68 °F Ulsan, KR
27 °F Portland, US


Date established as a sister city:    November 20, 1987

The Portland-Ulsan Sister City Association is a volunteer run, registered  non-profit, public benefit organization.

For more information or to learn more about how to get involved, contact from our Contact Page.

Current Portland-Ulsan connections:

  • The Port of Portland serves as a primary U.S. gateway for Hyundai cars, shipped from Ulsan.
  • June 2012,  the Mayor of Ulsan, Bak Maeng-Woo, accompanied by an 7-person delegation will visit Portland.
  • June 2012, the 90-member Ulsan Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a FREE symphony concert in Portland, Oregon to commemorate the unity of the 25-year sister city relations.
  • June and July are active “Ulsan months” in Portland

 ○    Delegates from and/or representing Ulsan City often visit Portland to participate in our annual Rose Festival.

 ○    50-60 students from Ulsan (from the University of Ulsan, College of Design and School of Architecture; and from Hyundai ChungUn High School) visit Portland annually in July.

Past years:

  •  Since 1995, Portland State University and the University of Ulsan have had an active sister university exchange, that regularly includes faculty, students, and art exhibitions.
  • In June 2007,  the City of Ulsan Mayor Bak Maeng-Woo, together with a 20-person delegation, and performing arts group visited Portland during Rose Festival.  The City of Ulsan sponsored a float in the 2007 Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.
  • In 2008, Rotary International sponsored a group study exchange between Rotary District 5100 (that includes the Portland area) and Rotary District 3720 (that includes Ulsan).  Four young professionals from the Portland area accompanied by a Rotarian team leader visited Ulsan for 1 week, while four young professionals from the Ulsan area visited Portland.
  •  In January 2010, four Ulsan transportation officials visited Portland to study Portland’s TriMet light rail system, in preparation for developing their own light rail.

History of the relationship:

The Portland-Ulsan Sister City Association exchanges several delegations from the city governments, local universities, and commerce and trade organizations. An Ulsan-Portland intercultural exchange has been set up, involving  students and faculty of the University of Ulsan and Portland State University, as well a summer program in Portland for visiting high school juniors from Ulsan’s elite private academy, Hyundai ChungUn High School.

Why Ulsan?

Ulsan is a center of shipping, ship repair, plywood, motor-car manufacturing, electronics and high technology development. Among Portland’s local companies which have offices in Korea include Tektronix, Nike, Lasco Shipping Co., Mentor Graphics, and the Port of Portland. Korean companies that have offices in Portland include the Hyundai Group and Pan Ocean Shipping Co.

Hyundai Motor Company has rolled more than 2 million cars through Port of Portland.  Portland saw more than 275,000 vehicles roll across the docks in 2012, and each one has an estimated economic impact of $271 to the local economy. (Read more…)

In 1986, the Mayor’s of both cities agreed that their cities should cooperate in the following activities:

  1. The development of programs for the promotion of tourism;
  2. The development of programs for the promotion of trade and mutual economic development activities; and
  3. The development of activities that will enlarge the feelings of friendship between the citizens of these two cities.

Ulsan’s other international sister cities:

  • Ahmedabad, India
  • Changchun, China
  • Hagi, Japan
  • Hualien City, Taiwan
  • Kanh Hoa, Vietnam
  • Karagandy, Kazakhstan
  • Kumamoto City, Japan
  • Izmit, Turkey
  • Santos, Brazil
  • Tomsk, Russia

Why join the Portland-Ulsan Sister City Association?

  • Do you have a personal, business, or organizational affiliation to/ or interest in Ulsan? or Korea in general?
  •  Do you have an interest in international exchange involving regional arts and cultural, or education? Particularly an interest in Asian art, ceramics/pottery, music, and the performing arts? Or an interest in student exchange programs?
  •  Do you have an interest in world peace and international friendship exchange?
  •  Are you interested in Korean culture/language?

By joining the Portland-Ulsan Sister City Association, you can:

  1.  Support, become involved with, and receive notification of Art, Cultural, and Educational exchange opportunities with Ulsan, Korea.
  2. Help the Association grow its network, while at the same time expand your network with individuals, organizations, and businesses in Portland and Ulsan who share an interest in Korea-U.S. relations and collaboration.
  3. Support and become involved with city-to-city development opportunities.
  4. Support Portland-Ulsan, Oregon-Korea, and U.S.-Korea relations as a “Portland-Ulsan Sister City Goodwill Ambassador” both at home and abroad.
  5. Support and become part of a larger Portland Sister City network.
  6. Support and become part of a larger Korea-related network in Portland.
  7. Connect you with local Portland area Korean language and culture groups.

The Portland-Ulsan Sister City Association is a volunteer run, registered  non-profit, public benefit organization.  Contributions are tax deductible.

For more information or to learn more about how to get involved, contact from Contact Page.