GRSCI A Worldwide Connection


Grand Rapids Sister Cities International (GRSCI) is a non-profit organization that works to build relationships between Grand Rapids and its sister cities by promoting understanding and mutual respect through exchanges in culture, art, education, and community and economic development.

Through an agreement with the City of Grand Rapids, GRSCI administers Grand Rapids’ sister cities programs and interfaces with state and nation wide efforts to bring the culture of other nations home to the citizens of our area. Because of the hard work and dedication of our members and volunteers and the Grand Rapids community, we now have five sister cities: Omihachiman, Japan; Bielsko-Biała, Poland; Perugia, Italy; the Ga District, Ghana; and Zapopan, Mexico.


    Watch this video for a glimpse at what sister cities have meant to Grand Rapids and how Grand Rapids residents have connected with others from around the world.


Click on any of the buttons below to learn more about a specific sister city around the world.

𝙺𝚎𝚎𝚙 𝚄𝚙 𝚝𝚘 𝙳𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝙶𝚁𝚂𝙲𝙸

Current GRSCI Events:

News Update – September 27th, 2020

J-CHAT – September 1st, 2020

 Japan’s punctual, hard-driving work culture is well known. What about Japanese companies in the States? What’s similar, and what’s different?
 Last summer, longtime J-Chat attendee Andrew Mulder moved to Chicagoland to work for one of Japan’s best-known food companies. He’ll share with us his rich experience working there thus far.
 The event will take place Tuesday, September 1. Due to time zone differences, J-Chat will start at 7:15 PM, but feel free to join us at 7:00PM for pre-presentation fun and banter.
Email us at “grsci [dot] omi [at] gmail [dot] com” for access credentials.  Be sure to give yourself a few moments to log into Zoom . You shouldn’t need to create a Zoom account, but you will need to download the software.
 For those interested in learning more about our work, the Omihachiman Committee will meet before J-Chat, starting at 6:40PM.
 Hope to see you there, Sara Simon, Omi Committee Chair

Exit Space Project – Welcome Mural by Dave Battjes

“Local artist Dave Battjes (Instagram: @davebattjes) is finishing up his newest mural on the retaining wall of the Ionia ramp from I-96 near Michigan Avenue downtown Grand Rapids. This is UICA’s second mural in partnership with Grand Rapids Sisters Cities and is supported by Downtown GR, Inc. We are excited to see this project come together after being delayed by COVID-19. To date, UICA has created over 16 murals as part of our Exit Space Project.” UICA Summer Update

Accepting Applications for the Perugia Scholarship January 2020 – Through March 15th!

Click on Image for More Information

Past Events:

Chiaroscuro Film Series 2020 – Gallery

2020 – Chiaroscuro Film Series

Thank you for attending!

Click Here to View the Gallery of GRSCI Member Gina Corazza November 2019, Trip to Perugia, Italy!

Gina represented Grand Rapids at the Fieri dei Morti Market in November 2019

Ethnic Heritage Festival – October 2019


What is a sister city? In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower created a program that was designed to enhance relationships among cities in the United States and the rest of the world. The desired outcome of this program was to gain knowledge and understanding of foreign cities through community exchanges of cultural and ethnic ideas.