Messages of Hope from Ota to Salem

Our friends in Ota have created a lovely video message to share with the Salem Ota Exchange and all of their friends here in Salem.

It is wonderful to see these heartfelt messages, and knowing that the friendship between our two cities goes on, and is great to see many of the familiar faces of our friends over in Ota who miss us as we miss them! 

2020 Scholarship Application Deadline Extended

Are you, or do you know a high school senior going to college who has participated in The Salem-Ota Cultural Exchange? 

We have an opportunity for you!

What has this program meant to you? Tell us about your involvement in the program hosting a middle-schooler, or traveling to Japan with us or both. How have you been impacted? The form is available below. A panel will select the winning applicant who will receive a $500 scholarship.

Because of the effects of the pandemic on schools and students, the application deadline has been extended to Monday, June 1st, 2020

Applicants fill out an online submission form here.

*If you submitted your application already by mail, please email us so that we can verify that it was received.

Regarding the 2020 Exchange

Dear Host Families and Members of the Salem Ota Student Exchange Community,

First and foremost, I hope this finds you and your loved ones doing well during these most difficult times. It is truly a surreal time we are living in these days.

This is about the time that we would be beginning to scramble trying to recruit host families. However, much to the disappointment of the organizers both in Tokyo and here, the students from Ota will not be coming to Salem this July. With so much uncertainty and challenges, really, everywhere in the world, it is no time to be planning for this annual event. 

As you know, we greatly appreciate your interest and support for the program so much. We hope that you will continue to communicate with the students you have hosted as we look forward to July 2021. 

Most of all, please stay well and we will all have to get together for a giant gathering once this is all behind us.

Please take care.
xoxo to all of you,
Connie Arlander and Midori Oka

Corona Virus Concerns

Dear Friends,

The outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) has upended travel across the globe. However, at this time it is very difficult to anticipate what the situation will be in 4 months. We are closely following the decisions of Japan’s Health Department and the CDC and State Department here in the US. At this time no decision has been made regarding the Home Stay program and our preparations continue as planned. We will keep this post updated as plans develop. 

Best,Chris and Denise Granniss

2020 Student Dates!

Salem will once again be hosting students from Japan this summer. If you have a middle school or early high school student in or near Salem, Mass. and would like the opportunity to host a student, the dates are now set from July 26 through August 3 this year. Please contact Connie or Midori for an application to host!

Sayonara to Our Students!

The Ota Students sang at our Goodbye Party

The students said a teary goodbye this morning as we saw them off for their final day of sightseeing before flying back to Boston tomorrow morning. On behalf of the Salem Ota Cultural Exchange, I want to thank all of the host families for opening their hearts and homes to our students; the chaperones and members of the exchange for their dedication to making the student’s visit so memorable and wonderful; and to the teachers and principal from Ota who traveled with this delightful group and made this all possible. Thank you all and please come and visit us again!