City’s foreign exchange program turns 20

first_imgSANTA FE SPRINGS – Francis Carbajal’s experience with the Sister Cities Student Exchange program prompted her to make a career change in her late 20s. Shortly after returning from a trip to Germany, Carbajal, now 38, resigned from her position as a bank employee and went into the travel industry, she said. On Tuesday, she met with a group of local students who are venturing to Germany this summer for their own part in the exchange trip. This year marks Santa Fe Springs’ 20th anniversary of its student exchange with Tirschenreuth, Germany, and Carbajal is joining city officials in reuniting past and future participants of the exchange program. “For some, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Carbajal, who has served as an adviser for student-exchange program participants. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsEleven students – including six teenagers from Navojoa, Mexico (another sister city) – will be traveling to Germany in July as part of this year’s exchange. An estimated 150 local students have been involved in the exchange project with Germany since 1986, according to city organizers. “The whole purpose is to promote peace and appreciation of the world and the different cultures,” said Marina Sueiro, director of intergovernmental relations for Santa Fe Springs. “The hope is that we’ll be able to achieve that goal by allowing students … to be actually living with families.” Via the local program, students from Santa Fe Springs or the general Whittier Union High School District may spend three weeks of their summer with a family in Tirschenreuth. “It gives them a good flavor for the culture, the language, the cooking and their lifestyle,” added Sueiro. Because this year marks the 20th anniversary of the city’s student-exchange participation with Germany, plans for a larger celebration are under way. The main festivities will begin in mid-August, when upcoming exchange trip participants return to Santa Fe Springs and host the German students locally. “We try to tell them about our government and expose them to our culture and language,” said Program Coordinator Anita Jimenez. Jimenez added that a special reunion event will be launched Aug. 18 for past and current participants of the exchange program. For information regarding the 20th anniversary reunion, exchange trip, participants can call (562) 868-0511, Ext. 7309. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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