Karuizawa Sister City Youth Exchange


Exchange program returns in 2024.

The Sister City Youth Exchange offers Whistler students invaluable cross-cultural learning opportunities, immersing in traditions, history, language, and present day geography during a visit to Karuizawa, Japan.

Whistler has been the proud Sister City of Karuizawa for twenty years. The relationship strengthens economic and cultural ties and promotes tourism. The Youth Exchange program is one part of Whistler’s partnership with Karuizawa

Program Information:

Each year, 10 Whistler students participate in this exciting exchange program. Some of the things successful student applicants have in common is:

  • An interest in learning about different cultures,
  • Participation in school and community activities,
  • Personal independence, and
  • An eagerness to represent Whistler as an ambassador. 

Youth must in Grade 8 or Grade 9 and reside in Whistler full-time to be eligible to apply.

Important participation information for families:

Accepted students and their families must also be available as a host family for two Karuizawa students visit to Whistler.

All home stay family parents require Police Information Checks.

Students will travel to Karuizawa with two chaperones from the RMOW. 


The RMOW funds 50 per cent of the flight costs for the Whistler exchange to Karuizawa. The RMOW also organizes various fundraising activities. Students taking part in the program cover the remaining travel costs.


For application forms, or further information about the Sister City Youth Exchange program please contact:

Recreation Services Supervisor

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