August 3, 2016

The DC segment of the 2016 TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program has come to a successful end!

On Friday, July 29, the final day of the DC program, our eighteen student participants presented a fascinating one-hour final presentation to share what they had learned over the prior two weeks.

You can watch their moving presentation here.

Students are now in Japan for Part 2 of this intense, educational two-way exchange. Check out their Student Blog to enjoy the experience through their eyes. Their insights are amazing!


May 19, 2016

We are very pleased to announce the nine (9) fabulous students selected for our 2016 TOMODACHI US-Japan Youth Exchange Program:

Elijah Davis – Eastern SHS – 10th Grade
Michael Green – Ballou SHS – 10th Grade
Jeffrey Jenkins – Dunbar SHS – 10th Grade
Tempestt Martin – Friendship Tech Prep Academy – 10th Grade
Kiara McRae – Dunbar SHS – 11th Grade
Christefer Mitchell – Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCS – 10th Grade
Yeysi Rodriguez – Cardozo Education Campus – 11th Grade
Clinard Smith – Eastern SHS – 10th Grade
Kamashae Tolliver – Columbia Heights Education Campus – 10th Grade

We are also very happy to announce that this year’s Teacher-Chaperone will be Amanda Zigmond, an experienced social studies teacher at Banneker Academic High School.

Thanks to all the teachers, school administrators, family, and friends who encouraged and supported these students through the application process. We have another great group – our largest yet – and expect great things this year. Stay tuned!

IMG_0627IMG_0638And the proud families – at our Parent-Student Information Session:


September 1, 2015

The third TOMODACHI US-Japan Youth Exchange Program took place this summer and was a great success. This year we had 14 high school student participants – six (6) from DCPS (Eastern, Banneker, School Without Walls) and DC public charter (Friendship Collegiate, Washington Latin, E.L. Haynes) high schools; six (6) from Keio Shonan Fujisawa Senior High School near Tokyo; and two (2) TOMODACHI alumni from the Tohoku region.

The first part of the exchange took place July 15-31 in Japan (focused on Tokyo and Tohoku). The second part of the program took place in Washington, DC from July 31-August 16.

You can learn much more about the 2015 program by reviewing this website and especially by reading the student blog.

Watch a video of the student’s final presentation on the last day of the program here.

Read U.S.-Japan Council’s article on the Japan segment of this year’s exchange here.

Read U.S.-Japan Council’s article on the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program here.


May 8, 2015

American Councils is currently seeking families in DC and the close-in metro area interested in hosting our visiting Japanese TOMODACHI students from July 31- August 16, 2015. Hosting an international exchange student is a wonderful experience – rewarding for hosts and visitors alike.

If you’re interested, download the Host Family Flyer-TOMODACHI 2015 for more information and contact details.


May 6, 2015

Year Three of the TOMODACHI U.S. Japan Youth Exchange Program has been funded. Again this year six (6) DC and six (6) Japanese students will participate in this two-way international cultural exchange program.

We have just completed our competitive student selection process, and are very pleased to share the names of the 2015 DC TOMODACHI participants:

Andres Alvarez, Jr. – a rising senior at EL Haynes Public Charter School
Korey Carter – a rising senior at Friendship Collegiate Academy
Caitlin McDermott – a rising junior at School Without Walls
Dusan Murray-Rawlings – a rising senior at Washington Latin Public Charter School
Nina Reyes – a rising senior at Banneker Academic High School
Jarid Shields – a rising senior at Eastern Senior High School

Emani Long – a rising senior at Friendship Tech Prep High
Tyrese Williams – a rising junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy

Congratulations to these terrific students! They’re going to have an amazing experience. And kudos as well to all those students who applied for this year’s program. Absolutely everyone was so impressive!


October 4, 2014

We’re happy to share this nice article from U.S.-Japan Council. Much appreciation to Mya Fisher and all her colleagues.


June 19, 2014

We are very pleased to announce the six DC students selected for the 2014 TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program:

Malaika Coleman – rising junior at McKinley Technology High School
Noah Dyson – rising sophomore at School Without Walls
Micah Guthrie – rising junior at Washington Latin Public Charter School
Luke Nogueira – rising sophomore at Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Sierra Queen – rising sophomore at Hospitality High
Gabrielle Towson – rising junior at School Without Walls

We have a bright, diverse, interesting, and energetic group of students – from six different DCPS and DC public charter high schools.

We can’t wait to get started!

Congratulations to our six DC TOMODACHI students and their families!


April 13, 2014

Funding has been approved and plans are underway for Year 2 of the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program!

Six DC public high school students (DCPS or charter) will be accepted into the program, which includes a 5 week program this summer in DC (part of this time with visiting Japanese high school students) and a 2-1/2 week trip to Japan in November. Fully funded.

Go to our Apply 2014 page for more information and to download the student application.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, May 7, 2014

AND – we are once again seeking short-term host families for the six Japanese exchange students who will be visiting DC this summer. They’ll be here for 2-1/2 weeks between mid-July and early August. Hosting is a wonderful experience if you have the ability and are available. For more information, download the 2014 Host Family Flyer.


March 20, 2014

March 11, 2014 marked the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. The six DC student participants in the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program selected this date to hold a public presentation at the historic Charles A. Sumner School at the corner of 17th and M Streets, NW.  Family, friends, funders, teachers, program volunteers, and members of the community filled the 3rd floor Hurlbut Hall to hear the students share what they had learned from the exchange, and in particular their impressions and feelings about their visit to Tohoku, the region directly impacted by the earthquake and tsunami. It was clear that the visit moved the students deeply – and has motivated them to continue to work to share the stories of the memorable people they met there.

Read the U.S.-Japan Council’s report on the 3/11 event here.

Globalize DC’s Executive Director, Sally Schwartz, started the program by reading the following message from Soohyun “Julie” Koo, Executive Director of the DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs:

On behalf of Mayor Gray and the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, I would like to express the District’s continued support to the individuals, families, and friends who lost loved ones during the Great East Japan Earthquake on the 3rd anniversary of the disaster.

Cultural exchange programs such as the TOMODACHI US-Japan Youth Exchange Program offer an invaluable opportunity for our students from the District of Columbia to pay their respects to the victims in Tohoku, experience the resilient spirit of the Japanese people, develop friendships full of mutual cultural understanding and appreciation, and build stronger relations with their Japanese counterparts for a more prosperous future.

As Japan continues to rebuild in the aftermath of the disaster, let us continue to remember the lives lost.


June 13, 2013

American Councils for International Education and the U.S.-Japan Council today announced the launch of the TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program.  Developed and implemented by American Councils, the exchange program promotes cultural awareness and sensitivity among Japanese and American high school students by focusing on service learning and social entrepreneurship as the primary themes for the study tour.

After living and studying in their host countries, both the American and Japanese students will be required to design a service project with the goal of improving the lives of residents of Tohoku, Japan who are still recovering from the earthquake there that created US$235 Billion in damages and loss.

Read the full announcement here.