Junior Ambassador

he Junior Ambassador program is a short term experience from both Asahikawa and from Bloomington-Normal.

The trip from Bloomington-Normal usually occur each June for up to 15 students. This trip is available to any McLean County student who has completed 7th - 10th grade. Students who participate will attend multiple orientation sessions to learn basic Japanese language phrases and customs. While in Japan, the students will be matched up with Japanese host families and experience varied activities. The trip cost usually comes in between $2250 - $2500 for nearly 17 days of travel (depending on airfare pricing). Watch the web site for the information session to learn more about this amazing trip.

Just as we take students to Japan, our sister city, Asahikawa, Japan sends students from their community to Bloomington-Normal each year. Our cities host up to 15 students for about 1 week at the end of March, beginning of April. Families from Bloomington Normal host a student in their home and share a similar cultural experiences. While visiting, the Japanese students see many attractions and take part in various daily activities during each weekday of their trip. There will be more information posted about how your family can host a student and share in this amazing experience.

2020 Application Form is available now (Click here).

The trip from Asahikawa usually takes place in the last week of March when they are in the spring break.

We need host families for those students during their approx. 10 days stay. The visit in 2020 is from March 26 (Thu) to April 4 (Sat).

Application form (click here) is downloadable and send it to

High School

Beginning in 1968, the high school exchange program is the premiere program of the Sister Cities Committee. One student is selected annually to live and go to school in Asahikawa and Bloomington-Normal for 10 months.

HS Program Information (PowerPoint)


For both Junior Ambassador Program and High School Exchange Program, you can refer to F.A.Q.

If you need more information contact Noha Shawki ( for High School Program, and Jeff Kroesch ( for Junior Ambassador Program.

Anniversary Exchanges

Bloomington Normal and its sister city, Asahikawa, Japan celebrated their 60th anniversary in Japan in 2017. 65th anniversary will be held in Bloomington/Normal in 2022.