Project description

Gainesville recently became the first “Welcoming City” in Florida, with Alachua County being only the second Welcoming County in the state. This is incredibly fitting, as – according to the U.S. Census Bureau – about 15,000 Gainesville residents are not U.S. citizens. Gainesville is truly a diverse, multi-cultural city, primarily due to the University of Florida and Santa Fe College. With UF having nearly 7,000 international students from 130 countries, and Santa Fe adding 1,000 to that, the two schools contribute greatly to the international makeup of Gainesville.

Gainesville’s local economy is significantly fueled by the international connections that have been made over time, and there is still potential for an even larger impact. Right now, foreign buyers account for more than $100 million in annual real estate purchases. The University of Florida, Santa Fe College, the Alachua County School system and the Chamber of Commerce are all endeavoring to increase Gainesville’s international connections. For example, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service to offer international trade  consulting services in Gainesville.


Sister City Program of Gainesville, Inc., the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that administers the relationships for the City, connects individuals, organizations and institutions with sister city counterparts in such diverse fields as education, business, medicine, culture, sports and local governance. As a member of Sister Cities International, Gainesville has nine sister cities around the world.

Gainesville's Sister Cities:

  • Duhok, Iraq

  • Jacmel, Haiti

  • Kfar Saba, Israel

  • Deir Alla, Jordan

  • Matagalpa, Nicaragua

  • Novorossiisk, Russia

  • Qalqilya, Palestine

  • Rzeszow, Poland

  • Mejdlaya, Lebanon

Goals & objectives

  • Promote and facilitate international business and cultural relations

  • Provide opportunities for engagement with established and emerging world leaders

  • Create lifelong connections that span the globe, making our world safer and more understanding

  • Provide training to improve international business skills

  • Showcase our international community and connections

  • Promote multicultural awareness by hosting international visitors

  • Advocate for international cooperation through exchange programs

  • Facilitate professional, educational and cultural exchange tours for emerging and established global leaders in business, government and civil society

747 SW 2nd Ave, Suite #201 Gainesville, FL 32601

Tel: 904 - 878 - 3039

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