Sending and receiving delegations to and from our sister cities is one of the most vital and revered functions of the MASCP. On odd-numbered years we send a delegation to our sister city, while on even-numbered years we receive a delegation from the city here in Marquette.
When receiving a delegation, a public service announcement is sent out to the community and informational meetings held once their visit is confirmed and timing set. The MASCP board helps with transportation, sightseeing and any other needs of the visiting delegates.
When sending a delegation, a public service announcement is made available to the community in January and an informational meeting held to educate interested people on the process. Previous delegates are brought to these meetings to share their past experiences to benefit attendees. Applications are then accepted for a maximum number of 8 to 10 participants. Seven monthly training sessions are then held from February to October, as October is usually when delegations have gone in the past. The exact date for visiting the sister city is approved by the city itself.
A leader is chosen to coordinate and lead the delegation, as well as a translator who can help with dialogue between parties during the visit. Senior members of the board are tasked with pricing the trip, as air fare, insurance and gifts for the city need to be considered. The maximum number of 10 was set by the city itself as hosting more than that proves to be costly. Considering this, it is requested that families utilize separate travel plans from the delegation to limit the cost.
Because of the nature of these visits, it is important to understand that these visits are not meant as a tourist experience, but one of cultural respect and understanding, while also representing Marquette with a focus on international diplomacy.