In March, EFIL had the pleasure of being invited to an AFS event in the Japanese embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. The connection between Japan and Bulgaria reaches back to 2009 when a Japanese company that imports yoghurt cultures from Bulgaria started sponsoring Bulgarian students to go on a summer programme to Japan. Ever since the ties between AFS Japan and the Bulgarian volunteers has been close. For the selection of the scholars the embassy works together with AFS Bulgaria. On the last day of the selection process the future scholars are invited to a reception. This year also EFIL was invited, represented by Inga Menke (EFIL staff). The returnees from the summer programme 2016 gave a presentation of their experience in Japan, both AFS Bulgaria and AFS Japan were able to give a short presentation and of course the ambassador gave a speech and invited everyone for a reception.

Next to this formal event, several side meetings took place to strengthen the  cooperation between AFS Japan and AFS Bulgaria.