PBSCA brings Portland and Bologna together every summer through our Youth Exchange


The summer of 2018 will mark the eleventh year of the PBSCA Youth Exchange, a small, reciprocal program, where in alternating years, for two weeks, 16-17 year-olds from each city travel one summer and host one summer. Each city provides an official itinerary to introduce our visitors to their sister city, and host families engage them in informal activities.  Starting in 2008, with the arrival of seven Bologna teens in Portland, 2017’s exchange was the fifth time we have sent Portland teens to Bologna. To date, 170 teens have had the opportunity to connect through the PBSCA Youth Exchange, and many friendships have endured.

Our thanks for your help in continuing to offer our Portland teens a truly authentic and affordable cultural exchange opportunity that meets the mission of Sister Cities International: to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time.


Our reciprocal exchange program means that Portland teens get the chance to host an Italian visitor one summer (2018), and travel to Bologna the next summer (2019) to stay with their Italian counterpart's family. This program provides an authentic cultural experience designed to introduce teens to another way of living and a larger lens through which to view the world. Our hope is that this nurtures a desire to learn more and an acceptance of differences.

In 2017, all Youth Exchange participants created a project to document their time in Bologna. Submissions included collages, live presentations, videos, and even a set of original oil paintings! The video below, created by Youth Ambassador Maddie Ott, was the winner of the 2017 Mayor's Youth Ambassador Award. Enjoy!

Video created by 2017 Mayor's Youth Ambassador Maddie Ott.



As an all-volunteer effort, this program is supported by fundraising efforts and donations which allow us to offer a robust itinerary for our Bologna visitors when in Portland, and to provide a scholarship to at least one of our Portland travelers. Please help us continue to offer this to our young Portlanders.

Donate by downloading our donation form. Or go to our Contribution page to donate via Paypal.