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:
- Be a full-time student in good standing at Gresham High School or Reynolds High School and in their Japanese language program.
- Have the equivalent of two years of Japanese language studies.
- Be able to travel to Japan from approximately mid-June to mid-July.
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
- Having a student at home who is studying Japanese.
- Willingness to share your home with an extra youngster who should be treated as a member of your family.
- 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 email@example.com.
Blogs about Exchange Students
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions between Japan and the US, we were forced to cancel this year's student exchange. We already chose three students to go to Ebetsu this summer. But we had to cancel because it would have been unsafe for them to...
Larisa During my stay in Ebetsu, my host sister, Koha, and our friends took me to another school festival. They really wanted to go into the haunted house that one class had made. I am not a person who enjoys haunted houses, but decided to give it a try. We went in...
2019-08-22 After sitting empty for more than a decade, the Guild Theatre finally has a new tenant. Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya opened yesterday in the historic former movie theater, selling manga, comics, stationery and a whole section dedicated to Studio Ghibli...
Thank you to all for all you did - especially the host families! Ron Ture, Ebetsu exchange co-chair Gresham-Ebetsu Sister City Association As in years past, the GESCA high school student exchange began in the fall, when Barry Busse and Byerly Woodward collected host...
2019-02-11 message from Kathy Raymond We want to thank you for the wonderful opportunity of being able to participate in the Ebetsu Student Exchange program. You did a great job in matching the students up with the host families. We told Rin she was welcome back any...
Our three exchange students - Jose, Tania and Larisa - met the Mayor of Ebetsu (on the right) and the Chair of Ebetsu's Sister City Committee in early July 2018.
December 22nd, 2017 Dear President Ron Ture, I hope this letter finds you and the people of Gresham well and in good health. Snow has gathered on the nanakamado in Ebetsu, bringing us to the heart of the winter season. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my...
2017-10-07 – letter from parent of Ebetsu exchange student. Dear GESCA President Ron Ture, My name is Makiko Numata. This is my first time to write to you. I am very happy that you came to Ebetsu City. My daughter Noa visited Gresham City as an exchange student in...
2016-10-07 by Tomiko: One of our fabulous students, Ashley …. was in the Japanese language program at Reynolds, involved in being a host family and then was an exchange student through the Gresham – Ebetsu Sister City Association, and was one of our most active...
watching fireworks in Sapporo
an Instagram message
Tanith: It's school festival time! So far my class preparations have included painting, rehearsals, songs, dances, games, laughs, and putting makeup on boys! It's been an exciting week and the first day Orientation was already great! I'm excited to see the final...
Tanith practicing with a brass band. She'll solo on flute at a school festival.
Yasmin, Tanith and Cassie visited Ebetsu's vice-mayor and Mr Suganuma.
Here is Tanith's latest message: Here's a picture of me and Cassie with class 2-5 yesterday. We helped out during their English class, it was a lot of fun!
Tanith and Cassie send greetings from Ebetsu together with some San-ai school mates.
Cassie, Tanith and Yasmin are about to depart for a one-month exchange visit to Ebetsu, our sister city. They will be living with host families and attending two different high schools. Look for updates and news clips in the coming month!
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.
Applications for students to experience Ebetsu, Japan are available now for Gresham High School and Reynold's High School students. Read eligibility requirements and download forms on the Student Exchange page.