Twelve students from Burbank’s sister city Incheon, South Korea, are visiting Burbank and southern California as part of an ongoing student exchange program between the two cities. The students, whose trip runs from July 22 through August 4, toured places of interest in Burbank on Wednesday, July 23.
The students, along with their chaperone, saw City Hall and met Mayor Dr. David Gordon and visited the Police and Fire building. They also had lunch and shopped at the Burbank Town Center.
Students also visited Cartoon Network Studios and learned about the Shorts Program from Supervising Producer Mike Roth and how the studio takes pitches, the process of making a show and the large number of people needed to produce a cartoon from Producer Nate Funaro.
“They were surprised to hear how long it takes to complete a show,” said Zita LeFebvre, Director of Operations and Community Relations at the studio. “They had a sneak preview of a new short, The Royals, that has not aired yet. They all loved the show and can’t wait to see it on Cartoon Network.”
Roth also told the students about a Public Service Announcement (PSA) he is working on with the local Boys and Girls Club of Burbank. They watched a short film,You Are Special, written and storyboarded by Jordan Middle School student Sherryn Sims, that was animated by the studio.
Andres Salaff, Supervising Director on Adventure Time, spoke to the kids about their favorite characters on the show, said LeFebvre, who also told the exchange students about the Young Writers Program Cartoon Network has with Burbank schools.
“They said the kids in Burbank were so lucky!” added LeFebvre.
“While here, they are staying with local Burbank families and participating in a variety of activities where they get to learn more about Burbank and surrounding areas, American culture and lifestyles, as well as some local history,” commented Sharon Cohen, Library Services Director at the Burbank Public Library.
Future trips include visits to JPL, the San Fernando Mission, downtown Los Angeles and Disneyland. The visit is coordinated by the Burbank Sister City Committee.
In addition to a student exchange program with Incheon, the Burbank Sister City Committee also coordinates a student exchange program with Ota, Japan. On July 8, 12 local high school students and two chaperones traveled to Ota, Japan. They returned on July 23.
The Burbank students who visited Japan reported “a fabulous time during their stay in Ota,” added Cohen. “Like the Korean students visiting here, our students stayed with host families while in Ota, visiting local attractions.”
Burbank has four sister cities: Solna, Sweden (1960), Incheon, South Korea (1961), Gaborone, Botswana (1975) and Ota, Japan (1984), explained Cohen.
The Committee, a nonprofit organization, is partially funded by the City of Burbank and through fundraising efforts. More information on the Committee is available at www.BurbankSisterCity.org.
The Committee will begin accepting applications in September from Burbank students who are in grades 9-12 for the Summer 2015 student exchange trip to Incheon. Applications will be available on the website.