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
Students will visit Kurume, Japan from July 23 to August 4,
Kurume students will visit Modesto from August 7-18, 2015
Students will visit Laval, France from June 15 to July 6, 2015
Laval students will visit Modesto from July 6 to July 27, 2015
Students will visit Khmelnitsky from June 13 to July 5, 2014.(Dates Approximate)*
Khmelnitsky students will visit Modesto from July 5 to July 28, 2014.(Dates Approximate)*
*Arrival and departure dates are approximate and are subject to change.
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
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
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.
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, 2014.
Print the application, complete, and mail with all required documents to:
Modesto Sister Cities International
PO Box 580253
Modesto, CA 95358
- 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:
- Your interests
- Briefly describe your school and activities
- How does your family feel about your participation in the program?
- How would you benefit from participating in the program?
- Why do you want to participate in this program?
- f. What qualifications/experiences do you bring to the program that
demonstrates your potential as an effective and innovative youth ambassador?
- Two Personal Photos
Please attach a current photo of yourself and one of your family
- 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.
- All applicants must be available for a personal interview.
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
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