Illinois City is a Champion for International Youth Exchanges
The Schaumburg Sister Cities Commission received the Sister City Champion of Youth Award from the Illinois Sister Cities Association last year for its continued support of exchanges and youth diplomacy.
The commission supports annual student exchanges between Schaumburg, Illinois, and its German sister city, also called Schaumburg, and has facilitated youth soccer exchanges in the past. It also supports exchanges with Namerikawa, in Japan, on more infrequent basis, due to higher travel costs and issues with accommodations.
The award was presented as part of the Illinois Municipal League’s annual conference in Chicago in September of 2017.
Earlier that year, the Schaumburg Sister Cities Commission welcomed its first group of exchange students from Namerikawa in roughly six years, along with a delegation of other visitors, as a celebration of the sister cities’ 20th anniversary.
In October, a delegation of municipal leaders from Schaumburg's German sister city joined the annual influx of exchange students. There, they toured various government departments, visited local amenities, and did some shopping, all while staying with host families.
Meanwhile, the students were able to tour the city, take in a Schaumburg Boomers game, and even take a day trip to Chicago.
In the spring, the Illinois city will return the favor, sending students of its own to Germany to experience the culture and the people that make up Schaumburg in Germany.
And in the fall, Schaumburg will celebrate its 35th anniversary with the other Schaumburg by adding a third exchange program, on top of its two annual ones.
The new guests are a 29-member youth band, the Ernestinum Bigband, who in recent years have made a name for themselves in Schaumburg, Germany. The youth band has performed in many of the German town’s other sister cities, including Soissons, France; Slawno, Poland; and Kendal, in England.
Everywhere they go, the young performers bring with them a sense of music’s unique ability to convey meaning and establish bonds across linguistic and cultural divides.
In October of 2018, the Ernestinum Bigband will be able to do the same for the other Schaumburg.