Student Exchange Program participants learn sushi-making.
Student Exchange Program participants learn sushi-making.

WEST COVINA — Applications are now available for students ages 13 to 17 that are interested in going to Japan in early July 2014 through the West Covina-Ohtawara Sister City Student Exchange Program.

An information meeting will be held at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at 1 p.m. for parents and students.

Students will spend eight days living with a host family in Ohtawara while touring the local area and experiencing the Japanese culture first-hand. The cost to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime program is $2,000, which includes airfare, transportation, housing, meals, and activities.

Students that participate are also asked to host an Ohtawara Junior High School student for eight days in early August 2015.

Not only is this program a great opportunity to gain a greater appreciation of Japan and its culture, but it also builds new friendships that will last a lifetime while creating a new family in another country.

For more information about the Student Exchange Program, or to apply, contact Pearl Omiya at or call (626) 960-2566. Applications are available at and are due on Feb. 28, 2014.

For over 60 years, the ESGVJCC has served as a bridge, connecting culture, family, and the community. Since 2004, ESGVJCC has proudly partnered with the cities of West Covina and Ohtawara to coordinate its annual student exchange program, providing dozens of students the unique opportunity to explore a new culture while making lifelong friends and memories.

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