When I was seeking a new school to continue my education, a must-have for me was a place with culture. I was looking for a place that extended beyond its city limits, one that I would have opportunities for growth. I found that here in Kansas City. Many towns and cities have sister cities, another place across the world with which they’ve established a link, usually for the purpose of cultural exchange. Kansas City, however, has 13 sister cities. These are found all over the globe, in places such as Spain, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Taiwan, and others.

You can find evidence of other cultures’ influence throughout Kansas City’s landscape. Much of the Country Club Plaza has architecture found in our sister city, Seville, while the Dragon Boat Festival is a result of our relationship with Xi’an, China.

These cultural exchanges and takeaways have added unforgettable culture and life to the businesses of Kansas City. We strive to forge relationships with cities that have industries in technology like we do, and focus towards building ties with cities that have similar museums or universities. These sister cities and their affiliated organizations greatly contribute to making Kansas City an exciting place to live and provide numerous experiences.

Students, artists, musicians, and even professionals can benefit from these international relationships. Local universities offer many different options in the form of student exchange programs, the ability to study abroad, and even travel courses. Likewise, international professionals and students from sister cities have come to Kansas City to teach and learn here as well.

If you want to see a bit of the culture yourself, head on down to the Country Club Plaza and view the “Kansas City Sister Cities International Bridge.” Built in 2000, this bridge promotes international understanding by creating connection between the cities all over the globe. It’s a great place to visit with your family and take in all that Kansas City has to offer.


About the Author
Melissa Donley is a senior at Avila University majoring in Graphic Design and was the marketing intern at the IRC during summer 2018.