Accessibility Information skip navigation

Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassador and Host Family Program

The City of St. Petersburg annually sponsors two to three St. Petersburg high school junior(s) to represent the city as goodwill ambassador(s) to our Sister City of over fifty years, Takamatsu, Japan. The high school junior(s) selected receive complimentary roundtrip airfare to Takamatsu and accommodations with a Japanese family (or families) for up to three weeks during the summer. After the exchange trip, the student(s) must be available for interviews to promote the program for the next year. The student agrees to share his or her experiences with students, civic groups, and other interested citizens upon return from the exchange.

What is a Student Ambassador?

A Student Ambassador is a dedicated, energetic and positive St. Petersburg student that resides in the city and demonstrates civic pride in his/her community.

The Student Ambassador Program

Two to three high school juniors who are residents of St. Petersburg will represent our city as goodwill ambassadors to Takamatsu. In addition to enlightening young people of Takamatsu about St. Petersburg's people and culture, our student ambassadors will have the opportunity to experience typical Japanese family life and culture with an oversight of the city of Takamatsu.

Ambassadors receive economy roundtrip airfare to Takamatsu and home stays with families for several weeks during the summer of 2020. Travel dates are in July/August.

Upon return, each of the students will be expected to share his or her experiences with students, civic groups, other interested citizens and provide a presentation of their trip with the Mayor and City Council.

How to apply

Students interested should complete the application and mail or hand deliver the forms to the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society (SPIFFS) by 3 p.m., Thursday, February 13, 2020.

By mail:
St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society (SPIFFS)
Attention: Lotta Baumann
330 Fifth Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Delivery Address:
St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society (SPIFFS)
Attention: Lotta Baumann
559 Mirror Lake Drive North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Application Checklist:
Attach or include each of these items.

Individual documents may be copies and attached as separate documents.

  • 2020 Student Application
  • Class Photo
  • Student essay
  • Two letters to prospective host families (one written by the student, one written by the parent)
  • Copy of High School Transcript
  • Verification of honors received and activity involvement 
  • Two Letters of Reference (including one from a school faculty member) 

Application DEADLINE
Delivered or postmarked by 3 p.m., Thursday, February 13, 2020.  No emailed applications will be considered.

Student Interviews

Each qualified applicant will be interviewed by members of the St. Petersburg Sister Cities Committee. Students will be asked questions about their own lives and about the city of St Petersburg. The applicant must be available for interview by the selection committee during April/May/June.

For more information about the application process and Student Ambassador program - contact Lotta Baumann at SPIFFS, 727-552-1896 or


Become A Host Family

The City of St. Petersburg hosts students yearly from Takamatsu, Japan as part of its annual Sister City Student Ambassador exchange program.

This is an opportunity for participation in the Sister Cities program that has been active and vital for years between the cities of St. Petersburg and Takamatsu.

Interested in hosting a student in your home? Submit a Homestay Family Application to the Office of Cultural Affairs.

This is a very special chance for you and your family to share a part of the American lifestyle with someone from another country. Previous homestay families report that the benefits of participating in this program include lifelong friendships, family learning experiences and the opportunity to learn about a different culture. This exciting experience will be one that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime.

Host Family Application

Print page Text resize: Increase font size Decrease font size Original font size Updated: