Montevallo continues exchange program with sister city

The Sister City agreement between the City of Montevallo and Echizen Town, Japan has prompted the local Sister City Commission to recruit 25 middle-school-aged students for Far East travel.

City Councilwoman Hollie Cost said Wednesday the commission is now accepting applications for its student exchange program. Prospective students and chaperones will fly to Echizen Town for a 10-day stay July 15-25, 2009.

“This will really enrich the students culturally and broaden their horizons in so many different ways,” Cost said.

In August, seven middle school students from Echizen Town spent one week in Montevallo exploring American culture. In addition to touring American Village and local schools, the students kayaked, line danced and dined on southern cuisine.

“Now it’s our turn to send students,” Cost said.

Cost said Montevallo students will tour Echizen Town schools during their visit. However, a full itinerary has not been finalized.

Cost said students must complete a three-month orientation prior to the visit to learn beneficial Japanese customs and phrases.

The Sister City Commission will launch a fundraising campaign in January to ease the trip’s cost pressures. Although there’s high interest in the trip, parents and students say money is a hindrance.

Applications are available at Montevallo Middle School and City Hall.