Student Exchange Program
1. Participating in the Program
To participate in the program students MUST be in Year 9, 10 or 11 (in the year of the visitation) plus students MUST live and/or attend school in Hawkesbury City. All students who meet this criteria are welcome to apply for the HSCA Student Exchange Program.
The family of Hawkesbury exchange students are required to host an inbound exchange student if requested by HSCA.
Students selected as part of a Hawkesbury Student Exchange Delegation will visit either Temple City in California, USA or Kyotamba in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Both four week visits will be held during September / October.
Prior to the student exchange visit all students are required to attend sessions to prepare them for their experience of being a Hawkesbury exchange student. A session overview will be given to students and their parents at the first information session. The sessions will cover many aspects of the visit including international travel, living in another country and being an ambassador for your City. Additional sessions are held for students going to Japan covering Japanese language and culture. It is compulsory for students to attend their sessions, and on a couple of occasions a parent / guardian is also required to attend. Failure in attending sessions or completing tasks may result in students being withdrawn from the program.
Families are required to host an inbound exchange student. Prior to host families being selected, representatives of HSCA will visit homes to discuss hosting an inbound exchange student. HSCA provides advice and assistance to host families including a booklet with 'helpful hints' on hosting an exchange student.
2. Important dates for the 2018 program
Tuesday 17th October 2017 - 7.00 to 8.30pm
'Informal' Hawkesbury Student Exchange Information Night
Come along for a chat with members of the HSCA Committee, past exchange students and host parents to find out a bit more about the exchange program. This 'informal' info session is designed to provide an opportunity to learn a bit more about the program and meet some of the people involved in running it. Attendance at this session is not compulsory, but highly recommended.
The Info Session is held just prior to the close of applications so that students and parents have the opportunity to become more informed about the program prior to the selection process.
Venue - Tebbutt Room, Deerubbin Centre, 300 George Street, Windsor
Friday, 20th October 2017 - 5.00pm
Applications for 2018 Hawkesbury student delegations close
Completed applications must be received by HSCA by this date and time. After close of applications HSCA will select between 20 and 30 students to go through to the pre-selection and interview process.
Applications to be lodged at - HSCAapplication@outlook.com
Saturday, 11th November - 10am to 1pm OR 3pm to 6pm
Selected applicants will attend a pre-selection meeting. You can indicate on your application your preferred time (please note that you may not be offered your preferred time for the pre-selection meeting but someone will telephone you to discuss options)
Sunday, 12th November - individual interview time between 9am to 6pm
Interviews for 2018 Hawkesbury student delegations
All students who attend the pre-selection meeting will be interviewed by the section panel. Students will be advised of their individual interview time.
Tuesday, 21st November 2017 - 7 to 8.30pm
Session 1 student information sessions
It is compulsory for the exchange students and a parent / guardian to attend this information session. The info session will cover rules and regulations, information on student preparation sessions, and information on hosting inbound students. At the meeting students and parents are also required to provide the Association with a signed copy of the Code of Conduct and Participation Agreement. Dates for other sessions will be set so please bring your diary or calendar. Click here for rules and regulations.
Mid July to Mid August 2018 - visit by inbound Temple City and Kyotamba exchange students.
Mid September to Mid October 2018- visit by outbound Hawkesbury students to Kyotamba and Temple City.
3. Application / Selection Process
- Submit an application form -
- Application forms are completed and lodged electronically.
- Download an application form from the HSCA website - the application form will be available on this site when applications for the 2019 exchange open.
- When you download the form save it in your name followed by the year of the exchange. The format of your saved application form should be - firstname surname 2018.pdf
- Complete the application form and email it to - HSCAapplication@outlook.com. Only applications should be sent to this email address. If you want to contact HSCA please refer to the 'Contact Details' section at the end of this page.
- By the beginning of November all applicants will receive a phone call advising if you have been granted the opportunity to go to a Pre-Selection Meeting and have an interview. Unfortunately not all applicants will go onto this stage of the application / selection process. At this time successful applicants will be told the time of their Pre-Selection Meeting and their interview time.
