About the program

What is a Sister City?

Sister Cities International has supported programs around the nation and has promoted more than 1,200 relationships between 780 cities in the U.S. and cities in 86 other countries. Learn more about sister city programs nationwide by visiting the Sister Cities International website.

Grand Rapids skyline at dusk

Why Establish Sister Cities?

Believe it or not, sister cities have been around for over fifty years. The idea came from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who created the program so domestic communities could establish international relationships. The idea was to trade cultural ideas, share traditions, and create relationships around the world.

Sister Cities International has supported programs across the United States. Since 1931, the organization has helped establish over 1,200 relationships between 780 cities in the United States and 86 other countries.

How to Establish a Sister City

If you’d like to submit a request for a new sister city, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. You can view our entire process here.

  1. Email your request to info@grsistercities.org
  2. Fill out the Community Pairing Survey from Sister Cities International and email it to us at info@grsistercities.org

For more information on this process, contact us here.

Night Skyline of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids Sister City International (GRSCI)

Grand Rapids Sister Cities International (GRSCI) is a non-profit organization that works to build relationships between Grand Rapids and its sister cities. We do this by promoting understanding and mutual respect through:

  • Exchanges in culture, art, education
  • Community development
  • Economic development

GRSCI works alongside the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to establish international sister cities and bring those cultures home. We partner with state and nationwide programs to solidify and uphold these relationships around the world.

Our members, volunteers, and the Grand Rapids community have worked together to help us establish six sister cities:

Click on each of the cities above to learn more about their culture and relationship with Grand Rapids.