On Dec. 28, Juneau was visited by Michael Keays, the Consul General from Vladivostok, Russia.
Vladivostok is one Juneau’s three active Sister Cities. Keays came to Juneau to meet with our Sister Cities Committee, the Assembly and members of the Juneau community to discuss exchange and economic opportunities between the Russian Far East and Alaska. He also presented to the Juneau World Affairs Council where many of those who visited Vladivostok in the 1990s were in attendance.
In the Empire article by reporter Kevin Gullufsen reporting on the meeting with Juneau Assembly, Keays indicated that the students from Russia receive … “some kind of tuition break from the University of Alaska system to attend Alaska schools, but he’s not sure of the status of that program.” The Juneau Sister Cities Committee would like to clarify that relationship.
The University of Alaska Southeast welcomes international undergraduate students from all over the world. Through the Sister Cities program, students from the city of Vladivostok, as well as Whitehorse, Canada and Kalibo, Philippines — Juneau’s active Sister Cities relationships — do receive a benefit of the cities relationship.
Interested students are required to complete the admissions process and comply with all international admission requirements which include language proficiency and financial stability, like any other international student. Once completed, the student will receive an I-20 which is an invitation to study at UAS. The student in turn will take the I-20 with them to the consulate or embassy to receive their student visa (F-1), allowing them to enter and study in the U.S. at UAS. The benefit of the relationship for the student is such that the student is offered the in-state tuition rate rather than the non-resident international charge.
The Juneau Sister Cities Committee is an Advisory Committee to the Assembly. We work to develop, support and sustain economic, cultural and social relationships with our Sister Cities, Kalibo, Philippines; Vladivostok, Russia; and Whitehorse, Canada. Currently there are openings on the Sister Cities Committee. If you are interested working on the committee and are able to actively participate developing international bonds of friendship and understanding, and promote international awareness and relations between the cities and the people of those communities, join us! You can find an application on the CBJ Boards and Committees website.
• Susan Baxter is the co-chair for the Juneau Sister Cities Committee.