Student Exchange Program

Our New San Carlos Student Exchange Program

 “Rich and rewarding beyond my dreams!” — a quote from a recent exchange student.

How it all began;
In 2012 the Student Exchange program began with the exchange of students from Omura, Japan.  It was a great success!  We now want to reverse the exchange with students from the Peninsula, to be hosted by local families.  For detailed information about Omura, Japan, please click this link.

We are also proud to announce our newest Student Exchange with Metepec, Mexico.  For detailed information about this program, please click this link.

 How it works:

  • The exchange is for two weeks in the summer.
  • Applications are available to all students from San Mateo to Menlo Park.
  • There are no fees from the San Carlos Sister City program.
  • Fees for an exchange student include only travel and personal expenses.
  • Students will be exposed to the host family’s “slice of life”.

QUALIFICATIONS/APPLICATIONS
Students should be between the ages of 15 and 18 and should contact: johnjhoffmann@comcast.net or 650-595-3933 for an application.

The parents and student are required to sign a medical release as well as an agreement covering deportment, travel payment and the like.  Selection is made by personal interview with a committee of two. The criteria includes, maturity, a genuine interest in learning about the other culture, financial ability to fund costs of travel and personal expenses, openness to the experience and what sort of youth ambassador/representative they would likely make.

The application includes a requirement for a single page essay on how the student would benefit from the experience and what they may offer that is unique.  Everyone who qualifies and applies will be interviewed, no student will be selected or eliminated based on paperwork alone.

HOSTING
We seek host families for students coming to the U.S. for two weeks.  The host family does not need to have children. However, if they do, their child is guaranteed an exchange.  We are looking for host families from San Mateo to Menlo Park and one adult in the household should be available during the day.

TRAVEL
We work with travel agencies specializing in travel to each country, however, parents are free to book their own travel.  The only restriction is that all the exchange students travel on the same flight.

All students will be met at their destination by adults who will see that they promptly get to their host family.   The travel agents may be able to further reduce those costs by obtaining a group rate, special offers, etc.  San Carlos Sister City Association offers a modest financial subsidy for each student.

THE EXPERIENCE/EXPECTATION
Nothing broadens perspective and opens the mind like travel.  High schoolers are poised to benefit greatly from the experience.  Although in a foreign land and culture they will be with English speaking people and closely supervised.  They will experience a full on cultural experience with different foods, customs, family structure, physical environment, entertainments, ways of thinking and doing things.   And, of course,  possibly make lasting friendships.