The Sister City Concept:
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the people-to-people concept that led to the development of Sister Cities International. It was President Eisenhower’s belief that strong relationships established between cities in the United States and cities of the world would lessen the potential for world conflicts. Based on this concept, in 1991 local Longmont businesses and city government joined together to establish Longmont’s first sister city relationship with Chino, Japan. Longmont’s second sister city relationship with Ciudad Guzman, Mexico was formed in 1998. In 2019, Longmont began a program with the Northern Arapaho Nation, based in Wind River, Wyoming.
Student Exchange Program:
The purpose of the Longmont Sister Cities Association’s Student Exchange Program is to provide an opportunity for Longmont students and families to develop cultural understanding with the people of Chino, Japan and Ciudad Guzman, Mexico through family living experiences. Unfortunately, given COVID we are unable to have an exchange this year with Japan or Mexico. However, the new Arapahoe exchange offers an opportunity to learn about the former residents of the front range.
Who is eligible to apply?
Student applicants must reside in the St. Vrain Valley School District attendance area or attend school within the boundaries of the school district and must be currently enrolled in 8th – 11th grades. Students may attend public, private or charter schools or be home schooled.
Student’s Time and Commitment:
The Arapaho exchange will include a visit to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and an exchange in Longmont. We expect both to be 4-6 days in duration and will take place likely in late June and/or July.
Once selected, all Student Ambassadors are required to attend orientation sessions and fundraisers prior to departure; participate and play an active role in the Longmont Sister Cities Association and its activities; work at organization fundraisers; and in general promote the program. Attendance at orientation sessions and other informational meetings is critical. Missing more than 20% of training sessions will be grounds for dismissal from the program. Upon return, the Ambassadors are required to participate in the activities scheduled for the Arapaho ambassadors.
An estimated 2 hours twice a month commitment is expected.
Travel to Wyoming and the Longmont exchange dates are to be determined.
Students selected to participate in the Longmont Sister City exchange program serve as ambassadors and representatives of Longmont, Colorado.
Students are expected to participate in all scheduled activities in their sister city. As an ambassador, students are expected to follow a dress code and violations of this are grounds to be sent home at the student's family expense. Students are to be respectful of the Northern Arapaho Culture and to participate in preparing meals and other activities. During activities, cell phone use will be prohibited except to take pictures as authorized by the Longmont Chaperones. There will be times when it is inappropriate to take pictures or use social media.
Responsibility of Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Exchange Students:
The Longmont Sister Cities Association expects the support of parents and guardians including participation in the organization’s activities. Activities are planned for the students during their stay in Longmont. Parents should be aware of the need to have their son/daughter available for all meetings and speaking engagements upon their return, as well as helping in the organization’s major fundraising activities. Families planning summer vacations should consider taking them in late May or early June, and not in July when vital information is shared and final planning and preparation takes place during orientation meetings.
All applicants are required to attend an individual interview scheduled for both the applicant and a parent. You will be contacted to select a time for your interview. You will need to bring with you to your interview a copy of your school attendance record. The interview panel will make the final selections, and student/parents will be informed of their status within one week of the individual interviews. The selected ambassadors and at least one parent will be expected to attend an orientation meeting scheduled after ambassadrs are selected.
Applications must be received by March 10. Interviews will take place in March. This program is funded by the City of Longmont and for 2022 there are no participation fees.