Nelson's millennials are off to China to build the next generation of relationships between the city and New Zealand's largest trading partner.
Year 13 students Carla Lindley, from Nayland College, and Kristina Eddy, from Nelson College for Girls, are stoked to be going to China on a 10-day trip with the New Zealand China Friendship Society and the support of the Nelson City Council.
The girls applied for the opportunity, were interviewed and a couple of days later found out they had been selected.
"I couldn't believe it," Eddy said. "I'm pretty excited.
The girls will be part of an annual delegation for the International Friendship Forum in China leaving Nelson in the last week of August for Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, where they take part in the forum and will tour the area.
Then it is on to Shanghai to attend the unveiling of a statue of Rewi Alley - a New Zealander who pioneered closer relationships between China and New Zealand from as early as 1927.
They said trips like this by young people were an important step in building closer relationships between New Zealand and China.
"We've got a relationship of about 20 years with our sister city over there at the moment and I think it's really important that we do keep establishing that through the generations," Eddy said.
It is Lindley's first trip overseas, but she has her passport all ready to go and hopes her experience on the Nelson Youth Council will come in handy.
She said she was a little bit nervous, but both girls were excited about experiencing the culture and were practising their Mandarin Chinese in preparation.
They knew each other beforehand through working at New World in Stoke and were glad to be buddies on the trip together.
In their final year at school the girls believe their experience will help them as they move into tertiary studies next year.
They thanked the council for the scholarships paying for their flights and the host cities providing accommodation, leaving only insurance and visa fees to be covered by them.
The Nelson Branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society said they were delighted to nominate "these two fine young women to represent our city and country at these two events".
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