City Manager's Office

Sister City Exchange Program Sister City Program emblem

The Fairfield Sister City Exchange Program strengthens ties of friendship and cultural understanding between Fairfield and the City Over the Horizon: Nirasaki, Japan.

The program lets people express their common desire for friendship, goodwill, and cooperation to build a better world. Our Sister City Program is an exciting way for local citizens to expand their cultural, civic, and economic horizons. The program is comprised of citizens of all ages as well as civic and business leaders who promote Fairfield around the world. 

Summer 2020 Exchange Program

Each year the City of Fairfield sends six students and a chaperone to Nirasaki, Japan, for a three-week student exchange during the month of July. During the visit, the students live in the homes of host families and participate in a wide variety of activities sponsored by our Sister City. Students have the opportunity to visit schools in Japan, tour historical and cultural sites, and experience the culture and lifestyle of a Japanese family. Students who have entered 9th grade as of fall 2018 are eligible to apply. 

The exchange involves certain expenses:  airfare to and from Japan, the cost of a rail pass and 3-day excursion, gifts to the host family, and personal spending money for the trip. These costs normally total no more than $2,800, depending on airfare costs and the current exchange rate. All other costs while in Japan are paid by the City of Nirasaki and the host families. Fundraisers may be organized by the students and their families, working with the Sister City Committee, to help with these expenses.

The selected students and their families are expected to participate in Sister City program activities, fundraising activities, and meetings for at least one year after the exchange trip, and to host a student visitor from Nirasaki during their winter exchange (December/January).

An application form must be accompanied by two reference letters (to be filled out by teachers, school administrators, or community members who know you well).  At least one letter must be from a teacher who has taught you in a classroom setting.  The application and reference letters must be returned by Friday, January 24, 2020, to:

Arletta Cortright, Chairperson
Fairfield-Nirasaki Sister City Committee
City of Fairfield
City Manager's Office
1000 Webster Street
Fairfield, CA   94533

All applications will be reviewed and ranked, based on the responses to the questions in the application, reference letters, and the applicant's participation in the Sister City Program. Top-ranked applicants will be invited to attend an individual interview. Interviews are normally scheduled within three weeks after the application deadline, and are conducted by members of the Sister City Committee, usually on a Sunday. All applicants can expect to be notified of their status by letter or e-mail within three weeks after the application deadline; selection of group members will be completed by March 1.

If you have questions regarding the Sister City Program, please contact Arletta Cortright, committee chairperson.