Youth Exchanges

Youth Exchanges

Where cultural competency grows.

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 essay on “what experiences I have had that prepare me for the role of a youth ambassador of Fort Worth.” 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 was created to honor two community leaders, the late Tadashi and Elaine Yamagata.

  • Covers up to $2,000 (not including $375 program fee)
  • Only current 10th and 11th graders are eligible
  • Applicants must submit second essay on “How my leadership and volunteer service has impacted the community” and resume outlining leadership and community service, and attend second interview
  • Recipients are expected to volunteer for the Fort Worth Youth International board

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 $375 program fee)
  • Only current ninth – 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

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 for the Fort Worth Youth International board

2024 Youth Exchanges

Apply by Oct. 20, 2023.

Dates Grades
Reggio Emilia, Italy March 9-12
Nîmes, France March 9-12
Budapest, Hungary March 9-12
Trier, Germany June 9-12
Bandung, Indonesia June 9-12
Nagaoka, Japan June 8-12
Nagaoka, Japan – Harashin July 9-11
Guiyang, China June 2025 8-11


Find out more and apply.

Pay youth membership fee.

Apply to be an associate delegation leader.

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.