Timaru is playing host to Japanese students who are getting their first "taster" of study abroad.
A group of 21 year 10 students from Ikubunkan Junior High School in Tokyo were formally welcomed to the Timaru District by Mayor Damon Odey and Education South Canterbury yesterday.
The students are attending the region's seven secondary schools while on their seven-week exchange. There are 102 Ikubunkan Junior High School students studying at different schools across the country.
It is the first time the school has sent year 10 students and for most of the students it is their first time overseas, Education South Canterbury chairwoman Julie McLean said.
She said the exchange trip is used as a "taster" before the students enter the Ikubunkan Global High School, where they spend three terms studying overseas.
The students have varying levels of English and stay with host families during their visit.
Education South Canterbury said schools and the Timaru community benefit by hosting international students as it provides an appreciation of other cultures, religions and countries for both visiting and host students.
McLean said Education South Canterbury was delighted the students chose to visit Timaru and hoped the exchange would continue.
- The Timaru Herald