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.
Columbia Association offering student exchange trips to France and Spain in summer 2017
Parents and teens interested in learning about the annual summer Sister Cities High School exchange program with Columbia’s sister cities in France and Spain are invited to attend one of five informational sessions hosted by Columbia Association (CA).
The sessions will take place on:
- Tuesday, Jan. 10
- Wednesday, Jan. 25
All sessions are scheduled to be held from 7 to 8pm. at CA Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, located off Stevens Forest Road near the county vehicle emissions inspection station.
Each session will include teen and parent alumni, as well as Laura Smit (program manager for CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs), all of whom will speak and answer questions about the month-long program.
Teen participants 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.
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 is due February 17.
There are excellent scholarships available for Columbia residents who qualify. For more information, contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or International@
Sister Cities High School Student Exchange Presentation on France & Spain exchanges (see below)
New! Tema, Ghana High School Student Exchange
Travel to Ghana, West Africa & Experience Ghanaian Culture!
An Information session for the Tema, Ghana exchange will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26 from 7-8:30pm at CA headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, Columbia 21046.
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 is due February 17. 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.
New! Travel to Cap-Haitien, Haiti with the Build Haiti Foundation’s Global Leadership Program
An Information session for the Global Leadership Program will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12 from 7-8:30pm at CA headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, Columbia 21046.
High school students travel to Haiti with adult leaders for ten days in July. The BHF GLP provides an opportunity to see Haiti from the inside, make a positive difference to people’s lives in disadvantaged areas, and work together with Haitian youth on real projects that are based on community needs. Projects address issues important to the local Cap-Haitien community, such as public health, environmental sustainability, education and economic development. Students will also visit local beaches, tourist sites and experience Haitian culture and cuisine.
For more information and the application, contact Bob Anantua, Build Haiti Foundation President at BAnantua@thebuildhaitifoundation.org or call 443-285-3956 or visit http://thebuildhaitifoundation.org/projects-services/leadership-mentoring/
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.
Chaperone Application Packet 2017 coming soon. For more information, contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or Laura.Smit@