The Hastings International Exchange Organization
Japan has a long history of Sister City arrangements throughout the world. Following several yearly visits by Japanese school aged students, led by Hastings College graduate Brent Wolzen of Arapahoe, the City of Ozu suggested a Sister City arrangement with Hastings. Brent Wolzen taught English in the Ozu School system. Proclamations forming the Sister City were signed by the Mayors of both cities.
The Hastings International Exchange Organization (HIEO) was formed in 1995 following a trip to Ozu by a group of Hastings citizens.
The HIEO members, who are volunteer citizens of Hastings, maintain our connection to our Sister City in Japan; and organize yearly summer visits by Ozu Public School students in home stay experiences with Hastings Families. The goal of this yearly effort is to foster International understanding and education between different cultures.
Hastings College has been an important partner in this effort, sending its student choir and baseball team to Japan, and have several Ozu students complete 4 year degrees at the college. The Japanese Garden, located on the Hastings College Campus at the Hazelrigg Student Union, was designed and built by Master Gardeners from Ozu using funds donated by Hastings residents.
The HIEO has also organized visits to OZU by groups of Hastings Citizens to experience life in Japan in home stay with individual families, to the benefits of all.
Please contact Hastings City Offices for more information. Visit the city of Ozu website.