Parents and teens interested in learning about the annual summer Sister Cities High School Exchange program are invited to attend informational sessions hosted by Columbia Association (CA).
The sessions will take place at CA Headquarters, located at 10221 Wincopin Circle in downtown Columbia, on Thursday, Dec. 6, and Wednesday, Jan. 9. Both are scheduled to be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Each session will include teen and parent alumni of the program, as well as Laura Smit, program manager for CA’s international exchange and multicultural programs, all of whom will speak and answer questions about the month-long program.
Teen participants spend approximately two weeks of cultural and linguistic immersion during the summer in one of Columbia’s sister cities: Cergy-Pontoise in France or Tres Cantos in Spain. During this time, they are hosted by the family of a French or Spanish student. After returning to the United States, students will then host their French/Spanish counterparts for another two weeks. Throughout the trip, there are organized group activities for the participants, both abroad and in the U.S.
The program fee is $650 for Columbia residents and $790 for non-Columbia residents, excluding airline tickets. Airline tickets may range from $1,100 to $1,500 per participant. Applicants must be high school students residing in Howard County and must have completed high school level three of French or Spanish by the end of the current academic year or have the equivalent language fluency. The application deadline is Feb. 22.