Fountain Hills Sister Cities

School Beth Kohoutek May 28, 2024

Fountain Hills Sister Cities: Student Exchange

The Sister City concept started in 1956 with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

He envisioned a network that championed peace and prosperity by fostering bonds between people from different communities around the world. He thought that if people from different cultures could understand, appreciate, and celebrate their differences while building partnerships, it would lessen the chance of new conflicts.

In 2000, Fountain Hills started its first partnership, and has grown into three Sister Cities. Delegations from Fountain Hills have traveled to Ataco, El Salvador, Dierdorf, Germany and Zamosc, Poland to build relationships with local mayors and schools. These relationships focus on cultural and student exchanges, educational programs, community events, and humanitarian efforts. 

Each partnership is officially created between the mayor of Fountain Hills and the mayor of the other cities. The Sister Cities Advisory Commission serves as a liaison of support between the Town and Fountain Hills Sister Cities Corporation. The Commission also works to promote ways for communities to creatively learn, work, and solve problems through reciprocal cultural, educational, municipal, business, professional, and technical exchanges and projects.

Student Exchanges!

Last Fall, Fountain Hills welcomed a dozen students from Dierdorf, Germany, for a two-week sports-themed exchange program. They immersed themselves in our community at the local level, meeting the mayor and seeing behind the scenes of Fountain Hills government. Then at the state level touring the state capital, attending the ASU’s homecoming game, horseback riding and local high school volleyball and football sporting events.

In addition to cheering on their favorite teams, the students embarked on exciting day trips to the Grand Canyon and enjoyed hiking Arizona's landscapes. They were matched with FHHS students, staying in their homes, and forming lasting friendships.

Looking ahead, this June, our Fountain Hills HS students will be traveling to Germany to attend European Soccer Championship and Formula One racing, continuing the sports-themed adventure. Visting with the mayor and Castle, government building tours. Day trips by train and a Rhine River cruise all while staying with their host families.

The goal of the sister cities students exchange is for today’s students to experience a taste of international cultures and grow up to be compassionate, civic-minded, and diplomatic leaders of tomorrow. Fountain Hills Sister Cities provides opportunities for the people of our area to develop relationships through volunteers who reach out to interact with citizens of our Sister Cities. They seek to achieve international understanding, cultural sensitivities, humanitarian efforts and encourage trade and tourism. This is accomplished through cultural and student exchanges, educational programs, and community events. More information on Fountain Hills Sister Cities

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