The Town of Whitecourt hosted a delegation of Japenese students and chaperones from Yubetsu, Japan over the last week, ending the trip with a banquet dinner Monday night at the Whitecourt Golf and Country Club.
Yubetsu is Whitecourt’s Twin Town, and 2018 marks 20 years that the towns have been doing their student exchange program.
The exchange happens every other year, with Whitecourt students going to Yubetsu in July, and then the Japanese students come to Whitecourt in October.
Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak talks about the rewards seen from the exchange.
Chichak went on to say that this year being the 20th anniversary of the program was particularly special. Over the 20 years, hundreds of parents and students have been exchanged and Chichak says to see the language, culture, education, and relationships that have been formed and will continue to grow is incredible to see.
Monday night’s banquet was capped off with a traditional drumming ceremony performed by the Yubetsu students.
The 11 students and four chaperones participated in Halloween, explored Whitecourt and places like Edmonton, and went to school with their host families.
The delegation heads back to Japan today.