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.
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.
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.
If you have any questions, please contact Darren Sampson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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.