Independence High School & College Students have a travel opportunity for a two
week home-stay in Japan. In addition, High School & College Students from Japan
return with the Americans for a two week home-stay in Independence. This allows
for approximately four weeks of cultural exchange.
Travel Opportunity to be a Student Ambassador to our Sister City Higashimurayama
You Are Invited to apply to the City of Independence’s unique program for
cultural exchange. If you like to meet new people, are interested in foreign cultures
and would like to be a part of a world-wide association promoting peace and understanding
then please apply. Up to ten students will be chosen as Student Ambassadors to represent
Independence in our Sister City, Higashimurayama!
Candidates must be residents of Independence, going to Truman, Chrisman,
or Fort Osage High Schools; or going to a private school, such as St. Mary’s High
School or are a home-schooled student. Candidates may also be college students going
to a local college or attending an out-of-town college if their parents live in
Independence. The age requirements are 15 years old or having completed their freshman
year of high school up to 22 years of age. Students must uphold high personal standards
of conduct and earn the recommendation of school officials.
Applications for the upcoming delegation will be accepted at the beginning
of the school year and collected until the interview process begins. Students will
have time to prepare for the trip by attending classes to learn about society and
language. The escort and numerous guest speakers will assist in preparing the group
for the trip.
Opportunities in Japan
When in Japan the Student Ambassadors will meet with the Mayor of Higashimurayama,
City Council, School board, and other city officials. They will tour historical
and present-day tourist locations, and have hands-on activities from the Japanese
culture. Each student will live with a host family and experience real Japanese
life. During this time the students will visit the Elementary Sister City School
and the Junior High Sister School, as well as meet with and get to know the Japanese
Student Ambassadors. For pictures of some of these events go to our photo album
page and click on the Examiner Spotted site hot spot.
By the end of the experience American students will have not only been able
to visit Japan, but they will have a Japanese family, feel a part of the community
and have friends for a lifetime. The same opportunity is given to the ten Japanese
Student Ambassadors and these two groups will have been able to spend many weeks
together between the exchange programs. Students are not required to host a Japanese
student but it is available and highly suggested for a full experience.
Download an Application for Student Ambassadors
Download a Student Delegate Conduct Agreement
Be a Host Family, Host a Sister City Student from Higashimurayama
Families, preferably with teenagers at home, can host one of the Higashimurayama
Students for their stay in Independence. Families will not only give them a place
to sleep and live while they are here but also share their daily lives with them.
Families are given time over a weekend to take their student to special events the
family enjoys as well as attend the provided pot lucks, pool parties and events
for the whole group that are hosting Higashimurayama students.
A full schedule is provided for the Higashimurayama during the day and the student
only needs to be dropped off and picked up at specific locations, which often is
the Sermon Center. Visiting Students tour Independence historic sites, Fire and
Police Stations, schools and The Sunshine Center as well as other planned events
such as a trip to the Plaza or a tour of the Harley Davidson factory. Worlds of
Fun, Baseball, water parks and boating are also planned into their days and Sister
City Commission takes care of these activities for the host families.
Higashimurayama Student Host Families
Host families can share home life, holidays, favorite sites in the Kansas City area
that are not covered by the Sister City Commission and make sure the student gets
to see things that are in their particular interest. It is a very rewarding time
and learning experience and a wonderful time your family will never forget. Many
families stay in contact with their host students for years to come.
Download Application to be a Host Family a Japanese Student
Download an Exchange Survey
Download an Informational Form for Japanese Exchange
Download an Application to be an Exchange Chaperon