Evaluating the Impact of the Tempe Sister Cities International Youth Exchange Program on Participants’ Sustained Global Engagement
This study examines the impact of international youth exchange on past participants’ global engagement through the lens of their academic, professional, and personal development post-exchange. Through a quantitative survey, as well as interviews conducted with alumni, this research explores the ways in which international exchange alumni felt as though their exchange impacted - or did not impact - their future academic, career, and personal choices. Furthermore, this study investigates the dynamics and practices of the specific organization of study, Tempe Sister Cities, and provides information regarding strengths and areas for improvement based upon feedback from study participants. This research builds upon existing literature on international exchange outcomes through its long-term perspective and evaluation of a Sister Cities affiliate, which is an organization previously omitted from international exchange impact evaluations. The study finds that while international exchange experiences may not contribute to overt, direct influences on the fields and industries in which alumni choose to study and work, the exchange produces long-lasting impacts through the skills alumni acquire in intellectual curiosity, job readiness, and other areas of personal and professional development.