In 1970, the City of North Vancouver established a sister-city relationship with Chiba City, Japan. In 1989 the first Handsworth trip to Japan occurred, and it was in 1992 that the regular student exchange was established with Inage High School, in Chiba.

The Handsworth Japan Exchange has been offered annually to grade 9 students for over 25 years now.

The first component of the exchange is the hosting of a pair of students from Inage High school in early October or November. Japanese students must be provided their own room in your home for the duration of their visit. Your student will not only stay with your family, but also join you for in-class visits, group activities and a farewell party at the end of their stay.

From January to April there are regular meetings in preparation for the trip. The two-week itinerary typically includes Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Hiroshima, Takayama, Chiba, Tokyo and either Himeji or Miyajima. Our first week is spent touring Japan, while our second week is spent being hosted by Inage High School students. While in Chiba we serve as representatives of North Vancouver, and as such, engage in official functions such as formal visits to the mayor’s office and other ceremonies.

Our first week is spent in both modern and traditional Japanese hotels/inns, while during the second week we are billeted in pairs with Inage high school students and their families. Often times students end up staying with the same students who stayed with them in October/November.

Applications to apply will be open to grade 8s before the end of June.