Menlo Park teens invited to apply for cultural exchange trip to Japan


Menlo Park teens ages 13-15 are invited to apply to go on a six-day cultural exchange trip to Bizen, Japan, one of Menlo Park's friendship cities.

The application is available online here, and requires an essay. The deadline is set for 5 p.m. on April 1.

Up to 10 teens and four parents or related adult chaperones can attend. Though final dates have not yet been announced, City Councilwoman Catherine Carlton said the trip will likely be near the end of June or early July.

If more applications are received than there are spots, applications will be judged by Fran Dehn, president and CEO of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco. Winners can expect to hear back by April 20.

Participants will have to pay round-trip airfare, but food and lodging will be provided.

The trip is being promoted by Councilwoman Carlton, who traveled to Bizen, Japan last year. She says Bizen has a number of interesting sights, such as the oldest public schoolhouse in Japan, dating back to the 1600s. Bizen is a traditional fishing village, she said, so participating students should be prepared to eat a lot of fish. The community also has a rich heritage of Bizen-yaki pottery and a soy sauce factory.

The exchange takes place after Menlo Park hosted a group of students from Bizen last year.

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Like this comment
Posted by Annoyed
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm

[part removed.] Only families who have $2,000 to burn and are comfortable sending their kids away alone, or who can chaperone their child and take a week vacation on just four weeks notice, need apply. {part removed.] No scholarships available? How is this a fair use of public resources? Did you even think about offering scholarships, even one? What a joke.

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