High school students study abroad with Tempe Sister Cities

TEMPE, Ariz. (FOX 10) - In this week's Community Cares, the Tempe Sister Cities program gives high school juniors the summer of a lifetime by experiencing the world, different cultures, people, foods, and cities.

"There's five of us going to Germany this summer and I'll be staying with a host family in the city of Regensburg," said Kate Alperen, a junior at Corono Del Sol.

Kate Alperen is ready for her adventure.

"I'm hoping to learn a couple of phrases for basics getting around before I go through," said Kate.

A junior at Corono Del Sol, she is among a handful of students from Tempe selected to travel abroad for free this summer.

"Tempe Sister Cities has 11 sister city countries right now, we send students to nine of them," said Paul Sheard, the President of Tempe Sister Cities Corporation.

Paul Sheard is the elected President of Tempe Sister Cities Corporation. He says this year 28 students have been selected. The process to be chosen is a tough one.

"All the applicants they have to fill out an application obviously and then it gets submitted to the city then Tempe Sister Cities goes and picks them up and consolidates them," explained Sheard. "We have a selection committee and they basically hold several interviews with the individual students with their families, they have a social night."

Once they make the cut, students provide the committee with their top three picks.

"We trust our selection committee to say really get a feel for what that student might best get out of some of these different cities they're going to," said Sheard.

"They have a lot of activities set up, one of the first things that we will do is go to the burger festival which is like a big state fair type thing," said Kate.

The students will spend five weeks abroad learning, laughing, and making memories.

"Really just to get to know the family that is what I am most excited for and to be able to build those connections," said Kate.

And of course, the students from the sister city will travel to Tempe and spend five weeks with their host family.

There's also a professional exchange. A few years ago the program sent some firefighters to Germany to learn more about responding to emergencies.

To learn more about Tempe Sister Cities visit their website here.