Student cultural exchange with Bizen, Japan

2016 Bizen Trip
Typically, every other year Menlo Park invites ten residents between the ages of 12 and 15 years old to apply for the Student Cultural Exchange Trip to visit the town and families of our sister city Bizen, Japan.

Trip details

  • Trip is tentatively scheduled for July of even numbered years
  • Participants see Bizen’s rich culture and heritage
  • Make famous 1,000 yr old Bizen-yaki pottery and learn its history
  • Visit Japan’s first public school dating back to the 17th century
  • Some parents or related adults are also chosen to help lead the trip

Application process

  • One page essay 
  • 10 teens chosen to attend
  • Selections made in April

Essay details

  • Express your interest and what impact this cultural exchange would have on your life and your community
  • One (1) full page written essay
  • No more than 1 page, no less than a page
  • 1 inch margins
  • 11 point Arial font
  • Single spaced
  • Submit your essay


  • Each participant must purchase the round trip fight to Japan
  • Food is provided
  • Lodging is provided by Bizen families