For the first time a group of teenagers has been selected by tourism chiefs to help foster friendship and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and Hong Kong. The four sixth formers will fly Down Under tomorrow for a seven-day youth exchange programme organised by the New Zealand Tourist Board (NZTB) and sponsored by Air New Zealand. Seventeen-year-olds Stephen Kwok Kai-yan of St Mark's School, Bendy Lee Sze-chun of Rosaryhill School; and Ho Nga-man and Alice Lau Nga-ching of Leung Sing Tak College, will share their learning experiences with their Kiwi counterparts. To be selected, the students needed to have a good academic record and excellent written and spoken English. The New Zealand Student Education Tour is designed by the NZTB to raise youths' awareness of New Zealand and give them an experience of school life in the country. Fion Chan Kwan-ping, local spokesman for NZTB, said promotional trips for the media were made in the past, but this was the first time an educational tour was organised for Hong Kong's youth. 'We hope that Hong Kong students will cherish the ample opportunities open to them after sharing the experiences of people in this other part of world,' said Ms Chan. The students will tour Auckland, Rotorua and Cambridge. A visit to a secondary school campus has been organised and whenever possible the students will be able to experience school life. The group will also be introduced to Maori culture and activities have been lined up such as farming shows, archery, horse-riding, abseiling, swimming and camping. On their return, they will present a slide show and describe their impressions of New Zealand. Though busy preparing for tomorrow's flight, the students are not only excited about the trip, but are also eager to meet new friends. 'I will have a chance to improve my language skills through meeting New Zealand people,' Stephen said. While Bendy hopes to meet new friends, it will be a chance for Alice and Nga-man to become pals. Though they study at the same school they do not know each other. 'I am a student of arts and she is science, so we have never spoken to each other before,' said Alice. Nga-man added: 'But now we are starting to build up a friendship.' Alice wants to improve her English and get a taste of living away from home. Nga-man feared language could be her main difficulty but she said she would seize the opportunity of making friends with New Zealanders. And the sixth formers' studies will not be neglected as they will be taking their textbooks Down Under.