Sister Cities High School Youth Exchanges

Sister Cities High School Youth Exchanges are opportunities for School District of Philadelphia students to host and/or travel to one of Philadelphia's eleven Sister Cities. To learn more about Philadelphia's Sister Cities, click here

This program is currently serving preexisting exchanges. 


The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia works with the City of Philadelphia and corporate partners to facilitate official adult exchanges and delegations. Each Sister City is also supported by volunteers who are committed to the goals and objectives of the program.The Sister Cities High School Youth Exchange Program is a component of the Sister Cities program. It is an in-depth, student to student exchange where they experience the culture of a foreign country through living with host families, attending school with their host student, and exploring together while immersed in project-based learning. 

For more information about Sister Cities High School Youth Exchanges, contact Kristin Hutchinson, Vice President of Education at

Frequently Asked Questions

An exchange is first identified through the City of Philadelphia or the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. World Affairs receives a message of interest from one of our Sister Cities or a School District of Philadelphia high school. World Affairs then serves as a liaison to establish communication between the two schools. In some cases, when contacted by a Sister City, World Affairs will consider programming in the respective high schools to determine if there is a natural connection (i.e. specialty programs, career-oriented programs, cultural programs, etc.) 


World Affairs connects with interested high schools and meets with the Principal and staff. Once a school decides to establish an exchange, World Affairs assists in coordinating the visits, both for Philadelphia teachers and students traveling to the host Sister City and when the Sister City students and teachers arrive in Philadelphia. 

Sister Cities High School participants must be education members of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. We are not currently accepting new schools for exchanges, but if you are a high school in the School District of Philadelphia and you are interested in a 2024-2025 exchange, please contact Kristin Hutchinson at

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia will work with the principal and the teachers in meeting with students and parents to explain the purpose of the exchange, how the exchange operates, and to answers any questions. We also will work with other organizations who are interested in the exchange to help prepare the selected students for the exchange and provide administrative support for the documents required by the School District of Philadelphia.  

Each school undertakes the exchanges knowing that fundraising will be needed to make the exchange possible.Each exchange is different and depends on the assocaited costs including but not limited to passport fees, programming costs, visa appliations, and more. 

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