A group of high school students from Medford and Phoenix will travel to Northwest Italy in 2015 to participate in the Medford, Alba Italy Sister City Exchange Program. Founded by an initiative by President Eisenhower in 1956, the Sister Cities program was formed to create “person-to-person” diplomacy. Medford and Alba have been paired since 1960, with regular two-year exchanges formalized in 1985. This unique partnership was the subject of the May Medford Forum program hosted by Chantell Munoz.
Medford City Councilor Eli Matthews, Alba Board President Brent Barry, and Doug Snider shared their own experiences with the program in the May Forum and detailed the cultural, personal, and economic benefits that have come from exchanges between the Sister Cities. Snider’s father John was the Mayor of Medford when the exchange program came into being.
A group of students and chaperons will make the trip to Alba next summer, while an Italian contingent will visit in the fall. Students learn in each other’s high schools, live with host families, and travel extensively during the three-week trip. Applications for the 2015 trip have closed, but students interested in the 2017 exchange should visit the Medford Alba Facebook page to learn more.