News Flash


Posted on: April 28, 2017

Students Selected for 2017 Sister City Student Exchange Program




(L-R: John White, Justin Witt, and Sarah Brandstadt)

April 28, 2017 – The Midland-Handa Sister City Committee has announced the selection of three Midland students who will travel to Handa, Japan for three weeks this summer for its 2017 student exchange program.

Midland High School sophomores Justin Witt and John White and H.H. Dow High School junior Sarah Brandstadt were selected from a competitive field of applicants based on a number of factors, including interest in Japanese culture, academic and extracurricular achievements, demonstration of leadership and personal strengths. The students will stay with host families for three weeks from mid-July to August.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be an ambassador for the Midland community through the Sister City Exchange Program,” says Justin Witt. “I am looking forward to gaining insight into Japanese culture through the experience of total immersion in daily life in Japan.” Adds John White: “I am honored to represent the Midland community and am excited to explore a different culture all the way across the world.”

After learning of her selection to the program, Sarah Brandstadt shared: “I cannot wait to represent Midland this summer in the Sister City Exchange while also learning about a new culture.”

Midland and Handa have been sister cities for 35 years.  Local students travel to Handa in the odd-numbered years, while Midland families host students from Handa during even-numbered years. A call for host families for the 2018 student exchange will take place early next year.

Financial support for this exchange has been generously provided by Chemical Bank, The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Corning Corporation, Ieuter Insurance Group, Stolz-Smith Financial Consulting Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Three Rivers Corporation and Wolverine Bank.  The program is administered by the City of Midland and the Midland-Handa Sister City Committee, which includes volunteers Stephanie Baiyasi, Dick Dolinski, Randi Kawakita, John Metcalf, Katie Guyer, and Chair Tina S. Van Dam.

For more information on the Sister City Student Exchange program, visit

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