• Yamate Japanese Exchange 2020

  • YAMATE TO YAKIMA April 2020

    Yakima School District will again be hosting students from Yamate Gakuin High School in Yokohama, Japan Spring of 2020 (April 10 to April 24, 2020). Approximately 80 students will arrive in April of 2020 and spend two weeks with host families throughout the valley. This exchange has been occurring every three years for nearly 50 years!

    Activities For Yamate Students While in Yakima

    • Welcome Ceremony for Host Families to Connect With Yamate Students 
    • Student/Host Social & T-shirt Screening at Davis Commons (Hosts provide plain t-shirts for screen-printing).
    • City Council Meeting - Proclamation -Yamate and Yakima Leaders only
    • School Board Meeting -Proclamation -Yamate and Yakima Leaders only
    • Day Trip 1 –  (local for Yamate students only) - Nature Field Trip
    • Day Trip 2 – (a trip for Yamate students only) - Seattle Field Trip
    • Yamate Cultural Show - Free and public is encouraged to attend

    Download an application to apply to host 2 Japanese students from April 10 to April 24, 2020: 2020 Host Application Note: April 10 is the last day of Spring Break, and April 12 is Easter. Please plan accordingly.

  • YAKIMA TO YAMATE August 8 (we leave August 7) to August 22 (Saturday), 2020

    If you are a student who will be an incoming 10th, 11th or 12th grader in July 2020, (incoming 9th graders are permitted if space allows), you are eligible to apply to join us in Japan for the return trip to Yamate Gakuin High School in Yokohama.  The cost of the trip is typically around $2,000 (depends on airfare costs at the time of reservation) plus students like to bring another $300-$500 for spending money and souvenirs. Yakima School District will prioritize YSD students, but if there is room, students from other districts are welcome (see prioritization notes below).

    Payment is the family's responsibility; however, for the 2020 trip, YSD students can apply for a scholarship based on need. Currently, we have three full scholarships available and twelve partial scholarships available. In addition, you are welcome to fundraise as a family or combine with other students from your school. To hold a spot, you must have your application, a copy of your passport, proof of medical insurance coverage, and your profile sheet filled out and turned in with a deposit of $1,000 (or scholarship approval).  If your exchange application is not approved, your deposit is refundable in full.  If your exchange application is approved, the remaining amount owed will be due January 31, 2020 (final airfare fees due from YSD to the airline at this time). After January 31, 2020, refunds may not be available.

    Space is limited to 40 students. A waiting list exists to 1) show program expansion interest and 2) to allow for students to fill in should one of the 40 accepted students not be able to make the trip in the final stages. 

    Travel details: unless better options present themselves in late Fall 2019, we plan to travel to Tokyo on Delta Airlines. From Tokyo, Yamate Gakuin will arrange for a bus to Yokohama (90-minute bus trip). Students (in there name as stated on their passports) are encouraged to apply for a Delta SkyMiles account to acquire the miles earned for the long trip. We will take a bus from Yakima to Seattle departing from Davis High School at 6:00 a.m.  The bus plans to return to the same location on August 22, 2019, between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.  Luggage: one bag to check and one bag to carry on will be permitted.  Students will be managing their own bags on buses, trains, etc. so pack accordingly. Students should plan to take tokens/gifts for their host families of items from Yakima. In addition, students should allow empty space in their luggage to return with gifts from Yamate Gakuin (in past years they have given each student a Japanese Yukata). Please advise students that Japanese swords or any other souvenirs that could possibly be mistaken for a weapon of any kind are not permitted to bring back to Yakima in their luggage. Alcohol is also not permitted. The maximum weight for checked luggage is 50 lbs (consider bringing a $10 luggage scale); fees for overages are $100+ and are the student's responsibility.

    Parents: Questions come up with parents traveling with their student or meeting them in Japan. This is not permitted. This program is a valuable, immersive program for your student and they will not be available to see you or other relatives/friends during their trip. They will be a special part of their Japanese host family for two weeks. In addition, you will need to say goodbye from Yakima (at the bus). Parents are not permitted to join us at the airport in Seattle. All students are required to ride the bus from Yakima which begins the experience.

    Chaperones: 4 (administrator level) chaperones will accompany the group and will be designated and supervised by the YSD Coordinator, Kirsten Fitterer.  Parents (even if they are YSD administrators) of students traveling on the trip are not permitted to be chaperones. 

    Application priority determination:

    • Application priority will be given to Yakima School District students however students from other districts are welcome to apply and will be included if space allows (space almost always allows).
    • Application priority will be given to those students who serve as a day host and who commit to hosting two Japanese students in their home (or a friend or family member's home) when the Japanese students visit for April 10-24, 2020.
    • Application priority will also be given to siblings of students who have participated in previous trips.
    • Application priority will be given to students who have not previously participated in this exchange.
    • Application priority will be given to students who, due to their year in school, will not have an opportunity to go to Japan in 2023.


    Medical Release Authorization 2020

    Student Rules Contract

    Gift Suggestions

    Passport Process