (Tucson), Heard Museum (Phoenix), Phoenix Botanical Gardens, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Los Caballeros Museum (Wickenburg) and the new Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix)
Kitt Peak Observatory, Meteor Crater, Sedona, Oak Creak, Flagstaff, Painted Desert, San Xavier Del Bac, Tombstone.
Around Tempe and greater Phoenix:
Arizona State University, Grady Gammage Auditorium, Tempe Arts Center, Mill Avenue district shops and historic district, Tempe Marketplace and other shopping venues in the area, Tempe Beach Park, “A” Mountain, Dick and Jane Neuheisel Sister City Gardens at Kiwanis Park, Chase Field (Diamondbacks game), Hackett House, and many other recreational facilities in the area.
Why Wait Until College to Study Abroad? Start Now!
If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, then you are an ideal candidate for the Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange Program.
- Are you a United States citizen?
- Do you live in Tempe?
- Are you currently a high school junior?
- Did you pass your physical? Will your doctor say you’re in good health?
- Will you be living in Tempe for your entire senior year of high school?
- Do you want to spend five weeks of summer living in a new place, meeting new people, and experiencing new things?
- Are your parents willing to let you go abroad for five weeks and then host an exchange student for five weeks when you return?
- Will you and your parents be free to participate in all exchange activities while your host sibling is in Tempe?
- Are your parents willing to help fundraise by assisting with Tempe Sister Cities activities like Oktoberfest and those at Hackett House?
- Are you a member of the Tempe Sister Cities Organization? If not, would your family join Tempe Sister Cities for just $35?
Interested? We encourage you to apply!
The application process is straightforward and we encourage all interested and eligible high school juniors to apply. Application time periods will be updated each fall to allow students to plan for the process and submit their information timely.
Your first step will be to fill out the Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange Application form.
After reviewing your submission, we will contact you with information on participating in our group and one-on-one interview sessions.
Decisions are finalized by the Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange Selection Committee and the students notified in late February or early March.
For more information
Please contact our Tempe Sister Cities Student Exchange Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have or fill out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you.
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