A group of high school students from Germany have arrived in Arlington, Virginia to start a two-week exchange program that will cover cultural visits in D.C. and New York.

Arlington high school students will host the guest teenagers and their adult chaperones until the last three days of their stay in the U.S., which they will spend in the northeast touring the Big Apple.

The program is part of Arlington Sister City Association’s (ASCA) series of exchange programs between Arlington and its five sister cities around the world. Besides Aachen, they are Coyoacán, (Mexico), Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine), Reims (France), and San Miguel (El Salvador).

Info Session on Reciprocal Visit to Germany on October 17th

All ASCA exchange programs are reciprocal. As such, a group of high school students will go and visit Aachen between June 20 and July 8 next year. The independent nonprofit, operational since 1993, will hold an information meeting about that trip at 7 p.m. on October 17 at Arlington Mill Community Center. The center is at 909 S Dinwiddie Street.

The planned trip to Germany will include cultural and historical sightseeing in both Aachen and Berlin, the German capital some 400 miles away to the northeast of the country where it borders Poland.

 

The 17-day trip to Germany is open to high school students between 15 and 18 who reside or attend high school in Arlington.

 

There is also an exchange trip from Arlington to Aachen for elementary school students. As part of that particular program, a group of 5th graders accompanied by at least one of their parents will travel to Germany next April.

A Relationship for Over a Quarter Century 

The sister city relationship between Arlington and Aachen is almost as old as ASCA itself. It began with the signing of a sisterhood protocol in 1993. Ever since, hundreds of students from both Arlington and Aachen visited each other’s cities and participated in as many out-of-class activities.

ASCA has a board of directors comprised of an executive committee and representatives from each of Arlington’s sister cities. There is also a corresponding committee of volunteers who actively work on promoting exchanges between Arlington and those five cities. Board Member Heidi Addison is in charge of the organization’s flagship cooperation with Aachen.

ASCA is a member of Sister Cities International, which President Eisenhower founded in 1956 to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation. Today, its network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in nearly 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in more than 140 countries worldwide.

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