City Seeks Student Ambassadors to Japan

Student ambassadors get to represent the City at numerous public appearances and speaking engagements, learn about the culture of Japan, and in some cases, get to travel there.


If you know a local student who loves world travel and learning about other cultures, then this may be perfect program for him or her.

The City of San Mateo is currently seeking local students between the ages of 16 to 20 to be student ambassadors for its sister city of Toyonaka, Japan.

The position of student ambassador comes with many perks and honors, including travel to Japan and being an official representative of the City of San Mateo at numerous public appearances and speaking engagements.

This cultural and educational exchange program between San Mateo and Toyonaka is part of the "People to People" programs initiated by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower during the early 1950s. 

As part of these historical programs, the San Mateo Student Ambassador Exchange with Toyonaka, Japan, allows San Mateo students to travel to Japan, live in the homes of Toyonaka families, and participate in Japanese cultural events. In exchange, Toyonaka students live in San Mateo; thus, the program serves to strengthen and promote better understanding and friendship between the United States and Japan, according the City website.

The San Mateo-Toyonaka Sister City Association selects four students from San Mateo to represent the Association and City of San Mateo City as ambassadors. Two are selected to travel to Toyonaka, and two will remain in San Mateo to act as a host ambassadors.

The student ambassadors selected to travel to Toyonaka will spend two weeks there, acting as representatives of the City of San Mateo. They will live with host families while they learn about the culture and people of Japan. Student ambassadors will also partake in official ceremonies representing the City of San Mateo. 

Full-time high school and college students who live in San Mateo and are between 16-20 years of age are invited to apply for one of the four open ambassador positions. Applicants must have a passport that allows travel to Japan, and the student's parents must sign a consent form and attend an orientation session if chosen, regardless of student age. 

The application is available for download on the City's website, on the sister-city association's Facebook page, in the school counselor's office of many local San Mateo schools, and at the City Clerk's office at 330 W. 20th Ave.

Applications must be turned in to the City Clerk's office by 5 p.m. on Sept. 14.

Interviews will be conducted between Sept. 18-20, and a special announcement dinner for the four chosen student ambassadors will be held on Sept. 27.

For more information, call 650-522-7040.


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