High School Youth Exchange

Annual High School Youth Exchange Program

OFSCA's most enduring program is the annual homestay exchange between high school students in each city, which began in 1971. Each year, several high school students from one city will stay in the homes of host families in the other city, with destinations alternating each year. Over 1,000 students have benefitted from this cross-cultural experience, with three generations in some families having participated in these exchanges.

Photo & Video Gallery

View our photos and our YouTube video of the program.

Student Participants

The 50th Annual High School Student Exchange was scheduled from Thursday, June 24 to Monday, July 5, 2021. To be eligible to participate in the student exchange, you must be either in high school, entering high school in the fall of 2020, or have just graduated in the summer of 2021. Participants will be selected based on the applications, including an essay, and a short interview. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the Japanese culture and language, and many students make lifelong friendships. The application form is available below.

Please note that due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the high school exchange for 2020 did not take place. For updates on the status of the 2021 and 2022 exchange programs, contact ofsca1962@gmail.com or join a General Meeting each month.

Host Families

The City of Fukuoka brings students from high schools to learn more about life in the United States every other year. The program focuses on education and community, with special English language classes several mornings. During the afternoons, community tours and activities acquaint the students to life in Oakland and the Bay Area. OFSCA will be looking for host families for all the students and chaperones. This is also a great opportunity for a student who may want to participate in the next year (to go to Fukuoka) by making a Japanese friend here. If you are interested, please download our questionnaire and mail it to OFSCA.

Typical host family responsibilities include:

    • Provide housing for the student during their 10-day stay

    • Provide breakfast and dinner, and pack a "typical" brown bag lunch for the student during the weekdays. The Association will provide cold beverages.

    • Arrange to drop-off the student at a designated point in downtown Oakland each weekday morning around 9:00am and pick them up around 5:00pm in the afternoon. The Association understands that the work schedules of many families may prevent them from either dropping them off or picking them up. Therefore, whenever possible, host families are encouraged to form car pools.

All afternoon events will be open to the host families. We will need host family volunteers to join us on the excursions to various cities, San Francisco, Sacramento or Santa Cruz. A farewell party is planned at the end of the exchange.

Families interested in serving as a host family will need to complete a Host Family Questionnaire (see attachment below).