High School

Bloomington-Normal To Asahikawa

Due to COVID-19, there is currently no selected student to Asahikawa. The High School Exchange Program is among the premier programs sponsored by the committee. Since 1968, Bloomington-Normal high school students have studied for 10 months in Asahikawa, serving as goodwill ambassadors. This scholarship award includes transportation to and from Japan, living costs, high school tuition and fees, and a monthly stipend.

The selected student typically leaves for Asahikawa in early August and returns to Bloomington-Normal in June of the following year. While in Asahikawa, the student will attend high school (classes are taught in Japanese), live with host families, and attend Asahikawa Sister Cities Committee events. In addition, the student will have regular contact with officials in the International Affairs Office at Asahikawa's City Hall and the Sister Cities Committee.

Since the student will be attending a typical Japanese high school, a basic foundation in the Japanese language is a necessity; therefore, the selected student is required to attend a series of lessons in Japanese language and culture from the time of selection until departure to Japan, typically about nine months. The committee will also help the student complete and acquire the needed travel documents.

Every month, the student will be required to send a report back to the Bloomington-Normal Sister Cities Committee, detailing any updates, notable experiences, and events they attended that month. After their return, exchange students are often called upon to promote the Sister Cities Committee program by accompanying committee members at speaking engagements in Bloomington-Normal and to serve as goodwill ambassadors for the Sister Cities program. They may even make appearances in the annual Bloomington Labor Day Parade.

Program Rules

This program has high expectations for the students we send to Asahikawa. There are few foreigners in Asahikawa, so during their exchange, these students will be representing not only Bloomington-Normal, but the United States as well. Students and parents interested in participating should review the rules from our committee and the Asahikawa Sister Cities Committee.

Bloomington-Normal Committee Rules

Asahikawa Committee Rules

Application Information

The high school application and selection process for the 2020-21 exchange student scholarship has ended. Information will be posted here about the 2021-2022 exchange information.

Download application here.

If you have any questions, please contact Darren Sampson at darren.sampson@bnsistercities.org.

Student Reports

Mitchell Ratcliff, 2017

Nicholas Modine, 2016

Lauren Laine, 2015

Lexie Seward, 2014

Anna Sekiguchi, 2013

Kylie Eagles, 2012

Kae Mason, 2012

Christopher (CJ) Clark, 2010

Alejandro Montesdeoca, 2009

Chris Nobre, 2008

Amanda Poore, 2007

Donnie Chang, 2006

Patrick Carmody, 2004

Danielle Strle, 1998


From Asahikawa to Bloomington-Normal

Each year the Bloomington-Normal Committee hosts one high school exchange student from August to June. The student will stay with several host families and attend one of the local high schools. The student receives a small monthly stipend from the committee to help offset the cost of minor expenses.

Current Exchange Student

Due to the pandemic, there is no exchange student for the 2021-2022 school year.

2018-19 exchange student from Bloomington-Normal, Asia, and 2019-2020 exchange student, Himeno, at the Labor Day Parade.

Student Reports

Tommy (Toshimitsu) Uede, 1968

Kana Oikubo, 2013