York meets Europe

The York Twinning Association: Sending York citizens to Europe since 1954.


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

The York Twinning Association is twinned with the cities of Arles, France, since 1954, and Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany, since 1981. The sign is currently located near the NW corner of the intersection of N. Pershing Avenue and E. Market Streets.

Ella Paraskevakos, Reporter

After the depressing times of World War II and during the times of the Cold War, a beacon of light shined on the citizens of York, Pennsylvania.

The York Twinning Association was created during these hard times in order to bring new experiences of foreign travel, language, culture, and economics for ordinary people in the small city of York.

The York Twinning Association (YTA), according to its official website, is a people-to-people exchange program, which connects individuals in the world of different cultures, regions, and backgrounds.

The city of York twins with two cities: Arles, France, and Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany. 


The YTA hosts student and adult exchange trips with our sister cities for short periods of time during a calendar year.

The YTA and the foreign sister city organizations collaborate with the YTA and set dates well in advance for trips. Students will spend approximately 2 weeks on their exchange trip while adults will spend about one week with their bonding families.

All participants will live with a family in the U.S.A. or corresponding host country. While on an exchange, tours of the geographic areas, local cultural activities and native foods are enjoyed.

From these experiences, friendships are easily developed.

Mrs. JaNeene Powell, who is both the President, and the German Student Coordinator of the YTA, started getting involved with the YTA over three years ago, when her and her family decided to be a host family.

Powell loves the way that the trips with the YTA are more unique than the traditional school trips.

Overviewing a trip with the YTA, Powell says “ With York Twinning Association, students spend 2 weeks living with a family in the sister city (whether it be here in York, Arles, or Leinfelden-Echterdingen).  Travelers get a real feel for the lives of their host families, and see more than just the “touristy” view. Student travelers attend school, go to practices or rehearsals, and experience authentic, home-cooked meals instead of all restaurant-type cuisine.”

Her daughter, Dallastown junior DeAnna Williams, has visited Germany with the YTA and plans to go on the France trip in 2020. Powell plans to “travel at some point after that.”

Williams eighth grade german teacher, Frau Tucker, was the person who pushed both Williams and Powell to venture out and get involved with the host family program as well as the YTA.

Tucker’s job is to promote the YTA to Dallastown Middle School students. She has successfully sent eight of her past students to go on a trip of a lifetime with the YTA.

“I highly recommend this program to others because it gives them the opportunity to experience another culture for an affordable cost. It’s a super fun and extremely beneficial trip,” Williams said.

As someone who has been involved with the program for six years, Tucker believes that trips with the YTA and traveling in general are important. The trips let students experience new things such as “meeting new people, traveling and learning about German history.”

Tucker believes that any trip, whether with the YTA or not, is a “wonderful way to open one’s heart and mind to things and people that are different.”