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Partnership with Sunnyvale Sister Cities Associations brings Japanese Student exchange to middle schools

Starting in 2014, the Sunnyvale Sister Cities Association has worked with the Iizuka Friendship Network in Japan to facilitate two student exchange programs for middle (7th-8th) and high school students. Through the program, Sunnyvale students stay with host families in Iizuka, Japan and Sunnyvale families host visiting Iizuka students.

Columbia Middle School teacher, Bryan Gilstein, was grateful for the way the school’s exchange student was made to feel welcome during her visit.

“Miyu had a lot of great reflections to share on the differences between CMS and her schooling in Japan,” Gilstein said. “She was particularly grateful for how kindly all of our students treated her.  Miyu expressed being touched that students would say hello (or konichiwa) when they saw her again on campus.”

To learn more about the student exchange program please visit

Article written by CMS teacher Bryan Gilstein and SSD Communications Coordinator Alia Wilson.

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