Van Wert Sister City Program Still Accepting Applications

Posted On: Friday, May 14, 2021

Van Wert County, State of Ohio seal


Click here for a printable application


**As of May 13, 2021 - applications are still being accepted regardless of deadlines indicated


The city of Van Wert has shared a Sister City relationship with Sumoto City, formerly Goshiko Cho, for 25 years. The awareness and importance of this relationship has been elevated and we are working towards making this a very important part of Van Wert County.  We have created a committee to discuss ways of growing this program in addition to planning for visits by the Japanese delegation to Van Wert. 

There have been numerous delegations sent to Van Wert and Van Wert has sent numerous delegations to Japan.  A delegation consists of 8-12 students chosen through an application process.  These students are accompanied by 6-8 adults.  The students and adults get to enjoy traveling to another country, learning how they live by staying with host families, visiting important sites within the Sister City, partake in various events scheduled by the host city, and also do additional sightseeing other than the actual host city.

The last delegation to Van Wert from Sumoto City was the summer of 2018.  During this time the delegation was in Van Wert, the following events were attended by both Van Wert participants and the Japanese delegation.

  • Welcome party at Camp Clay with pizza and swimming.
  • Visit to the Brumback Library, The Courthouse, the fire station, and Central Insurance Fire Museum, KenFeld John Deere
  • Connie from Chinatown Express prepared a lunch consisting or numerous Asian dishes.
  • Attended the Concert in the Park and had the delegation entertain with a traditional Japanese dance and a calligraphy demonstration.
  • The Van Wert Airport Authority allowed 2 planes to give tours above Van Wert County and see things from a “bird’s eye view.”
  • Going away cookout where gifts were exchanged by both adults and students.  The Japanese females wore traditional kimonos, and all the youth had a great time playing various sports together.
  • Most importantly there was “family time” for the students.  This consisted of whatever the host family wanted their guests to experience regarding normal events in an American home.  Some hosts did a day of ATV rides, others went shopping, some went to ball games, some took students to various restaurants or ice cream stands to enjoy more American food. 

All these events and more allowed for relationships and friendships to be built and hopefully maintained for years to come.  All of this allows for the students to understand and experience life outside of “their normal” and everyday world.  It teaches the students that there is more to see, understand, and even realize that other youth and adults around the world have similar lives.

The hosting of a delegation from Sumoto City will not happen in 2021 due to COVID restrictions.

Van Wert will begin plans for sending a delegation to Sumoto City, Japan in July of 2022.

To be considered as a delegate there are a number of requirements and decisions that need to be accomplished.  They are as follows:

  • Graduation year of 2022 - 2025
  • Complete all parts of the attached application requirements and have them postmarked by May 7, 2021 and mailed to:

Van Wert Sister City
c/o Bill Walls
4460 John Brown Road
Van Wert, OH 45891

  • Be willing to participate in all fundraisers that are put on by the Van Wert Sister City Cultural Program.  These fundraisers are 100% for the students to raise money to pay for a portion of their trip to Japan.  Cost of the trip will be approximately $3000 per student. The cost of a passport and any spending money will not be a covered expense.
  • Be able to commit to and start paying for a trip 1 year in advance.  In order to keep the cost down, we have to book flights and make reservations no later than 6 months prior to departure. 
  • Be willing to attend committee meetings and offer suggestions and planning help with the fundraisers and the trip.  We would love to have all the selected students and their parents be part of this committee to build its reputation.


Any questions can be directed to Bill Walls (419-203-4744 or



  • April 7, 2021       Information meeting about the delegation from Van Wert to Sumoto City the summer of 2022
  • May 7, 2021       Deadline for applications to be postmarked
  • May 14, 2021     Interviews with delegation candidates
  • May 21, 2021     Selection of student delegation


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