The TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program, sponsored by the U.S. Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Initiative and administered by American Councils for International Education and their local implementing partners, Globalize DC and Common Earth in Japan, was introduced in summer 2013. It has taken place each summer after that (2013 through 2018).

TOMODACHI USJYEP is a two-way exchange which promotes mutual respect and understanding among Japanese and American high school students by focusing on cultural awareness, civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, and service learning. An important focus of the program is on the Tohoku region of Japan, devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Students visit Tohoku, listen to the stories of residents and community leaders, and then take on the responsibility of sharing these stories with others.

Each year Globalize DC has selected DC student participants through a competitive selection process, prepares them for the summer exchange program, plans and implements the DC half of the program, and then works with DC students on follow-up activities after the summer program concludes. In summer 2017, for the first time, our six (6) TOMODACHI students were drawn exclusively from our Japanese Plus program.

To learn all about the TOMODACHI USJYEP, go to our special program website at

The TOMODACHI USJYEP will not take place during summer 2019. Check back later to see if the program will be resumed at a future date.