Michigan/Shiga Student Exchange Program
The Michigan Department of Education and the Shiga Board of Education initiated the Michigan-Shiga Student Exchange Program in 1990. The program was originally operated out of the Michigan Department of Education, then Clinton County RESA, and since 2002 it has been operated by the Office of Gifted and Talented Education at Michigan State University. Each year the program offers 20 high school students an opportunity to travel to Shiga Prefecture in late June/early July to live with a Japanese family for two weeks. During their home stay the Michigan students attend school, participate in cultural and family events, increase their awareness of the Japanese culture and build lifelong relationships. In early September, the Michigan students welcome their Japanese host students to Michigan. During their two weeks in Michigan, the Japanese students also attend school and participate in school and family activities while experiencing the culture here and extending the bonds between the two families. Two English Language instructors and a school principal accompany the Japanese students. The Michigan students are chaperoned by two experienced K-12 school teachers who are members of the Michigan-Shiga Student Exchange Program Committee.
For more information on the Michigan-Shiga Exchange Program, visit the Michigan State Universities GATE Programs website.