Youth Exchanges

Youth Exchanges

Where cultural competency grows.

Applications for all 2022 in-person international exchanges will be available in August 2021.

Since 1985, Fort Worth Sister Cities International has provided international youth trips and exchanges to help students develop deeper intercultural mindsets. Young minds are less constrained by ingrained patterns of thinking and exposing them to different cultures at this age can help establish strong foundations for cultural competency and build the social trust that’s crucial to creating a more peaceful world.

Students selected:

  • Participate in a U.S. Department of State-recognized program
  • Meet city officials in both Fort Worth and the sister city
  • Volunteer on projects emphasizing global community service
  • Share Texas culture and promote Fort Worth to the world
  • Explore and gain an understanding of different cultures while making lifelong friendships

Application and Interview Process

Complete an application and submit your $25 student membership fee, a copy of your last report card, recommendations from two teachers, and a one-page typed and double-spaced essay on “Why I want to be a Youth Ambassador.” You will then be contacted to schedule a personal interview, at which you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


FWSCI offers three different scholarship opportunities for Youth Ambassador Exchanges. Each scholarship has different requirements and some include extra application items in addition to the standard application. Please read the requirements carefully to make sure you understand them fully. You may apply for more than one scholarship.

Yamagata Emerging Leaders Scholarship

The Yamagata Emerging Leaders Scholarship is a leadership- and community service-based scholarship created by Fort Worth Sister Cities International to honor two community leaders: the late Tadashi and Elaine Yamagata.

  • Covers up to $2,000 (not including $350 program fee)
  • Only current 10th and 11th graders are eligible
  • Applicants must submit a second essay on “How my leadership and volunteer service has impacted the community” and a resume outlining leadership and community service
  • Applicants must attend second interview
  • Recipients are expected to serve on the Fort Worth Youth International board the following year and volunteer at the Sundance Santa fundraiser

Harashin Scholar

Since 1990, The Harashin Company has funded academic- and leadership-based scholarships for eight Fort Worth students and two teachers to travel to Nagaoka, Japan, for an educational- and cultural-enrichment exchange. In return, the families of these Fort Worth program participant host students and teachers from Nagaoka in their homes for a reciprocal exchange.

  • Applies only to Harashin exchange to Nagaoka, Japan
  • Covers entire cost (except $350 program fee)
  • Only current 9th – 11th graders are eligible
  • Must participate in reciprocal exchange and host their Japanese brother/sister
  • Recipients are expected to serve on the Fort Worth Youth International board the following year and volunteer at the Sundance Santa fundraiser

Partial Scholarships

FWSCI has a fund for students in need who wish to go on exchanges. Scholarship recipients will receive a letter after their interview detailing their scholarship award.

  • Scholarship amounts range from $100 to $1,000
  • Applicants must complete the Scholarship Request Form and submit their last household tax return
  • Recipients are expected to volunteer at the Sundance Santa fundraiser

2022 Proposed Youth Exchanges

Dates Cost Grades
Budapest, Hungary March 2022 $2,500 9-12
Reggio Emilia, Italy March 2022 $2,500 9-12
Nîmes, France March 2022 $2,500 9-12
Toluca, Mexico June 2022 $1,700 9-12
Trier, Germany June 2022 $2,500 9-12
Nagaoka, Japan June 2022 $2,700 8-12
Nagaoka, Japan – Harashin July 2022 $350 9-11


*Costs and dates are approximate and based on 2019 exchanges

Meet the 2020 Youth Ambassadors

Pay youth membership fee

Make a payment

“My first international experience with Sister Cities was in Guiyang, China. One day we would be playing soccer with local high school students and the next we were learning how to plow rice fields with the rural Miao people. Experiences like these formed some of the most memorable and diverse adventures I have been a part of and showed me the importance of cultural diversity and understanding.” – Zoe Deprang

Harashin Scholars in Japan in 2017 in a video made by student Jamil Okada.