Host families sought for Ghanaian exchange students visiting Columbia this July

April 7, 2016

Columbia Association (CA) is seeking families to host high school students who will be visiting from July 15 to July 31 from Columbia’s sister city of Tema, Ghana.

The students will be between the ages of 15 and 17 and attend the private SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College. The Ghanaian high school students will come to Columbia during the same two weeks that French and Spanish students will be in our community as part of CA’s Sister Cities High School Student Exchange programs with Cergy Pontoise, France, and Tres Cantos, Spain.

There will be 10 to 12 students from Tema in total. Hosting one of these students will provide a wonderful opportunity for a family to learn about the culture of Ghana and to share the American culture with a Ghanaian student. There is no language requirement; the students speak English. However, host families should also have a high school student so that a true exchange experience may take place between the American and Ghanaian teens.

The American and Ghanaian teens will then participate in all of the activities planned for the visiting French and Spanish students, as well as the American students who traveled earlier in the month to visit those sister cities. There will be organized group activities and day trips for the participants as well as free days to explore local sights and meet with the host family members and their friends. Day trips are planned for Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Ocean City and New York City. Students also will experience a baseball game, a trip to the Hersheypark amusement park, Columbia’s pools, and visits to some university campuses in the area.

Host families should have an interest in learning about Ghanaian/West African culture. They provide a spare bedroom or bed, meals for when the students are at home and money for lunches and dinners when they are out on trips. They also will transport the students to and from the meeting place at Oakland Mills Village Center on day trips and for outings during free days.

For more information, please contact Laura Smit, program manager for CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs, by calling 410-715-3162 or sending an email to

CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs foster international understanding and celebrate the diverse cultures of Columbia. The goals of the International Exchange Program include developing new exchanges with Columbia’s three sister cities and creating new Sister City relationships in other cities and nations. CA also develops multicultural programs for the community such as the World Languages Café, Culture Fests, the International Book Club and the World Food Passport program. For more information, go to

About Columbia Association

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, MD, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available

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