Japanese Exchange Program
The LISD offers an annual exchange for Lenawee’s middle school students to host Japanese students and visit Japan. The exchanges with Moriyama (in Shiga prefecture) have a long history and a strong list of Lenawee students and teachers who have been positively affected by opening their minds and hearts to new experiences.
After a hiatus during the peak years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual exchange will be offered again beginning in the 2023-2024 school year. Moriyama's delegation will visit in October 2023 and the Lenawee delegation will travel to Japan in June 2024.
Applications and Information - April 20, 2023 Deadline
Family Information Meeting
Thursday, April 13, 2023
William J. Ross Education Service Center
4107 N. Adrian Hwy.
While we are still in the early planning stages of the trips, both visits are about 8 days. The Japanese students will be hosted in Lenawee for about four of those days. The remaining four days are for traveling around with the coordinator, other Japanese students, and Japanese chaperones. This is tentatively scheduled for the last full week of October 2023.
The Lenawee students will have the same length itinerary, with the trip to Japan tentatively scheduled for the second or third week of June 2024.
COVID-19 Travel Requirements - U.S. Citizens Traveling to Japan
Anyone traveling must have proof of three doses of vaccines prescribed on the Emergency Use List of World Health Organization (WHO) OR have a certificate of a negative pre-travel test taken within 72 hours prior to departure from the United States.
Face masks or coverings will be required to be worn when deemed appropriate by the program coordinator, the host family, or a public establishment.
The Lenawee – Moriyama, Japan Middle School Exchange Program aims to improve understanding between Japan and Lenawee County through active experiences and direct contact with a peer of another culture.
In this short term exchange, Lenawee County students are chosen to host students from Moriyama. Teacher chaperones are also selected to host the Moriyama delegation’s teachers. The Japanese delegation visits here around Halloween. This gives students and their families a chance to share several days of their lives during a fun season. A schedule is organized for the Japanese guests to give them a brief look at family life, school, and highlights of Michigan and its culture.
After the Japan delegation returns home, the Lenawee delegation meets several times in the following months to learn Japanese language and culture and to prepare for a trip to Moriyama in June. While in Japan, Lenawee County students have the opportunity to learn about family life while staying with the same person that they hosted over Halloween. The delegation also visits a Moriyama junior high school and sees highlights of the area around the city. In addition, they may take a two-day trip to Hiroshima to learn a part of Japan’s history and how the two countries intersected in less peaceful times. Partial scholarships are provided as available through donations by Adrian Noon Rotary Club, Anderson Development Company, the Japan Business Society of Detroit, and the United States-Japan Foundation.
Program Q&A - 2023-2024
What is the purpose of the Lenawee Intermediate School District’s Japan Exchange Program?
The purpose of this program is to provide educational exchange opportunities which will promote understanding and appreciation while establishing bonds of friendship among educators, students, and citizens of Lenawee County and Moriyama, Japan.
How long has it been offered through the LISD?
This program began in 1993 and has been offered annually for 30 years, with a brief hiatus during the peak years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which schools are included in the program?
All 6th and 7th grade students from all Lenawee County public and private schools are welcome to apply.
How many students will be selected?
Eight students will be selected for the program.
When do the Moriyama students come to Lenawee County?
The Japanese junior high students will be in Lenawee County from Oct. 24th until Oct. 29th or 30th, 2023.
What will the Japanese do while they’re here?
The Japanese students will stay with American host families, visit schools and take day trips to places like the Michigan International Speedway and Hidden Lake Gardens, as well as spend time with their American hosts. Since the Japanese will be here during Halloween, we would imagine that they’ll also get to have some fun dressing up in costumes with the American students, visit Cedar Point, enjoy bonfires, etc.
When will the Lenawee County students go to Moriyama, Japan?
The Lenawee County students will go to Japan in June of 2024 for 10 days (typically the second week).
What will they do in Moriyama?
The students will stay with the families of the Japanese junior high they will host this coming October, 2023. While in Moriyama, the Lenawee County students will visit schools, historical sites (like castles, temples, and shrines), and enjoy time with their Japanese hosts. Students then travel with chaperones to Hiroshima.
What is the cost of the trip?
Families are expected to cover the costs of airfare to Japan (approximately $2,200 to $2,900), passport fees ($165), as well as souvenirs and the costs to host the Japanese student.
How will students prepare for this experience?
Starting in September of 2023, there will be a monthly mandatory meeting that takes place on Sunday evenings where students will learn Japanese culture, language, and history.
High School Exchange Opportunity
If you’re a high school student, information about Michigan supported educational exchanges with Shiga prefecture can be found at the link below.