Contact Information

Modesto Sister Cities International
1509 K Street, PO Box 155
Modesto, CA 95354

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Youth Exchange Information

General Information

Modesto Sister Cities International (MSCI) is seeking high school and college applicants for the annual Youth Exchange Program this summer. This program promotes international understanding and friendship, and gives our students a chance to experience other cultures and languages first-hand. Participants will act as Youth Ambassadors representing not only the City of Modesto but also California and the United States. MSCI is committed to a divergent group representing Modesto. We invite applicants from all ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds to apply.

All exchange programs are reciprocal. It is expected that families that send a child on this program will also receive and host a student from the country they are visiting, though hosting is not an absolute requirement


Travel Dates


Students will visit Kurume, Japan from July to August
Kurume students will visit Modesto in August


Students will visit Laval, France from June to July
Laval students will visit Modesto in July




*Arrival and departure dates are approximate and are subject to change.

Travel Costs

Total costs could be as much as $1,500. Most of the cost is airfare, which is difficult to predict. There are additional expenses for passports, health insurance, gifts for host families, and spending money.


Traveling Abroad FAQ

  1. Do I have to speak the language?
    No, but you must have a desire to participate in understanding the language. Speaking the language will only enhance your experience

  2. Who do I stay with?
    Host families will be chosen by delegates in Japan. Normally students are hosted by a family that is sending a child of the same gender.

  3. How much money do I need to bring?
    You will also want spending money for gifts and miscellaneous expenses. $300 should be sufficient. You will be hosted by a family, which means you should not pay for meals unless you choose to dine outside of the home.


Application Process and Checklist

It is important to complete ALL parts of the application, obtain appropriate references and supporting documentation, and follow the guidelines for the Statement of Purpose.

First priority Applications must be submitted by May 1.


  1. Application
    Print the application, complete, and mail with all required documents to:
    Modesto Sister Cities International
    PO Box 580253
    Modesto, CA 95358

  2. Statement of Purpose

    The Statement of Purpose is the most important part of the application. It is an opportunity to present your qualifications for participating in the MSCI Youth Exchange Program and to outline your skills and qualities. In preparing the statement, you should consider the following guidelines:

    1. Your interests
    2. Briefly describe your school and activities
    3. How does your family feel about your participation in the program?
    4. How would you benefit from participating in the program?
    5. Why do you want to participate in this program?
    6. f. What qualifications/experiences do you bring to the program that demonstrates your potential as an effective and innovative youth ambassador?


  3. Two Personal Photos
    Please attach a current photo of yourself and one of your family
  4. Two References

    The applicants’ references must be submitted directly to MSCI. One must be from a teacher or administrator, and the other is a personal reference from a school or church staff member, adult neighbor, long-time friend, scout leader, coach or club advisor.
    Please click here to download the Reference Form.

  5. All applicants must be available for a personal interview.


Selection Process

MSCI staff will conduct an initial technical review of all applications to verify eligibility and completeness. Applicants are selected on the following basis:

  • The applicants must communicate their ability be a good Youth Ambassador representing not only the City of Modesto but also California and the United States.
  • The applicants’ ability to host an exchange student
  • Personalities must be adaptable, flexible and sensitive to group dynamics.
  • The applicant must possess the ability to be a team player, as demonstrated by applicant’s recommendations from references and educational professionals.
  • Close consideration will be given to the applicant’s qualifying age in the event there is an overabundance of eligible applicants. The primary concern will be the applicant’s future eligibility. In a case of two equally qualified applicants, the older student would be given extra consideration in respect to their future eligibility. (i.e., An applicant who has applied and who would not qualify the following year would have first priority).



Applicants who pass the initial application review will be called for an interview. The interview process will help MSCI staff determine the personality, attitude and group compatibility of the applicant. The applicant’s ability to cooperate within the group is of utmost importance. During the interview process we will question applicants on their leadership ability and attitudes towards a variety of group situations.

Applicants will be notified by mail of their acceptance into the program and invited to an Orientation meeting required for students and parents. Students who were not chosen will also be notified by mail.


Selected Ambassadors and Orientation

All selected Ambassadors will be REQUIRED to attend orientation sessions. Parents will also be required to attend some, but not all of the orientation sessions. The orientation sessions are designed to help students with basic language skills, acquaint them with the life and culture of the city they will be traveling to, assist them with travel arrangements, and provide any other information needed to make the trip a success. If chosen, the following items will be reviewed at the Orientation:

  • MSCI Membership: Since the Youth Exchange Program is a function of Modesto Sister Cites International, all travelers need to be members of MSCI. This can be done at the minimum level of $25.00. Membership levels can be accessed and printed out on the MSCI Membership Application Form.
  • Youth Ambassadors will be required to purchase (at a low cost) medical health insurance provided through Sister Cities International.
  • Successful applicants and their parents/guardians will be asked to sign a “hold harmless” agreement with Modesto Sister Cities International and provide all emergency information required by MSCI.


For more information, please contact