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Toyokawa Sister City is Looking for Student Delegates

A mandatory meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. provides detail on how to become involved.

A mandatory informational meeting for students interested in becoming an exchange student with the program will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The program, open to 7th and 8th grade students in Cupertino Union School District, takes student delegates to Toyokawa, Japan, for one week during the summer to live with Japanese host families.

Students tour cultural sites, learn about Japanese life, and as past delegates and host families have learned, make long-term and lasting friendships.

"It's a continuing relationship," says Alysa Sakkas of her experiences with the program. "You will see these people again."

Sakkas is the vice president of communications for the program and has been part of the adult program herself; her children George and Janaye were student delegates in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

"The highlight of the trip is being immersed in the family. [Residents of] our sister city, Toyokawa, are tremendous hosts," Sakkas says. "It's really the hallmark of the program, that you live in a home."

in the fall to live with host families to experience the American culture and lifestyle in much the same way.

Last year’s exchange was disrupted by the and tsunami that rocked the country.

U.S. citizenship is required to be part of the program and student delegates and parents are required to volunteer at the Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival on April 28 and 29.

Tuesday’s meeting will be held at at 10301 Vista Drive.

For more information about the program contact the Cupertino-Toyokawa Sister City Program at 408-827-8336 or email info@cupertinotoyokawa.org.

Alysa Sakkas January 18, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Thank you for this post, Cupertino Patch! There was a great turn-out for the Toyokawa student exchange information meeting last night...standing room only. Good luck to all the 7th and 8th grader applicants!
Robin January 19, 2012 at 07:44 PM
This is an amazing, life-changing program. Our community is so lucky to have great volunteers support it! Thanks to the volunteers and the community for making the world a better place!
Anne Ernst January 19, 2012 at 08:38 PM
From everything I've learned about this program it sounds not only fun and educational, but a great way to build an extended family.
jean gasperini January 27, 2012 at 11:44 PM
This program is indeed amazing in offering the opportunity for students from Cupertino to travel to Japan and live with a local family for a week. The Japanese kids in turn come to Cupertino in the fall to spend time with their American guests. It is heartwarming to see the bonds of friendships form, as the kids enjoy American/Japanese culture! Jean

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