IT was hard to decide who were the most nervous and excited, the host students from McCarthy Catholic College or their Japanese guests from Jishukan High School near Yokohama.
For the Japanese secondary school students it was a chance to improve English linguistic skills and learn more about life in Australia.
The hosts were keen to improve their Japanese language skills and to meet youth from Japan. The youngsters were soon chatting as animated friends.
The Japanese guests also attended normal lessons, with some hilarity as the Japanese students played sport with the Australians.
Special mention should be made of the McCarthy Catholic College host families who welcomed the visitors into their homes, taking their visitors around the Nepean, Blue Mountains and greater Sydney.
For Lee Sullivan, McCarthy's Japanese teacher, the exposure to different cultures is vital.
The goodbye tears shed on both sides as the visitors left, were matched by promises of ongoing facebook, Skype and email contact.