Immerse Yourself in the Culture!

Student Exchange Program


Three high school students from Ebetsu arrived in Gresham on January 8th.  Their names are Hibina, Hinase, and Shunsuke.  They are staying with host families and attending Gresham High School.

They attended an orientation on January 11th together with their host families.  They will be here for one month.  They will return to Ebetsu on February 8th.

Studying in Japan

Each year the Gresham-Ebetsu Sister City Association selects three students to travel to Ebetsu, Japan. Students must meet the following criteria to be accepted into the exchange program:

  1. Be a full-time student in good standing at Gresham High School or Reynolds High School and in their Japanese language program.
  2. Have the equivalent of two years of Japanese language studies.
  3. Be able to travel to Japan from approximately mid-June to mid-July.
  4. Be able to pay airfare approximately two months before departure.

If you are interested in becoming an exchange student, please download the following forms. NOTE: The forms are Word documents.

  1. Student Eligibility
  2. Student Application
  3. Recommendation Form
  4. Student-Parent Agreement Form

Completed applications are due by the end of February.  They may be handed in to your high school Japanese language teacher or submitted online to Questions may also be directed to the same email address.

Hosting a Japanese Student

Each year GESCA also selects three families to host students from Ebetsu from early January until early February. Criteria include:

  1. Having a student at home who is studying Japanese.
  2. Willingness to share your home with an extra youngster who should be treated as a member of your family.
  3. Ability to offer a separate bed if not a separate bedroom.

If you are interested in hosting a student from Ebetsu, questions may be directed to

View the Student Exchange Gallery.

Blogs about Exchange Students

March 3rd is Hina-Matsuri festival in Japan

March 3rd is Hina-Matsuri festival in Japan

There are many traditional, cultural events held on certain days in Japan. The third of March is a day for girls, called “hina matsuri.” It is a day families wish daughters happiness, good growth, and health. Traditionally, families with daughters display speciiial dolls called “o-hina-sama” a couple of weeks before the day and put them away several days after the day. O-hina-sama dolls are for display only, not to play with.

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