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Sister Cities Program

LogoAUBURN'S SISTER CITIES PROGRAM - "Connect Globally, Thrive Locally"

The Auburn Washington Sister Cities Association (AWSCA) is a community based organization providing opportunities for City of Auburn, Washington, residents to develop relationships with the peoples of the world through cultural exchanges, educational programs and community events.

What is a Sister City?
The Sister Cities program was created by President Eisenhower in 1956 to promote peace. The idea was for "individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States" to link up with the citizens of other countries in an effort to bring about "citizen diplomacy." It's a form of legal and social agreement between towns, cities, counties, prefectures, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.

Who runs Auburn's Sister City program?
The Sister City program is coordinated by the Auburn Washington Sister Cities Association (AWSCA), an independent, nonprofit organization under the direction of a Board of Directors with representation from the City of Auburn, Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce, Auburn Tourism Board, Auburn School District, Green River Community College and each established Sister City Committee. AWSCA provides the framework for each of the Auburn Sister City committees to engage in fostering international relations through cultural and business exchanges, educational and recreational programs.

How does a Sister City get started?
Proposals to establish new Sister City relationships are presented to the AWSCA Board and current City Administration for consideration. This includes submitting a profile of the proposed Sister City, identifying a sponsoring organization and listing the group of volunteers who will develop the Sister City relationship.

Be a Citizen Ambassador - join Auburn's Sister Cities Association!
To get involved contact Tamie Bothell, Auburn's Sister City Liaison.
Auburn Washington Sister Cities Association
PO Box 2124
Auburn WA 98071

Email Tamie Bothell
Auburn WA Sister Cities Association Membership Form (PDF)
Like us on Facebook: Auburn Sister Cities


Summer Youth Ambassador Program:

  • 8th to 11th graders can apply for the summer Youth Ambassador program
  • Must live, attend school or have a parent who works in Auburn to participate
  • Up to 10 Youth Ambassadors selected each year
  • Primarily been between Auburn/Kent & Tamba, Japan, but now recruiting for Auburn's other Sister Cities as well
  • Our YAs visit Tamba in July, then the Tamba YAs visit Auburn/Kent in August
  • Selected students are responsible to pay half their airfare, then work together to raise funds for the other half as well as other program expenses

Year Long Youth Ambassador Program

  • 10th and 11th graders can apply for the year-long YA program if they've participated in the Summer YA program
  • Attend high school in one of Auburn's Sister Cities while living with a host family whose high school student attends your high school and lives with your family.

Interested in the Youth Ambassador Program? Download the Youth Ambassador Interest Application (PDF).


Tamba, Japan

  • Established: 1969
  • Population: 65,000
  • Rural with many rivers and mountains
  • Shared with Kent, WA
  • Industry: Agriculture (chestnuts, soybeans), saki, flower preservation, fishing gear
  • Focus: Youth Ambassador Program, High School Exchange
  • Formal Youth Ambassador Program through KAT (Kent, Auburn, Tamba) Sister City Program

Each year, several Kent and Auburn youth are selected to serve as Youth Ambassadors to our sister city of Tamba in Japan. These ambassadors travel to Tamba for 8 to10 days in the summer. There they live with host families, giving them a personal experience of Japanese culture. Upon their return, they host their Japanese "brother" or "sister" in their home in Kent, or Auburn for 8 to 10 days. Strong friendships are formed and the youth from both countries benefit from learning what makes us the same and what makes us unique. Here are the experiences of three recent Youth Ambassadors.

Pyeongchang, South Korea
    Summit Meeting
  • Established: 2011
  • Population: 45,000
  • 4-season resort area surrounded by 7 mountain peaks, 10 million people visit annually
  • Hosting 2018 Winter Olympics
  • Industry: Tourism, agriculture (buck-wheat, huckleberries, vegetables), forestry, livestock
  • Focus: Middle & High School Exchange, Economic Development

Guanghan, China
  • Established: 2013
  • Population: 590,000
  • Suburb of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province
  • Industry: Tourism & entertainment, pharmaceutical, manufacturing & building materials
  • Focus: Middle & High School Exchange, Green River College Aviation Program

Yuhang, China
  • Established: 2017
  • Population: 900,000
  • In district of Hangzhou between Shanghai and Hangzhou
  • Industry: Manufacturing, biomedicine engineering, machinery & electronics, textile & garments; home of Alibaba (China's Amazon) & Dream Town (business incubator)
  • Focus: Middle & High School Exchange, Economic Development

Mola di Bari, Italy
  • ItalyEstablished: 2016
  • Population: 26,000
  • Founded prior to 1277
  • In Southern Italy on Adriatic
  • Industry: Fishing port, bathing resort, focaccia, soap, buttons, tanneries
  • University 10-15 minutes away
  • Focus: Cultural and Educational Exchange, Economic Development


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