- At the Pre-Selection Meeting applicants will interact with their peers and some members of the HSCA.
- The final stage of the Selection Process is the individual interview. All students who attend an interview will be advised of the outcome of their interview as quickly as possible - within a couple of days.
4. Commonly asked questions
Q—How much will it cost?
A—Students are responsible for their own costs. Due to ever changing airfares it is difficult to determine the exact costs. For example, the airfare to Japan has recently decreased due to Jetstar operating between Sydney and Osaka, which is the closest airport to Kyotamba. The airfare to LA is also more competitive due to Virgin Airlines introducing a new service during 2009. Airfares to Japan range from $1000 to $1300 and to America from $1100 to $1600. Other costs include travel insurance, passport, gifts, personal spending money. During their visit the students will be taken on excursions by the sister city organisation who will cover the costs of these excursions including travel, entries and meals.
Q—How can students participate in the program?
A—Return a completed application form by the closing date.
Q—Will I automatically get an interview?
A—No. The applications will be shortlisted. Within about 10 days students will be advised if they will continue onto the selection process or if their application has not been successful.
Q—How does the selection process work?
A—Students on the shortlist will attend a meeting/workshop along with other applicants. Members of HSCA will run activities and get to chat with the students applying for the program.
The next day individual interviews will be held with each applicant having a meeting with the selection panel.
Q—How will students cope with being away from home for such a long period of time—and in the case of Japan, in a non-English speaking country?
A—Prior to departure students are required to attend sessions run by the Hawkesbury Sister City Association which cover all aspects of being an exchange student. These sessions are specially devised to aid students prepare for their student exchange experience and also provide an opportunity for students in the delegations to get to know each other. There are additional sessions in Japanese language and culture for students visiting Kyotamba to ensure those students will have some understanding of basic Japanese language and culture prior to their visit.
Q—What is involved with hosting an inbound exchange student?
A—The student exchange program is designed for students to experience the lifestyle and culture of another country. As such, hosting an exchange student is like having another child in your home for a month. Exchange students are expected to participate in the everyday family lifestyle and do chores / help around the house. While it is great if you can take your exchange student sightseeing, it is also important that they experience the everyday things, like going to Saturday sport, family occasions, grocery shopping, etc. Host families are required to provide a safe environment with a comfortable place for students to sleep and keep their personal belongings, provide them with meals, including lunch at school. During weekdays the students will either attend school or the Hawkesbury Sister City Association will take them on excursions. When the Association takes the students on excursions HSCA provide and pay for the students’ travel, entries and meals. An itinerary detailing these excursions will be provided prior to the arrival of the students. In addition the Association will hold a meeting with host families, visit the home of each host family and provide a booklet with hints on hosting exchange students.
Q—I have concerns about hosting an inbound exchange student?
A—The HSCA Student Exchange program is run by a team of volunteers. To facilitate the hosting of inbound students HSCA require families of outbound exchange students to home host an inbound student. Prior to organising the hosting roster, representatives of HSCA will visit all the homes of our exchange students to discuss both hosting and your childs participation in the program. At this time we can talk about any concerns you have. Occasionally HSCA will not ask a family to host because of a particular family circumstance.
Q—What country will my host student come from?
A—If you child is going to Kyotamba, then you will host a student from Kyotamba; and if you child is going to Temple City, then you will host a student from Temple City.
Q—I have lots of questions about my child going overseas, and about hosting a student. How can I get more information?
A—A few days before applications close Hawkesbury Sister City Association holds an information night to provide more information and answer any questions parents or students may have about the exchange program.
ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND - so if you are unsure if you want to apply, or you want to find out more about the program and meet some of the volunteers who run it come along.
HSCA recommends and strong encourages students and parents to come to the information evening.
5. Contact Details
If you want to get more information please checkout the Hawkesbury Sister City Association Inc FaceBook page.
You are also welcome to telephone or email the Association Secretary Bridget on 0425 232 413;
or Association President Tina on 4573 2617, email firstname.lastname@example.org;
or any member of HSCA.