CLEARWATER – The best way to learn about Japanese culture is to visit Japan and see first-hand how Japanese people live. The dream can now become a reality for some Clearwater High School students. Clearwater is looking to send four local high school students on an educational trip to Japan. Four students will be selected to receive a $2,000 scholarship that will go toward spending one week during the summer 2019 in Clearwater’s Sister City of Nagano, Japan, as part of the Sister Cities International Exchange Program. The program is a partnership between the city of Clearwater and the Pinellas County School Board.

This opportunity will give students a chance to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, giving them a hands-on learning opportunity they can’t get from just reading books. During their stay, the students will reside with homestay families and visit junior and senior high schools. As part of their visit, the students will make numerous presentations at each school, and actively participate in educational exchanges between Clearwater and Nagano students.

Those interested in participating must apply no later than Dec. 3. Those eligible must be residents of Clearwater, enrolled in grades 9 through 11, have a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher, and be enrolled in a world language, international business, or comparative cultures classes or have completed a sequence of similar study. The requirements and an application can be found by visiting and clicking on the Arts & Culture tab, or by contacting Natalie Lamb at (727) 562-4803 or by email at