Grand Forks is proud to have longstanding relationships with international communities, demonstrating the importance of a world view, the benefit of international exposure and opportunities for our residents (especially students), and the impact of creating bonds that cross time zones and oceans.
The Friendship City agreement, renewed in November 2015, with Kanuma, Japan, is a model for keeping the our student Homestay Program strong and for charting a course of even more opportunities from music to agriculture to art and commerce. Our Friendship City relationship thrives due to the wonderful friendships and hard work of our counterparts in Kanuma, including Mayor Shin Sato and Planning Director Toshihisa Sodeyama.
The Sister City relationship with Sarpsborg, Norway has resulted in many exchanges of ideas, culture and people. With ties to UND, the Grand Forks School District, the Nordic Initiative, this relationship brings amazing musical professionals like Kai Robert and delegations of Sarpsborg officials to Grand Forks and has opened the door for Grand Forks area youth musicians to travel to Norway and participate in Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) parades, among other benefits.