© Mobile Ichihara Sister City Association (MISCA).  All Rights Reserved.  Website Design & Hosting by North Mobile Internet Services, Inc.
Mobile - Ichihara Sister City Association
MISCA Exchange Delegates 2014

About Us

MISCA is a volunteer citizen’s association which organizes and conducts the cultural and educational exchange programs that are a part of the formal Sister City Agreement between the City of Mobile, Alabama, USA and the City of Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. What is the Summer Exchange Program? The Summer Exchange Program is a formal program in which ten student delegates and two chaperones are selected to travel to the Sister City and participate in a ten day cultural exchange, living with and experiencing the culture of the host country.  In even years Mobile sends a delegation to Ichihara and in odd number years, Ichihara will send a delegation to Mobile. The 2018 Application for students and chaperones is now online.  The financial aid information is part of the application.  We also request that you have a picture of yourself and one of you and your family ready to upload at the end of the application process.
Cultural & Educational Exchange Programs
2014 MISCA Exchange Delegates Arrive in Tokyo
A Brief History of the Mobile/Ichihara Sister City Association The twinning of the cities of Ichihara, Japan and Mobile, Alabama occurred on November 3, 1993 in Ichihara after that city approached Mobile, requested Sister City status and invited the then Mobile Mayor Mike Dow and a party of delegates from his staff to Japan for a Twinning Ceremony. Located on Tokyo Bay (similar to the location of Fairhope on Mobile Bay), the city of Ichihara chose Mobile as its only Sister City for the similarities of geography and other comparisons. The Ichihara City government is highly committed and involved and takes an active interest, along with many volunteers, in maintaining an active Sister City relationship through the Ichihara International Association. The first citizens of Mobile to become a volunteer part of the Mobile/Ichihara Sister City Association (MISCA) were the Sumie and Bonsai Societies of Mobile.  Since then, the organization has expanded and is supported by citizens, teachers and parents of Mobile and Baldwin Counties who realize the importance of the international cultural exchange. Of the many sister cities in Mobile, MISCA is the only consistently active society. There have been many exchanges and several special events between the cities. Student exchanges, initiated by the city of Ichihara, were considered to be the first and most important cultural exchange. According to the sister city agreement “it is an excellent opportunity for promoting mutual friendship and recognizing the value of peace for the rising generation to pay mutual visits to their transpacific sister cities, staying with both citizens’ families, to experience the differences in history, and culture between the two countries with their unclouded eyes.” The first, a dual exchange, occurred in 1994 and since then, there have been alternating exchanges every summer except during the SARS travel ban. High school students from Mobile, Prichard, and Citronelle have traveled to Japan since 1993 as have students from Baldwin County who live in Daphne, Fairhope, Foley and Gulf Shores.  Their families, in return, played host to Japanese students the following summers in their homes. While in Ichihara students and chaperones are treated most graciously. Ichihara City recognizes the importance of cultural exchanges for the young people of both countries. While Mobile and Baldwin County students are in Ichihara they are transported by chartered buses to many locations for welcoming and farewell parties, and for five days of touring, including one day in Tokyo. Ichihara spares no expense and makes extensive preparations involving many citizens for these visits. Host families entertain our students with side trips to venues such as Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Disney, Boso no Mura, and Kamakura, just to name a few. Families and students are carefully interviewed before being allowed to become host families or exchange students. In Ichihara this also is a very competitive process with many applicants. The 10-day visit (including travel time) includes a home-stay for each student. When Mobile students travel to Ichihara the only cost to them is the price of their airline