Sister Cities Summer High School Exchanges 2017

There are now four amazing opportunities for Howard County high school students to travel abroad next summer and experience the life of a teen in one of Columbia’s four sister cities: Cergy-Pontoise, France; Tres Cantos, Spain; Tema, Ghana; or Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

Become a student ambassador by participating in one of Columbia Association’s annual Sister Cities High School Student Exchanges. Spend two weeks in July living with a teen your age, then host the same teen here for two weeks. Immerse yourself in another culture, living with a family in France, Spain or Ghana, improve your French or Spanish language skills and have fun while exploring new places and connecting with international students your age!

Columbia Association offering student exchange trips to France and Spain in summer 2017

2017 Sister Cities Exchange Postcard frontside

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Columbia Association offering student exchange trips to France and Spain in summer 2017
Teen participants in the annual Sister Cities High School exchange program spend approximately two weeks of cultural and linguistic immersion during the summer in one of Columbia’s European sister cities: Cergy-Pontoise in France or Tres Cantos in Spain. During this time, they are hosted by the family of a French or Spanish student. After returning to the United States, students will then host their French/Spanish counterparts for another two weeks. Throughout the trip, there are organized group activities for the participants, both abroad and in the U.S.

Sister City Exchange 2017 Postcard backside

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This year’s participants will depart with their respective chaperoned groups for France or Spain at the end of June. The program then runs through the end of July.

The program fee is $700 for Columbia residents and $850 for nonresidents, excluding airline tickets. Airline tickets in summer 2017 will range from $1,200 to $1,500 per participant. Applicants must be high school students residing in Howard County and must have completed high school level three of French or Spanish by the end of the current academic year (or have the equivalent language fluency).

The Application Packet includes detailed information about the program, a checklist, the Student Application,and forms to be completed by parents. The Application deadline has been extended to March 3.

There are excellent scholarships available for Columbia residents who qualify. For more information, contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or  International@ColumbiaAssociation.org.

Sister Cities High School Student Exchange Presentation on France & Spain exchanges (see below)

 

sister cities slide cover page

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New! Tema, Ghana High School Student Exchange

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Travel to Ghana, West Africa & Experience Ghanaian Culture!
High school students in grades 10-12 have the opportunity to travel to Columbia’s Sister City in Tema, Ghana and spend two weeks living with a Ghanaian host family (16 miles south of Accra), then host the same Ghanaian teen here for two weeks upon returning home. There is no language requirement as English is the language of education and government. Throughout the exchange, there will be  organized group activities for the participants, both in Ghana and in the U.S.  

Cost of program: The program fee for the Ghana Exchange Programs is $700 for Columbia residents and $850 for non-Columbia residents, excluding airline tickets. Airline tickets in 2017 will range from $1,400 to $1,600 per participant. Applicants must be high school students residing in Howard County. There are excellent scholarships available for Columbia residents who qualify.

The Application Packet includes detailed information about the program, a checklist, the Student Application,and forms to be completed by parents. The Application deadline has been extended to March 3. For more information, or to request an information session at a school or meeting, please contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or Laura.Smit@ColumbiaAssociation.org.

sister-cities-ghana-cover-page

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New! Travel to Cap-Haitien, Haiti with the Build Haiti Foundation’s Global Leadership Program

image of group of studentsWant to make a difference and have an amazing experience this summer? Join the Build Haiti Foundation on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Haiti this summer (July 6-15).

Information Sessions for the Global Leadership Program will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23 and Thursday, March 30 from 7-8pm at CA Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, Columbia.

As a member of the Haiti Global Leadership Program, participants will experience Haitian culture, engage in interactive community leadership activities with Haitian students, and work directly with Haitian youth on strategies for addressing alternative energy, waste management, preventive medicine, vocational training and business initiatives.

Participants live with adult leaders in a house in the small village of Camp Coq, outside Columbia’s Sister City of Cap-Haitien, visit a health clinic, tour the city of Cap-Haitien and visit the capital of Port-au-Prince to learn about the urban challenges Haitian people face. They also help organize a soccer tournament with local youth; enjoy scenic beaches; visit the historic UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, the mountaintop fortress of Citadelle; visit local markets and restaurants and; listen to Creole music.

GLP 2015 alumni say:

“Being truly immersed in the Haitian culture was both an exciting experience and time to think about what matters to me.” (Drew Davis, 19)

“Haiti opened my eyes to what real poverty is, but on top of observing, I had the chance to meet and interact with Haitians who I still talk to today.” (Tim Davis, 17)

For more information, contact BHF president Bob Anantua (BAnantua@TheBuildHaitiFoundation.org or 443-285-3956) or David Weeks (weeks@Glenelg.org or 443-794-4302) or visit http://thebuildhaitifoundation.org/projects-services/leadership-mentoring/contact

Check out the 2015 Sister Cities Exchange in these videos made by teen participants!

Spain Teen Group Video (by Bridget Dunnigan)

France Teens Video (by Gabriel Ponniah)

Summer Exchange Chaperones

Adults over age 21 who speak fluent Spanish and French accompany each group of students to France and Spain. Chaperones live with host chaperones and later host them here in the U.S. HCPSS middle and high school Spanish and French language teachers are encouraged to chaperone the Sister Cities High School Exchanges. Chaperone plane tickets are covered, and food and housing in Spain or France is covered by the host chaperone. Chaperones must participate in both parts of the Exchange: in France or Spain and here in Columbia/Howard County.

The Chaperone Application Packet provides an overview of the requirements to be a chaperone for the Sister Cities High School Exchange, as well as the Chaperone Guidelines and Responsibilities. For more information and/or questions, contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or Laura.Smit@ColumbiaAssociation.org