Sister Cities of Morgan Hill offers programs for local teenage kids that enables them to explore the world

Published in the February 13 – 26 2019 issue of Morgan Hill Life

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San Casciano, Tuscany, Italy

Sister Cities of Morgan Hill is gearing up for this summer’s high school student exchange program with one of its sister cities, San Casciano, Tuscany, Italy. Morgan Hill families with teens between the ages of 15 and 17 are invited to contact [email protected] for details about hosting an Italian student for about two weeks in late July 2019.

The program is comprised of two phases that alternate between hosting Italian students for two weeks in late July, then traveling to San Casciano for two weeks the following summer, July 2020, for chaperoned and guided travel with fun opportunities to explore central Italy.

Sister Cities hosts monthly, public meetings at 7 p.m. every fourth Thursday of the month, at the Morgan Hill Centennial Recreation Center. All are welcome to learn about the group and the student exchange programs before joining.

Sister Cities developed the San Casciano Exchange Program to give Morgan Hill teens a chance to learn about, share, and explore an international experience, as well as form life-long friendships and memories.

The program was launched in the summer of 2018 with the first group of teens who traveled to San Casciano, experiencing a long list of fun group activities and seeing the local lifestyle first-hand.

“While the exchange is still relatively new, I believe we are at the start of something that will one day be a great asset to Morgan Hill’s reputation as a vibrant, local community with a wealth of opportunities for families,” said Pier Antoniucci, San Casciano Exchange Program chairperson for Sister Cities. “The group of teens who join the program early will be a big part of shaping the program’s entire future. I know Sister Cities and San Casciano have a lot to offer, and I hope there are families in Morgan Hill who would like to become a part of it. We are very excited to move it forward at last.”

Morgan Hill already has a very popular and respected educational exchange program with another of its Sister Cities relationships based in Mizuho, Japan.

The Mizuho Morgan Hill Student Exchange Program has a long history of sending and receiving middle school-aged children between Morgan Hill and Mizuho.

It, too, alternates between Morgan Hill kids traveling to Mizuho one year and then hosting Mizuho kids the following year. The group is now getting ready to host students from Mizuho, Japan, in the summer of 2019

The San Casciano Exchange Program aims to build on the Mizuho team’s diligent success and extend the international travel experience to older teens.

Like the Mizuho program, the San Casciano team will also encourage a direct connection and friendship between families of the two cities before and after the travel time frame itself.

“The Mizuho program is very well regarded, and students return from the experience with some of the greatest, life-long memories,” said Amy Whelan, president, Sister Cites of Morgan Hill. “The Mizuho exchange is such a highlight for Morgan Hill, and we are very pleased to expand what we can offer for older teens wishing to experience Italy and show off Morgan Hill.”


Robert Airoldi