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About the Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange


The Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange is a longstanding two-way exchange program in which 15 Michigan high school students are given the unique opportunity to stay with a student from Shiga Prefecture, Japan for two weeks in the summer. The Michigan students attend school with their Shiga hosts and spend time experiencing daily life and Japanese culture with their host families. In September, the Shiga students visit Michigan for two weeks and stay with the family of the student they hosted, allowing for a reciprocal exchange of culture, language, and friendship.

The Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange is a program of the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board, a non-profit committee that has overseen activities and exchanges between the State of Michigan and Shiga Prefecture since the relationship began in 1968. Hundreds of Michigan high school students have traveled to Japan and hosted their Japanese friends since the exchange began in 1990, contributing to the mutual understanding and appreciation that exists between our two great states and countries. Originally coordinated by the Michigan Board of Education, the program is now administered by the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU).

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The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) is a living/learning center in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, with an administrative office on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. Established in 1989 through a consortium of the fifteen public universities in Michigan, JCMU has educated Michigan students in Japanese language, culture, and various other fields of study through its diverse selection study abroad programs for over two decades. JCMU is serving as the lead organizer and administrator of the high school exchange program.

Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board
The purpose of Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board is to coordinate sister state activities between Michigan and Shiga. One of the main projects of the Sister State Board is to coordinate the Goodwill Mission, which consists of Michigan citizens traveling to Shiga on odd-numbered years and Shiga citizens traveling to Michigan on even-numbered years.
Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange Program Committee
The Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange Program Committee consists of teachers and community members who are committed to cultural and educational exchange between Japan and the United States. Many members have acted as chaperons in past years or are parents of students who have participated in the exchange. This group is responsible for many of the behind the scenes aspects of the program. Participants will meet the committee members at the student and parent orientation, as well as at the farewell reception at the conclusion of the program in Michigan.

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