Student Exchanges and Hosting Opportunities

Find information here on delegate or student exchanges happening through Duluth Sister Cities International.  See our calendar for current schedules!

Ohara Isumi-City, Japan

Duluth hosts or sends adult delegations and middle school student exchanges in alternating years.  Summer 2017 is a hosting year.

Adult Delegation

Middle School Exchange 

The Duluth Ohara Isumi-City Student Exchange is an annual exchange program of Duluth Sister Cities International (DSCI), a non-profit organization.  Our mission is to promote global understanding through mutual respect and cooperation with cultural, economic and educational endeavors.

Each summer Duluth or Ohara Isumi-City host a group of students who are currently in grades 7 through 9. The students begin the process by filing out an application and go through an interview process. After they are selected, the students will go to the hosting city.  They travel as a group, but each student will stay with a separate family.  The following year, the student and his or her family is expected to host the student with whom he or she stayed. During this weeklong program, the students experience life in the sister cities of Duluth and Ohara Isumi-City. In the process, strong bonds of friendships are made, perspectives broadened, and lives are changed forever.

Read what previous exchange hosts and students have to say about their experiences:

“Having our teens involved with the Duluth Sister Cities exchange with Japan was an enriching experience because it helped them understand how to overcome language and cultural barriers, and to appreciate the fascinating differences between Japan and the US. They also learned how much they have in common with kids their own age who live half way across the world. Going to Japan and hosting the Japanese here in Duluth is an experience they will always cherish.” Jane Aas

“It’s an amazing experience to get to know these kids when they visit. You learn to get past any language barrier, get to know them, have lots of fun and laughs, and they definitely feel like part of the family. It’s really hard to say goodbye at the end of the week. That feeling is mutual when our kids go over to Japan, they are treated so well. And we’ve stayed in contact with Japanese families after the exchanges.” Brian Barber

Växjö, Sweden

Duluth hosts or sends adult delegations in alternating years.  Sister City Soccer exchanges started here and grew into its own non-profit organization!

Sister City Soccer

The Duluth Växjö Soccer Exchange (DVSE) is a self-supporting, non-profit organization affiliated with Duluth Sister Cities International, Inc. The program promotes a cultural and sports exchange between Duluth, Minnesota and Växjö, Sweden. Cultural exchange is the primary goal, competitive soccer is the medium.

DVSE is a two-year program in which players travel one year and host the other year. Each summer Duluth and Växjö alternate hosting the Sister City Soccer Cup. Players from each country are matched with a visiting player. The visiting player lives with the family of his or her counterpart during the exchange. The next year, the student that had hosted the previous year visits his/her counterpart’s city and stays with his/her family. The games forge good sportsmanship and lifelong friendships that bring Duluth and Växjö closer together.


Petrozavodsk, Russia

Over the past year four exchange visits have taken place in Duluth and Petrozavodsk as part of the New Steps International best practices exchange, funded by a State Department Peer-to-Peer Dialogue grant. Visit the project website for more info:

– Here you can see some of the partners involved during the Student Delegation Program that took place in Duluth in April, 2015.

Official delegations occur in alternating years.

Thunder Bay, Canada

Official delegations occur in alternating years.  Unofficial visits between church congregations, base ball fans, etc happen often!

Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan

We hope to send a delegation early January 2017 to our newest sister city, contact us in the office for more information!