Fort Worth Student Ambassadors Visit Japan
Fort Worth will reach a milestone in international exchanges this year celebrating twenty years participation in the Harashin Scholars program with Nagaoaka, Japan.
Since 1990, The Harashin Co. of Nagaoka, Japan has funded scholarships for eight Fort Worth students and two teachers to travel there for an educational and cultural enrichment exchange. In return, these Fort Worth families host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes for a reciprocal exchange. Exchange programs are a key element in the overall programs of Fort Worth Sister Cities and this unique opportunity for Fort Worth students is no exception. The students will depart today for a week long exchange and the Japanese students will arrive in Fort Worth the following week. Exchanges with each of Fort Worth’s eight sister cities provide youth the opportunity to spend 9-15 days with an international host family and experience the local history, culture and customs. This is done as citizen diplomats and gives students a better understanding of other cultures providing them an international education only these programs can offer. All student applicants (9-11th) participate in a vigorous selection process including teacher recommendations, essays and personal interviews. The Harashin Scholars are required to attend monthly cultural orientations to further enrich their international experience and prepare them for the exchange. The 2011 Harashin Scholars include: Claudia Carranza, Julia King, Allison Meade, Francesca Roberts, Courtney Tiandra Server, Zack Kurima Blough, Shelby Roberts accompanied by delegation leaders Pam Lea and Dr. Staussa Ervin.