ticket. The rest is paid for by Ichihara, its citizens and host families, and the IIA. International Relations Employees of that City work year round toward this end. Students who visit are featured in articles which appear in the local papers and city newsletters. Adult programs have followed student visits with visiting Japanese Garden Architects, Ichihara's Mayors and staffs, and citizen groups of as many as 27 that participated in the Azalea Trail Run (in 1999 and 2006.) In 1996, Ichihara Mayor Zenzaburo Koide visited for Focus Japan Week and presided over the festivities at the International Carnival Ball in Mobile. He made a second visit in 2002 for Mobile’s 300th 4th of July celebration arriving in the harbor by ship on the Tall Ship Pride of Baltimore II. Mr. Gene Lambert was then Mobile’s International Special Projects Officer. In both 2001 and 2002 citizens groups attend Mardi Gras in Mobile Ichihara’s new mayor, Mayor Sakuma and an adult delegation also visited former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow. Mayor Dow had a deep personal interest in Japan and saw that monies were appropriated to support the sister city activities. City Public relations officer Ann Rambeau manages these funds and supports the organization in many ways by organizing city sponsored events. Mobile in turn financially supported the travel of the Silverwood Quartet to Ichihara in 2000. Quartet members played with the Ichihara Gakuyu Kyokai (symphony) and at several schools. Mobile citizens also traveled to Ichihara in 1998. During the 2007 summer exchange the itinerary for Japanese students expanded to include a two day trip to the beach in Gulf Shores. The City of Gulf Shores played host to portions of this event having had five of its citizens involved in the 2006 summer exchange to Ichihara. Newly elected Mobile Mayor Sam Jones also supports the sister city.  He hosted a reception for the Ichihara Mayor and citizens who visited Mobile in the Spring of 2007 and also received the visiting students that summer. Mayor Jones and an adult delegation plan to travel to Ichihara in the summer of 2008 with the Mobile and Baldwin County student delegation. The sister city organization benefits the City of Mobile and Baldwin County, their commerce and people in many ways. “Since the establishment of the organization, more Japanese businesses, such as Mitsubishi, have come to Mobile,” said charter member and past president Anna “Kaki” Flemming. “More Japanese students are now enrolled in USA.” Sister City schools have also been established including Cranford Burns Middle School, Dodge Elementary and Daphne Elementary School South. In addition, the Ichihara Board of Education selects a college graduate to serve as an assistant language teacher in its schools’ Junior High English program each year. Officers Cynthia Zipperly, President Yuko Jordan, Secretary Paula Tapia, Treasurer Past Presidents: 1995. Maria Papp 1995-1997 Joe Day 1997-1999 Kaki Fleming 1999-2001 Emily Jensen 2001-2003 Stephanie Harrison 2005-2007 Blair Heald 2007- 2010 Yuko Jordan and Martha Howard 2010-2011 Judy Hale/Laurie Miller and Yuko Jordan 2012- 2013 Laurie Miller and Yuko Jordan 2013-2014 Jim Pitcock and TBD 2014-2015 Cynthia Zipperly and Mark Ewald
2018 Application
Mobile - Ichihara Sister City Association

About Us

MISCA is a volunteer citizen’s association which organizes and conducts the cultural and educational exchange programs that are a part of the formal Sister City Agreement between the City of Mobile, Alabama, USA and the City of Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. What is the Summer Exchange Program? The Summer Exchange Program is a formal program in which ten student delegates and two chaperones are selected to travel to the Sister City and participate in a ten day cultural exchange, living with and experiencing the culture of the host country.  In even years Mobile sends a delegation to Ichihara and in odd number years, Ichihara will send a delegation to Mobile. The 2018 Application for students and chaperones is now online.  The financial aid information is part of the application.  We also request that you have a picture of yourself and one of you and your family ready to upload at the end of the application process.
Cultural & Educational Exchange Programs
© Mobile Ichihara Sister City Association (MISCA).  All Rights Reserved.  Website Design & Hosting by North Mobile Internet Services, Inc.
