Sister City Student Exchanges
Are you interested in other cultures? Like to travel and make lasting friendships? Students in junior high and high school as well as educators at any level in the Battle Creek area school systems are invited to apply for the Battle Creek Takasaki Ambassador Exchange Program.
High School Ambassador Exchange
The International Relations Committee sends four high school students and a teacher to Japan each summer as part of its High School Ambassador Exchange Program. The Battle Creek area delegation travels to Takasaki, Japan and then hosts a Japanese delegation in Battle Creek as part of a 20-day exchange each summer. Ambassadors stay with Japanese host families for 10 days and then host a Japanese student or teacher for 10 days in Battle Creek. The exchange period falls within the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August.
Junior High Ambassador Exchange
Every other year, a junior high delegation and teacher/chaperone are sent to Japan. Students are paired and stay in Japanese homes. On alternate years, Battle Creek area families have the opportunity to host Japanese junior high age students. Hosting is an excellent way to learn whether a travel abroad exchange is right for your student and family.
Questions about the program are welcome any time. Call Marcie Gillette at 269-966-3379 for more information.
General Exchange Information:
The Battle Creek Area International Relations Society, a committee appointed by the Mayor of Battle Creek, oversees cultural exchanges with Battle Creek's Sister City, Takasaki, Japan. The student exchange offers the opportunity to stay with a Japanese family, tour Takasaki City Hall and area tourist attractions and to represent the City of Battle Creek at the annual Takasaki Summer Festival.
Each year, four high school students and a teacher are selected for a complete exchange. Junior high students alternate hosting and visiting each year. Adult chaperones and translators assist the delegations in both countries.
Any student attending school in the City of Battle Creek area is eligible to apply. Teachers and administrators working in the Battle Creek area are also encouraged to participate.
Takasaki is located about 100 kilometers from Tokyo - about 50 minutes by high-speed train - or four hours by bus through beautiful, mountainous terrain. About the same geographic size as Battle Creek, Takasaki has four times as many residents. Visitors find it lush, green and beautiful with its many parks and three rivers. Takasaki residents are known for their warm-hearted, polite nature. Mayor Yukio Matsuura is a popular, forward-thinking leader who advocates for cultural understanding, youth opportunities and the environment.
Takasaki has four other sister cities, in China, Brazil, the Czech Republic and the Philippines. Battle Creek is the oldest Sister City relationship. Click here to visit Takasaki's English website.