The California Japan Scholars Program

Since 1997, over 800 high school students have participated on the California-Japan Scholars Program, the only state-sponsored student exchange program between California and Japan. The program was created by California state law in 1996 to “correct the imbalance of understanding" between Japan and California by offering California's young people a valuable opportunity to learn more about Japan's culture and its people. The program also assists with arrangements for foreign students visiting California, ensuring a true exchange of perspectives and promoting understanding between students in both countries.

During this program, students spend time with a host family, learning more about Japan and the US from a very personal vantage point. California participants learn about all aspects of life in Japan, from basic customs and etiquette at home, the variety and flavors of Japanese cuisine, to the intriguing differences in our respective educational systems. Studying in California gives Japanese students the opportunity to learn more about life in our uniquely diverse and vibrant state, and will offer them new insight into on our two regions' important economic and leadership roles in the Pacific Rim.

This program is administered through a cooperative effort between the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, the California International Relations Foundation, the California Senate Office of International Relations, the California Department of Education, Japanese prefectural governments, and local California school districts. For further details on how to participate in this exciting program, please visit the California-Japan Scholars Program website at or contact Ms. Ezilda Samoville at