he 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 and the Wind River Reservation.
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 this exchange to be 4-6 days in both Wyoming and Longmontin duration and will take place in June and/or July.
Our Mexico and Japan exchanges includes a 10 day home stay in Ciudad, Guzman or Chino, Japan and 10 day hosting of a student in Longmont. This exchange takes place in late July and early August.
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 ambassadors.
An estimated 2 -4 hours a month commitment is expected during the school year with additional time prior to the exchange.
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 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 for the Mexico and Japan exchanges, and not in July when vital information is shared and final planning and preparation takes place during orientation meetings. Families participating in the Arapaho exchange should consider taking vacations in July or August.
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 November 15. Interviews will take place in November. The costs are minimal for the Arapaho Exchange. For Mexico and Japan, there is a $100 registration fee due upon acceptance. Airfare and incidental costs are anticipated to be $800 for Mexico and $2,400 for Japan (depending on airfare).