City accepting applicants for visitor US exchange program

THE City Government of Cagayan de Oro is now accepting applications for its first high school student summer visitor exchange program with one of its sister cities, Norfolk City in Virgina, United States of America (USA), as part of the two cities’ new initiative to strengthen people-to-people exchange.

The Cagayan de Oro-Norfolk High School Summer Visitor Exchange Program is a people-to-people exchange program which aims to bring the youth from both cities "closer together in a brief yet rich summer activity," wherein high school students will stay with "host siblings" from July 1 to 15 to hone their interpersonal skills and cultivate life-long friendships.

The City Government is hoping that the students' time away from their country will allow them to "appreciate a new culture as well as that of their own, albeit on a fresher and deeper level."

The Norfolk Sister City Association, as stated in the application kit provided for the interested applicants of the exchange program, has prepared an itinerary covering the whole duration of the students' stay in the US, this includes: tours to monuments, museums, parks, factories and sites unique to Norfolk; participation in cultural activities in the host city; and visiting the Philippine Embassy in the District of Columbia.

However, the applicants will be the one to shoulder the cost of a Philippine passport, US visa, roundtrip airfare (domestic and international flights), short term travel insurance and personal allowance.

It is also indicated that high school students enrolled in any public or private school in Cagayan de Oro, who have not yet graduated from high school, are qualified to apply.

They should also be 15 to 18 years old during the program, a resident of Cagayan de Oro, a Filipino citizen and has no criminal record.

The deadline for submission of application forms with documents, be it through email at or in hard copy to CDO-Trade and Investment Promotions Center in City Hall, is on February 15.

The Cagayan de Oro-Norfolk High School Summer Visitor Exchange Program is the first exchange program initiated by Cagayan de Oro City and Norfolk City seven years after former City Mayor Constantino Jaraula and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim signed the sisterhood agreement on July 18, 2008.
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