News and Events:


Visit the GTSEP Facebook page for all the latest on trips, hosting opportunities, fundraising events and much more!





Application and Requirements:

Click here for information on participant requirements and a link to download the application.


Learn More About Japan:

                                                                          

                                                                         Town of Takko Fan-Page


                                                                            Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Japan

                                                                                www.mofa.go.jp


                                                                              Japan National Tourist Organization

                                                                                www.jnto.go.jp


                                                                                    Japan Information Network

                                                                                    http://jin.jcic.or.jp/


                                                                                      Yokoso (Welcome) Japan

                                                                                       www.japantravelinfo.com


                                                                                    

   

Our Goal:


The mission of The Gilroy-Takko Student Exchange Program is to educate the youth of Gilroy about the world around them by providing an opportunity for high school students to travel to Gilroy’s sister city, Takko-Machi, Japan, and experience first hand the Japanese culture for the purpose of improving global understanding and promoting the value of personally connecting with people outside one’s own community and culture.


Support G.T.S.E.P:


Make a tax deductible contribution to help provide Gilroy students with this excellent educational experience.

Donations can be made to:


Gilroy-Takko Student Exchange Program









Gilroy-Takko Student Exchange Program

777 1st Street PMB #251

Gilroy, CA 95020

OR

All donations go directly towards the funding of student trips.

Please Email GTSEP with any questions.

GTSEP FEIN 27-1274265. CA Organization Number 365758

Use Our Secure Online Donation System

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=37FJA349MCUDS

Thank you for all your support.

Special thanks to:

Val Filice Survivor’s Trust

About G.T.S.E.P

  1. Bullet  Gilroy-Takko Student Exchange Program is a Federal registered 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt, Nonprofit, Public Charity and a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Registered with the California Secretary of State.

GTSEP FEIN 27-1274265. CA Organization Number 365758

Board of Directors

  1. BulletKERMIT YODER-SHROCK, Board President, GUSD Administrator

  2. BulletPHIL ROBB, Co-Founder & Board Vice President, Retired GUSD Teacher

  3. BulletPATRICK FOLEY, Co-Founder & Board Advisor, CPT. U.S. Army

  4. BulletLAUREN MANTANI, Board Treasurer, GUSD Teacher

  5. BulletJESSICA FOLEY, Board Secretary, Former GUSD HS Teacher

  6. BulletGRETCHEN YODER-SHROCK, Advisor, GUSD HS Teacher

  7. BulletCHRISTOPHER LEONG, Advisor, GUSD HS Teacher


  1. BulletMISSION STATEMENT  The mission of The GTSEP is to educate the youth of Gilroy about the world around them by providing an opportunity for high school students to travel to Gilroy’s sister city, Takko-Machi, Japan, and experience first hand the Japanese culture for the purpose of improving global understanding and promoting the value of personally connecting with people outside one’s own community and culture.

                                                                                                                                                                                  

  1. Bullet ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS

  2. Bullet PROMOTER To increase the visibility, enhance the relationship and highlight the rich tradition of friendship between Takko-Machi, Japan and Gilroy.

  3. Bullet FACILITATOR To help Gilroy students expand their knowledge base and openness to the possibility of studying abroad.

  4. Bullet ADVOCATE To provide students the tools needed to build respect, understanding and acceptance of other cultures.

  5. Bullet FUNDRAISER To seek funds through donation campaigns, charitable functions and grants to ensure all students have an equal financial ability to participate.

  6. Bullet BRIDGE-BUILDER To connect students and families in Gilory and  Takko-Machi in order to promote new international friendships.

  7. Bullet TEACHER To encourage Gilroy students to develop a foundation for life long cross cultural learning and participation in future cultural exchanges.

Takko Garlic International Friendship Association

http://garlic.shop-pro.jp/

Gilroy Sister Cities Association

http://www.gilroysistercities.org/

Partner Organizations

  1. BulletWho is eligible to participate?

All high school juniors and sophomores in the Gilroy Unified School District.


