Frederick Douglass High School has a strong relationship with our sister school, Yamato Nishi High School, in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan. The exchange program has been active since 2002. Each spring a group of Yamato Nishi students visits Frederick Douglass High School. During their visit students stay with our students and their families to be immersed in American culture. There is a group field trip to our nation's capital, which includes our host students and their Japanese guests. Our families take the students on other local excursions.
Then a few months later in June we take a student group to Japan for a similar experience. Our students stay with student families and visit Yamato Nishi High School each day with their host student. During their stay our students also go on excursions with their host families to places like Kamakura, home to some of Japan's oldest and largest shrines, the National Diet (Japan's version of Congress and the Senate) and one of Tokyo's popular shopping areas. While visits to these historic places is definitely beneficial we have found our students benefit most from the lifelong bonds they create with people halfway across the globe. They learn to appreciate the differences in the culture, which makes them more open and understanding to other cultures in general, as well as, notice many similarities in teen culture. It is truly a life changing experience for all of the students and staff involved at Frederick Douglass and Yamato Nishi high schools.
When travel is not possible our groups meet virtually to share a cultural exchange.