Thirty-one students took a flight from Tokyo to spend the next two weeks in Red Deer.
The students, ranging from 14 to 17 years old, are participating in a program hosted by Muskoka Language International in co-operation with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.
The young people are visiting Canada to improve their English while experiencing a different culture.
“They do some English classes with certified English teachers in the mornings and they do some activities in the afternoon,” said program co-ordinator Kelly Jacobson.
The students arrived Tuesday and participated in a welcoming reception at St. Joseph High School. On Wednesday, the group spent the afternoon at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Bower Ponds.
“We do some Canadian holidays. We talk about Canadian sports, we talk about Canadian food. We’re just kind of immersing them in the language and teaching them about Canada.
“It’s about them experiencing different cultures. They leave Japan and come experience Canada and the vastness of our country and our community,” said Jacobson.
Seina Hoshino, 15, is one of the students visiting Red Deer. She came overseas with two goals in mind.
“I want to speak English more fluently and I want to make friends abroad,” said Hoshino, adding the people in Canada have been very kind to them.
Fuka Nomoto, 15, another student participating in the program, said she has enjoyed the visit so far.
“I wanted to learn each other’s difference of culture,” said Nomoto, adding her brother lived abroad and she wants to be like him.
They haven’t been in Canada long, but Nomoto’s first impression is, “I think it’s cold. But there is a lot of nature.”