WKU students work to set up sister city in Switzerland

Anna Lawson

Sarah Kinnicutt has always been intrigued by different cultures. Growing up in Lexington, the senior honors student was involved in exchange programs all through high school.

For her Honors College thesis project, Kinnicutt wanted to give Bowling Green students the same opportunity by setting up a sister city in Porrentruy, Switzerland.

Kinnicutt is a French major and wants to get more people interested in the culture. She feels learning French has become much less important in the minds of students, and she wants to change that.

Kinnicutt said she wants to offer students the chance to learn about other cultures outside of the classroom.

“This will benefit Bowling Green because anyone can do it,” she said. “It will expand awareness of French culture and students will realize that it isn’t a waste of time to learn French. It will help to generate interest in other cultures.”

Kinnicutt came up with the idea last fall and has been working on it ever since. She said she hopes to have exchange with pen-pals by the end of October.

Taylorsville sophomore Tara Sorrels is helping Kinnicutt with the project.

Sorrels said she is excited about the idea of making connections across the globe.

“Opening up international relationships will be a learning experience and a great opportunity for everyone who is involved,” Sorrels said. “I believe globalization is an amazing thing, and if I can help with that, I don’t want to hesitate.”

Last semester, Kinnicutt helped to start the organization Hilltoppers for Sister Cities. The group works with Bowling Green Visitors Bureau.

Sorrels said having this sister city will allow not only students to participate in this exchange but the city as a whole.

“I think having a sister city will benefit Bowling Green because we hope to set up exchanges and opportunities for our communities to join together and share ideas,” she said.

Kinnicutt is also hoping to put together an art show in the spring that will showcase artwork from Bowling Green and the sister city in Switzerland.

Sorrels said they are just trying to kick start everything and see if they can start making things happen.

“We would have students in Bowling Green and students in Switzerland create art with the same theme and then bring it all together in one big art show here in Bowling Green,” said Sorrels.

Kinnicutt said the sister city will be a great addition to Bowling Green. It will allow the community as a whole to understand other cultures and be more in touch with other people.

“We just hope for it to be an interactive relationship and one that many people can benefit from,” said Sorrels.

People who are interested in this project or want to know more can attend a meeting on Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center, Room 250.