Nashville, Tennessee Celebrates Another Successful Summer of Student Exchanges
In June, Sister Cities of Nashville said farewell to 35 Nashville area high school students and 4 teacher chaperones as they embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Through our Student Ambassador program, students have the opportunity to participate in two-week cultural and educational immersion programs where they stay with local families in our sister cities each summer.
Both outbound and inbound exchanges take place with six of Nashville’s eight sister city partners. This year, groups traveled to Mendoza, Argentina; Caen and Paris, France; Magdeburg and Berlin, Germany; and Tamworth and Sydney, Australia. Likewise, during the academic year, students from Caen, France; Taiyuan, China; Mendoza, Argentina; Belfast, Northern Ireland and Magdeburg, Germany visited Nashville.
This summer marks more than two decades of Sister Cities of Nashville student exchanges. The 2018 group of student ambassadors represented a diverse range of Nashville students who hailed from a variety of backgrounds and cultures and showed our sister city hosts what a multicultural city Nashville truly is!
During these exchanges, Nashville students will attend school, meet the local mayor, visit historic sights and attractions, volunteer, and spend time with their host families. Students will also participate in country-specific excursions. For example, when in Tamworth, Australia, previous students have learned the basics of rugby, taken Australian cooking classes, ridden horses, and visited Sydney. In Caen, France students have attended D-Day ceremonies at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, seen the Unesco World Heritage site Mont St. Michel, and visited Paris.
With lifelong host family connections and life changing experiences Nashville student ambassadors and parents had this to say about their summer experiences:
From Student Ambassadors:
“I’ve discovered the importance of exploring cultures and making strong bonds with people from varied backgrounds. I never realized the impact of my first time outside of the country or the many experiences I would encounter. The journey has changed my outlook on life, and I have made lifelong friendships and memories.”
“I think what should be learned from this is that even at home where there are people that we perceive to be different from ourselves, we can still get along. We just have to go out of our way at home.”
“I’m amazed at the way students from two different countries, that speak two different languages, have made lifelong friendships and shaped each other for their future endeavors.”
“I will always sing the praises of this program for making the world a smaller place and uniting people who otherwise would not have the chance to walk in each other’s shoes for a while. Travel and understanding help to shape well rounded individuals and I’m so grateful that Joe has had such awesome opportunities through sister cities.”
“Thank you so much for your introduction to Sister cities. Maggie had a life changing experience! She fell in love with her host family, Mendoza and the mountains!
She’s ready for another trip!”
“My daughter just returned from the Magdeburg trip, and it was truly an amazing experience for her. Actually, it was a wonderful experience for our entire family because we hosted back in April, and I feel like we now have a “Sister Family” in Magdeburg.”
In addition to student exchanges, Sister Cities of Nashville also oversees university, adult, professional, cultural, civic, and business exchanges.