Exchange Programs

The Edmonds Sister City Commission hosts three exchange programs

DrummingStudent Exchanges: During the last two weeks of July, a delegation of 15 students, along with two chaperones, travel to Hekinan, Japan for a 13-day homestay. During the first two weeks of August, a delegation of Hekinan students, along with their chaperones, travel to Edmonds for a reciprocal 13-day homestay. Eligible students must: 1) be between the ages of 14-18 at the time of the exchange 2) be in good standing in their classes (at time of application submission) and 3) be able to host a Hekinan student during the Hekinan student delegation stay in Edmonds. Students are responsible for their airfare, their own spending money, plus $350.00 to go towards the chaperones' airfare. Chaperone desired skillset: 1) certificated teacher, school administrator, or interest/knowledge of Japanese culture/language 2) experience leading groups of students 3) able to fulfill the time commitment for the trip, orientation meetings and presentation to the Edmonds City Council after the trip. Over the years, this remarkable program has enriched the lives of hundreds of Edmonds and Hekinan students and their families, along with dozens of area teachers who have acted as chaperones. The application process for the student exchange opens every year in late October and runs through mid-February. The application process for chaperones opens every year in October and runs through mid-January. During that time, links to the application packets for both are posted here or are obtainable by calling the Mayor's Office at 425.771.0247. (Note: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no student exchanges took place during 2020, 2021, and 2022. The Commission is working with Hekinan to determine when the next student exchange will be scheduled. Stay tuned.

Adult Anniversary Exchanges: These exchanges take place every five years in the spring. Typically, delegates stay in homes providing them with opportunities to meet residents and business owners and experience the respective culture first-hand. Hotel stays are available. Itineraries for these visits include a Sister City Reception and an Anniversary Ceremony for the founding of the City of Hekinan. For more information please contact the Commission.

Host family opportunities: The Commission is always looking for great host families for our adult anniversary exchanges. Host families play a very important role in our exchange program and enable us to continue this 27+-year tradition. If you and your family would like to experience this cross-cultural interaction, please let us know by contacting the Commission.

Sister City Contact 

City Staff
Carolyn LaFave, Exec. Asst. to the Mayor

Sister City Commission

Current Openings

Office of the Mayor

425.771.0247 (phone)
425.771.0252 (fax)