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Member of Sister Cities International

Affiliations between the United States and other countries began shortly after World War II and soon became popularly known as Sister Cities. The Sister City movement became a national effort when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the People-to-People program at a White House conference in 1956. Today, over 2,000 U.S. cities in all 50 states are linked with over 1,800 foreign cities in 123 different countries. Since its founding, the Sister Cities program has broadened its areas of focus from educational and cultural exchanges to also include technical assistance, trade, and economic development.


Our goals and achievements in a nutshell...

| establishment of friendly relations with 13 sister cities across the globe

| 5 decades of good membership standing with Sister Cities International

| numerous educational, community and business exchanges

| reduction of stereotypes and prejudices within in the international community

| strengthening the importance of Austin, Texas as a global city

What are international sister cities?

A sister cities relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. A relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed officials from both communities sign off on an agreement to become sister cities.

When did sister cities begin?

The international sister cities program dates back to 1956 and the Eisenhower Administration. Recognizing the damage done to diplomacy during World War II, Eisenhower established the program as a civilian vehicle for repairing and promoting international relations. Some of the early partnerships with cities in Germany and Japan represented clear attempts to erase old tensions.

Are Sister Cities relevant today?

Diplomacy doesn't have to be done just by the State Department. Sister Cities practices “citizen diplomacy” between individual communities and their people. Through collaborative programs and exchanges, the citizens of sister cities learn to relate with mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation - leading to a more peaceful world.


International understandinG, cooperation, and respect

Austin Sister Cities International aims to promote international understanding in our fast-paced, globalized world. Together with representatives from our sister cities, we are facilitating a wide range of opportunities to participate in international educational, community, cultural and business exchanges.

INbound + Outbound Delegations

Austin Sister Cities International organizes, hosts and welcomes multiple international delegations every year. As a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization we are committed to including local artists, business leaders, city administration and community members in all of our trips abroad. The topics of focus on the delegation trips vary, depending on each delegation's agenda and committee aims. However, all ASCI delegations represent an international and diverse Austin, seeking to promote international understanding, cooperation and respect.

Educational exchange

Austin Sister Cities International has facilitated educational exchanges for decades. Many Austin schools, including elementary, high school, colleges and universities regularly participate in student exchange with our sister cities. Email Canan, ckaba@austinsistercities.com, to learn more. 

Economic Development

Austin Sister Cities actively contributes to our city's thriving economy, (1) by promoting and organizing large groups of international citizens to visit Austin for the purpose of tourism, business development, educational instruction, and cultural exchange and (2) by facilitating opportunities for Austin businesses to expand internationally, through the established networks in our Sister Cities and the surrounding communities.  

Austin International Community

Austin Sister Cities International leverages it resources within the Austin international community to strengthen Austin as a premier international travel destination and global city. Our core concern involves reducing stereotypes and prejudice, while contributing to a tolerant and welcoming environment. Our events are inclusive and open to the public. The aim is to bring the communities of our sister cities closer to Austin and vice versa, giving Austin an international stage on which it can truly shine.