Student Exchange Programme
The Sister Cities Student Exchange Programme is a cross-community programme that has been running from 2000. It aims to provide Newtownabbey’s young adults with an opportunity to travel to Gilbert, Arizona to develop an understanding of a different country, its culture and people through a family living experience.
Making the world a better place by bringing people together one friendship at a time was the dream of President Dwight D. Eisenhower 47 years ago when he introduced the Sister Cities concept. The program coordinates cultural, trade, educational, and sports programs that promote international and intercultural knowledge and understanding. The link with Gilbert was established on November 17, 1998 and was a first for both the Town of Gilbert and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Four students will be selected to participate in the programme, two from Newtownabbey and two from Gilbert. Newtownabbey students will be matched with a student partner in the USA and will spend the duration of the programme with that student. The programme lasts approximately six weeks with half the time spent in Gilbert and half in Newtownabbey.
The first part of the programme involves the two selected students from Newtownabbey travelling to the USA to spend three weeks being home hosted by their matched student. They will be given a wonderful opportunity to learn about their hosts’ local cultures and customs in ways not available to a casual visitor.
At the end of the three weeks, the Gilbert students will return with the Newtownabbey students to be home hosted in Newtownabbey. During their stay they will have a chance to closely experience a new culture and make lifelong friends by living with the family of their exchange student.
Each applicant must:
- be an EU citizen
- live in Newtownabbey
- be in Year 13 and
- be in good health (and, upon request, be able to supply a doctor’s statement of verification)
Applications for 2013 are now open.