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Hosting Lakewood City students

These young American students come to experience living with a Shire family, to understand more about living in Sutherland Shire and to make new friends between the two communities.

We have made the difficult decision to cancel our exchange programs for safety considerations. Programs will resume in 2021 with applications tentatively opening in November.

Due to COVID-19, and postponement of Olympics to 2021, exchange programs are cancelled for the 2020-2021 school year.


The Sutherland Shire-Lakewood City Sister City Student Program brings Lakewood City students to experience life in Australia and participate in various community activities. It offers participants the opportunity to not just visit like a tourist but to be part of the life and culture of the Sutherland Shire.

Each year 24 students arrive in Sutherland Shire from Sutherland Shire's Sister City of Lakewood, Colorado, USA. 

This Sister City Student Program is an education-based program, so American students will be attending school and staying with their host families for 6 months. 


What to do with visiting students

Host families are advised to basically continue with regular family activities and to include the Lakewood City students as part of the family.

Activities such as sports, beach activities, bush walking have all proved popular.

Other popular activities include:

- visiting Darling Harbour

- touring the Opera House

- taking a ferry ride

Many families have get-togethers with their friends and neighbours to run a combined BBQ, dinner or activities day.

Who can apply?

It is expected that students who are going to USA will also be host students. This is because host families will be covering the costs of visiting students for 6 months in a reciprocal arrangement.

Families of students who are in Year 10 in Sutherland Shire schools are eligible to apply.

Find out more

The application process

Ready to apply? Here's what happens.

Downloading the form and brochure

Download the application form here if you're ready now. If for some reason you can't access the forms online we can send you an application package. The application also should be accompanied by a recent family photo.  

Security and background checks

It is also necessary for one Reference to be supplied. The Referee form is part of the Host Family Application form. 

The Sister City Association also requires every adult member of the host family residing at the host home to complete a Working With Children Check. More information about the WWCC can be found here. The WWCC for volunteers is free.

A visit to your home by organising Committee members will need to be scheduled at a time convenient to you and your family. 

Need more information?

If you need more information, contact us through the form below. The Host Family Co-ordinator will then be in contact with you by telephone and/or email to supply more information, have a chat about the program.  

Other aspects of the program


Applying to go to USA

Information on how to go to USA

About the Committee

Get to know the volunteers behind the program

History of the exchange

Information about how the program started

Have questions? Contact us!

If you have questions about any of our exchanges, click on the program below of your choice.

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Our sponsors and partners

We are generously supported by many organisations that have helped made our exchange programs possible

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