  1. BulletHow do I apply?

Applications and instructions for submitting are made available on the GTSEP website and Facebook page, as well as at Gilroy

High School and Christopher High School in October. Click here for the application.


  1. BulletWhy Takko-Machi?

In April of 1988 Gilroy and Takko-Machi became sister cities. It was a great fit because Takko is known as the ‘Garlic Capital of Japan’.

In 1989 members of the Gilroy High Choir traveled to Takko to celebrate the first anniversary. Since then more than 200 high school

students form Gilroy have traveled to Takko as part of the ongoing exchange between the two communities. Takko High School and

Jr. High School send groups of students to Gilroy annually to visit Gilroy schools, practice English, and learn about American culture.


  1. BulletWhat will students do in Japan?

Student participants will tour the town of Takko-Machi, visit schools, shadow Takko High School students during two days of classes, meet with the Takko Mayor and community leaders as well as learn Japanese customs and traditions.  Students will have the opportunity to partake in club practices such as Japanese Archery, known as Kyudo, Tea Ceremony, Summo, and other uniquely Japanese activities. Additionally, the trip will include two or three days of touring in Tokyo. These days will incorporate visits to shrines, temples, the Royal Palace, and other culturally and historically significant sites.  


  1. BulletWill there be adult supervision?

Student participants are supervised throughout the trip by adult members of the GTSEP, many of whom are GUSD teachers. Additionally, the Takko Coordinator for International Relations (C.I.R) and a Japanese translator from the Takko Garlic International Friendship Association will meet the group at the Tokyo airport and travel with them for the duration of their time in Japan. The C.I.R is a Gilroy native who lives in and works for the town of Takko.


  1. BulletWhere will students stay?

While in Takko-Machi, student participates will stay with carefully selected and pre-screened host families. Over the 22-year history of the Gilroy Takko friendship a large organization of host families has emerged. Many of these families have hosted Gilroy students during past trips.  Takko’s Coordinator for International Relations screens all families. The C.I.R is a Gilroy native who lives in and works for the town of Takko. Representatives of the Takko Garlic International Friendship Association assist the C.I.R in the host family screening process.

While in Tokyo students will stay in a quality hotel and will be chaperoned by the GTSEP group leaders, the Takko C.I.R as well as a Japanese translator from the Takko Garlic International Friendships Association.


  1. BulletHow much does the trip cost?

The mission of the GTSEP is to provide this cultural exchange experience to all deserving GUSD high school students. To that end, GTSEP provides all accepted student participants with scholarships to cover 50% of the trip cost. Due to fluctuating airfares, accommodation rates and other factors, trip costs vary from year to year. The average ‘out of pocket’ cost for students and their families is 1,500 - 2,000 dollars. GTSEP uses incremental payment plans to assist students and their families.


  1. BulletHow long is the flight?

Generally, GTSEP books direct flights from San Francisco International Airport to Tokyo Narita Airport. The flight time

is approximately ten to twelve hours.  Depending on availability and cost, flights may include connections that increase

travel time.


  1. BulletWhat is the significance of the logo?

The garlic bulb in the GTSEP logo illustrates the ‘stinking rose’, which originally brought Gilroy and Takko together

and continues to play a role in the relationship. The colors green and blue represent the town colors of Takko and

Gilroy, respectively. The colors have been ‘exchanged’ with Gilroy written in green and Takko written in Blue. This

signifies the exchange of ideas and culture, which is the foundation of the Gilroy Takko Student Exchange Program. 

The logo was designed by Mitchell Souza, a GHS student as part of a contest by GTSEP. Mitchell received an array

of Gilroy and Takko products as well as a gift card to a local electronics store. Thanks Mitchell and great job!


  1. BulletWhat does the Japanese in the logo mean?

The exact translation of the Japanese in the logo is, “short term study aboard program”. The differences in the English and Japanese names for the program reflect the uniqueness of the languages as well as sensitivity towards cultural differences and views on educational trips.

Common Questions