High School Diplomats: An Unforgettable Experience


Rachel Nelson and her Japanese roommate, Yuya Minami, wearing homemade, coordinating t-shirts for one of the HSD spirit days!

Robinson senior Rachel Nelson recounts her experience in the High School Diplomats (HSD U.S.) program at Princeton University this past summer, including the program itself, what she took away from it, and how you, too, can get involved as a sophomore or junior!

What it is:

High School Diplomats is a scholarship based cultural exchange program available for high school students entering their junior or senior year. This program brings together 40 American students and 40 Japanese students to Princeton University for 10 days over the summer. This program is an incredible way to foster close friendships with people halfway across the world and learn more about another culture! When talking to any member of the HSD family, you may frequently hear it referred to as “the best 10 days of your life!”, and I can personally attest to this truthful statement.

The U.S. HSD program this coming year will be held at Princeton University from Wednesday, July 24th to Sunday, August 4th 2019.


Why I got involved:

I applied for this international program because I was fascinated by the opportunity to learn about and experience aspects of Japanese culture. This program provided me a rich experience through academic, cultural, and social activities that I will never forget.

If I had to summarize my HSD experience into one word, I would use “Tomodachi”, or “friend,”. This was a commonly used phrase throughout the program, and highlights the importance of lasting international relationships formed within our progressive generation.


How to get involved:

For any sophomores and juniors in high school interested in applying for the best 10 days of their lives, the HSD U.S. 2019 Application will be available online from 9/15/2018 – 1/8/2019 at www.highschooldiplomats.com.

For further information, contact the American Director, Celine Zapolski, at [email protected] or 571-234-5072.