The details of sister school partnerships vary based on the schools involved. In short, a sister school partnership is a planned collaboration between schools that offers mutual benefits. They are often best expressed through student exchanges, teacher exchanges and joint projects.
Sister School Benefits
Benefits to Students
Having a partner school can help students by:
offering insight into what it is like to live in another country
providing an opportunity to create new friendships with others living far away
increasing cultural awareness of oneself and others
participating in exchange programs
improve language skills
providing a stimulating environment to discuss and learn about global issues
developing technology skills
CAEC supports the sister school relationships it helps create by providing:
monetary donations to help schools build educational projects related to building their sister school relationships;
monetary donations to help fund exchange program scholarships for teachers and students;
consulting services to schools in the initial years of their relationship as parameters are being established, as well as in subsequent years, to ensure the relationship remains robust;
travel services, as needed, that meet the housing, transportation, food and tourism requirements of exchange program participants.
Benefits to Teachers
Sister school relationships offer professional and personal development opportunities, including:
taking part in school exchanges
fostering long-lasting international relationships with teachers
learning about teaching methods from around the world
receiving awards and recognition for your international education work
contributing to your school’s international curriculum
Benefits to Schools
Sister school relationships offer important benefits to schools, including:
Recruiting students for long-term placement that provide revenue to the school
Improving overall academic performance on standardized tests by recruiting high performing international students
Enriching and diversifying the student body through the recruitment and presence of international students
Demonstrating commitment to international education to the local community that aids in recruiting local students
There is perhaps nothing more impactful than visiting face-to-face with your sister school partners/friends, while exploring new cultures, sites and languages. Such exchange programs can be carried out as short-term or long-term visits. Please click here to read about programs for students and here to read about programs for teachers.
In addition to opportunities for students and teachers, exchange programs also exist for senior administrators that focus on best practice sharing and relationship building, and can be integral to the success of sister school partnerships. In fact, visits by administrators play a key role in formally establishing most sister school partnerships.
Below are several example sister school projects we are in the process of creating along with lesson plan suggestions on how to implement them.
Starter project: culture in a box
Make and exchange ‘culture boxes’ containing ten items. By choosing the items to put in, your students will learn about how others see them. By explaining their choices they will try to tell their partner school how they see themselves.
Starter project: through the lens
Exchange photos and learn more about everyday life in your partner school. Raise questions, be surprised and find out what makes you smile.
Project template: identity and belonging
Use our project templates to explore the meaning of identity, discuss how identities are shaped, and learn how social identities may differ between countries and individuals.
Project template: sustainable living
Encourage your pupils to look beyond the borders of their own countries explore the impact they have on the planet minded and its future, and be more environmentally using our project templates.
Project template: conflict and peace
Our conflict and peace project templates help to develop students’ thinking on the causes of conflict and approaches to seeking peaceful solutions. Projects and exercises look at conflict in a global sense, and then bring it back to the local context by exploring how young peoples’ lives are touched by conflict.