A Brief History of the Mobile/Ichihara Sister City Association The twinning of the cities of Ichihara, Japan and Mobile, Alabama occurred on November 3, 1993 in Ichihara after that city approached Mobile, requested Sister City status and invited the then Mobile Mayor Mike Dow and a party of delegates from his staff to Japan for a Twinning Ceremony. Located on Tokyo Bay (similar to the location of Fairhope on Mobile Bay), the city of Ichihara chose Mobile as its only Sister City for the similarities of geography and other comparisons. The Ichihara City government is highly committed and involved and takes an active interest, along with many volunteers, in maintaining an active Sister City relationship through the Ichihara International Association. The first citizens of Mobile to become a volunteer part of the Mobile/Ichihara Sister City Association (MISCA) were the Sumie and Bonsai Societies of Mobile.  Since then, the organization has expanded and is supported by citizens, teachers and parents of Mobile and Baldwin Counties who realize the importance of the international cultural exchange. Of the many sister cities in Mobile, MISCA is the only consistently active society. There have been many exchanges and several special events between the cities. Student exchanges, initiated by the city of Ichihara, were considered to be the first and most important cultural exchange. According to the sister city agreement “it is an excellent opportunity for promoting mutual friendship and recognizing the value of peace for the rising generation to pay mutual visits to their transpacific sister cities, staying with both citizens’ families, to experience the differences in history, and culture between the two countries with their unclouded eyes.” The first, a dual exchange, occurred in 1994 and since then, there have been alternating exchanges every summer except during the SARS travel ban. High school students from Mobile, Prichard, and Citronelle have traveled to Japan since 1993 as have students from Baldwin County who live in Daphne, Fairhope, Foley and Gulf Shores.  Their families, in return, played host to Japanese students the following summers in their homes. While in Ichihara students and chaperones are treated most graciously. Ichihara City recognizes the importance of cultural exchanges for the young people of both countries. While Mobile and Baldwin County students are in Ichihara they are transported by chartered buses to many locations for welcoming and farewell parties, and for five days of touring, including one day in Tokyo. Ichihara spares no expense and makes extensive preparations involving many citizens for these visits. Host families entertain our students with side trips to venues such as Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Disney, Boso no Mura, and Kamakura, just to name a few. Families and students are carefully interviewed before being allowed to become host families or exchange students. In Ichihara this also is a very competitive process with many applicants. The 10- day visit (including travel time) includes a home-stay for each student. When Mobile students travel to Ichihara the only cost to them is the price of their airline ticket. The rest is paid for by Ichihara, its citizens and host families, and the IIA. International Relations Employees of that City work year round toward this end. Students who visit are featured in articles which appear in the local papers and city newsletters. Adult programs have followed student visits with visiting Japanese Garden Architects, Ichihara's Mayors and staffs, and citizen groups of as many as 27 that participated in the Azalea Trail Run (in 1999 and 2006.) In 1996, Ichihara Mayor Zenzaburo Koide visited for Focus Japan Week and presided over the festivities at the International Carnival Ball in Mobile. He made a second visit in 2002 for Mobile’s 300th 4th of July celebration arriving in the harbor by ship on the Tall Ship Pride of Baltimore II. Mr. Gene Lambert was then Mobile’s International Special Projects Officer. In both 2001 and 2002 citizens groups attend Mardi Gras in Mobile Ichihara’s new mayor, Mayor Sakuma and an adult delegation also visited former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow. Mayor Dow had a deep personal interest in Japan and saw that monies were appropriated to support the sister city activities. City Public relations officer Ann Rambeau manages these funds and supports the organization in many ways by organizing city sponsored events. Mobile in turn financially supported the travel of the Silverwood Quartet to Ichihara in 2000. Quartet members played with the Ichihara Gakuyu Kyokai (symphony) and at several schools. Mobile citizens also traveled to Ichihara in 1998. During the 2007 summer exchange the itinerary for Japanese students expanded to include a two day trip to the beach in Gulf Shores. The City of Gulf Shores played host to portions of this event having had five of its citizens involved in the 2006 summer exchange to Ichihara. Newly elected Mobile Mayor Sam Jones also supports the sister city.  He hosted a reception for the Ichihara Mayor and citizens who visited Mobile in the Spring of 2007 and also received the visiting students that summer. Mayor Jones and an adult delegation plan to travel to Ichihara in the summer of 2008 with the Mobile and Baldwin County student delegation. The sister city organization benefits the City of Mobile and Baldwin County, their commerce and people in many ways. “Since the establishment of the organization, more Japanese businesses, such as Mitsubishi, have come to Mobile,” said charter member and past president Anna “Kaki” Flemming. “More Japanese students are now enrolled in USA.” Sister City schools have also been established including Cranford Burns Middle School, Dodge Elementary and Daphne Elementary School South. In addition, the Ichihara Board of Education selects a college graduate to serve as an assistant language teacher in its schools’ Junior High English program each year. Officers Cynthia Zipperly, President Yuko Jordan, Secretary Paula Tapia, Treasurer Past Presidents: 1995. Maria Papp 1995-1997 Joe Day 1997-1999 Kaki Fleming 1999-2001 Emily Jensen 2001-2003 Stephanie Harrison 2005-2007 Blair Heald 2007- 2010 Yuko Jordan and Martha Howard 2010-2011 Judy Hale/Laurie Miller and Yuko Jordan 2012- 2013 Laurie Miller and Yuko Jordan 2013-2014 Jim Pitcock and TBD 2014-2015 Cynthia Zipperly and Mark Ewald
2018 Application