It's time for our Annual Conference: July 13-15th!
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Registration for the 2017 Sister Cities International Annual Conference in Virginia Beach is now OPEN!
The 61st Annual Sister Cities Conference is your chance to meet sister cities leaders from around the globe for three days of networking, skill building, and fun! The conference, which will be held July 13-15th in Virginia Beach, Virginia is the premier sister city event of the year, uniting volunteers, elected leaders, municipal officials, and members of the diplomatic corp. 
Take advantage of our Early Bird rate and save $100 on registration!
For more information on hotels and other conference details visit us online at
Register for the 2017 Annual Conference

And Don't Forget About the 2017
Youth Leadership Summit!

Even though it doesn’t feel like it, summer is just around the corner and so is Sister Cities International’s annual Youth Leadership Summit. This year students will be heading to Virginia Beach for this 3-day conference where they will learn about citizen diplomacy, international affairs, and fostering peaceful international relationships. 

Our Youth Leadership Summit is a time for students to further their interests in international affairs and learn from experts in the field, while also having fun and making new friends. Not only will students participate in a U.N-style simulation facilitated by the U.S. Diplomacy Center and hear keynote speeches from industry officials, but they will also engage in the local community through a service project. There will be free time spent enjoying the sun on the beach, and students will get a taste of college life by staying in the dorms at Virginia Wesleyan College. Most importantly, they will come home with friendships not just from across the country, but across the world.

Please contact our Membership Manager for Youth Programs Alyssa Fox at with any questions.
Learn More about the Youth Summit

Recap on the 2017 Spring Leadership Meeting in Washington, DC

Our Spring leadership meeting in Washington, DC last week was a great success! The three days were filled with training and orientation, advocacy, and other memorable events--all while taking in the historic beauty of our Nation's capitol.
On Wednesday, board members attended State Representative training at the Hogan Lovell’s building in downtown, thanks to board member Christine Warnke. The training covered the responsibilities of State Representatives and why they’re essential to the SCI mission. From there, everyone headed to Capitol Hill to tell the story of SCI and highlight the importance of citizen diplomacy to their state Senators and representatives. Later on, members had a casual dinner at Bullfeathers—one of DC’s renowned spots to “see and be seen.” 

On Thursday, members spent most of the day at the State Department to attend committee meetings and a luncheon in the newly-built U.S. Diplomacy Center. Special guest speakers at the luncheon included Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12) and Second Lady Karen Pence, both of whom received Diplomatic Leadership Awards from SCI. Mrs. Pence wowed the audience by singing a Japanese poem that her sister, who visited Japan on an exchange, taught her many years ago. Later on, everyone headed to the Slovenian Embassy for the Global Leaders Circle reception. The evening was filled with Slovenian wine and hors d’oeuvres to kick off the SCI Global Leaders Campaign.

On Friday, the three-day stretch wrapped up with a final meeting overlooking historic Union Station in the penthouse boardroom of McDermott, Will & Emery—thanks to host and board member Jim Moran. The highlight of this meeting was the official appointment of 24 State Representatives from 21 states. Congratulations to our new representatives—we know you will advocate well for SCI and spread our story far and wide.
Thank you to all of the board members and State Representatives who attended the leadership meeting. We look forward to seeing you next time!

Submit Your Entries for the
Young Artists and Authors Showcase

Our annual Young Artists and Authors Showcase is underway and we are accepting entries in the categories of art*, photography, essay/poetry, and film, with a $1,000 prize in each category. This year’s theme is “We’re Going Places” to emphasize the importance of travel and exchange in achieving peace. This is a great opportunity for youth to get exposure for their art and writing on a national level, as winning pieces go on a cross-country tour of member cities. All submissions are due by May 1stFor questions email

* Note: The artwork category is limited to one submission per U.S. and international city. Many members hold local competitions, then send the winning piece to Washington, DC for the national competition.

How to Enter the Young Artists and Authors Showcase

Participate in our Hike for Peace

If you're in the DMV area, please join us for our first ever Hike for Peace on May 20th at the Wheaton Regional Park in Montgomery County, Maryland! While the event is free to attend, anyone who raises $175 through Network for Good will earn a free inaugural Hike for Peace: Change our World t-shirt.

Keep up with the details of this event on Facebook, and please sign up today to fundraise for the cause of global peace through citizen diplomacy--one individual, one community at a time.
Fundraise for Hike for Peace

Give a Student from Abroad a
Life-Changing Experience

Are you interested in helping an international student find a home here in the U.S.? Then apply to be a local coordinator for our J-1 High School Homestay Program or a host family for one of these students.

Each year our J-1 High School Homestay Program brings students from our international sister cities members to the U.S. for either a semester or year. While here they get to be immersed in American culture as well as attend an American high school and live with a local host family.
Local coordinators are needed in our U.S. cities to serve as the point of contact for the HSHS students. Local coordinators help find host families, coordinate school placement, and support both the students and their host families throughout the program. They also serve as the point of contact between SCI headquarters and the students.
If you have a passion for youth, and want to help them experience the U.S. and learn about Sister Cities apply to be a Local Coordinator by April 1st.  You can find more information by downloading this flyer.

Contact your local sister city organization to find out if they are planning to host exchange students and need a local coordinator or if you want to volunteer to host a student in your home! For questions, contact our Membership Manager for Youth Programs Alyssa Fox at
Learn More about the High School Homestay Program

We Need Leaders

Are you a leader in your local sister city program? Or maybe just someone with a passion for citizen diplomacy and international affairs? The 2017 Sister Cities International Board of Directors application is now available. 

Sister Cities International’s Board of Directors is elected by its voting members—local sister city organizations. The election includes both electronic voting from June 5th-July 14th, 2017 as well as in-person voting at the Annual Business Meeting on July 14th, held during Sister Cities International’s Annual Conference.

Seven (7) at-large Board positions will be filled by election during the Annual Business Meeting at the Annual Conference in Virginia Beach, VA on July 14th, 2017. All of the positions are for full three year terms (2017-2020). In addition, the Young Professional (Under 35 years old) and Youth (Under 21 years old) Board Members will be elected to 2-year terms (2017-2019). 

For more information on what it means to be on Sister Cities International's Board of Directors, click on the button below!


Tell Me More About the Board
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July 12-16 Youth Leadership Summit

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