The Burbank Sister City committee has opened applications for resident high school students who wish to join a group traveling to Ota, Japan in the summer of 2022.
Although the trip to Ota 2020 has been canceled due to the pandemic, several students who were selected for the trip are still planning to travel in 2022 with additional spaces available for students to join the trip. The deadline for student applications is October 15th.
The aim of the program, according to a press release, is to promote communication, goodwill and cultural awareness, as well as foster closer relations as sister cities by providing the possibility of better understanding between people from different countries.
Students must be Burbank residents enrolled in grades 9-12 and their families must agree to host a visiting student or chaperone for two weeks over the next two summers. If selected to travel, students must commit to an active role of at least two years with the BSCC.
For more than three decades, a small group of about 12 students, plus two adult chaperones, travel every summer to Ota, Japan, or Incheon, Korea, to stay in residences and experience life in each of these. cities for two weeks. After the Burbank students’ trip abroad, a few weeks later, a delegation of student travelers and their escorts from Ota or Incheon visit families in Burbank for a similar experience of life in Burbank.
Burbank has established Sister City partnerships with four cities since 1960: Solna, Sweden (1960); Incheon, Korea (1961); Gaborone, Botswana (1975); and Ota, Japan (1984). The student exchange program is specifically set up for travel exchanges with Ota and Incheon.
“To promote these partnerships, the Burbank Sister City Committee works to stimulate cultural and educational exchanges through community volunteers,” said BSCC President James Callahan, whose daughters participated in the exchange program. ‘students in previous years.
“[Traveling to Incheon] was a phenomenal experience and I got to learn so much about Korean culture, ”added Nuala Giffen, senior at John Burroughs High School, who traveled with the Burbank delegation in the summer of 2019.“ I stayed with it. two different families who showed me their daily lives and introduced me to a ton of new foods. I have been able to connect with so many different individuals and learn so much about them. We got to talk about school, college and hobbies and also bond around the TV shows we watched together.
Visit burbanksistercity.org for more information and student applications. The next Burbank Sister City committee meeting is Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Branch of the Burbank Public Library.