Students from around the world are playing host to some furry visitors from Hong Kong in a unique exchange programme that encourages young participants to write, get creative and have fun. The Sunny English Club's International Bear Exchange Programme sends toy bears, passports included, by post to countries around the world where hosts take them to their favourite places, take pictures and write a story about their adventures together. After a week's holiday the bear is packed up and returned by post, along with 10 pictures and a story, which are entered into a competition run by Sunny English. The club in Yuen Long encourages its students to start pen- pal friendships with those who have hosted the bears, and runs a website on which all the pictures and stories are posted. 'I wanted to start an exchange programme that all our students could benefit from, not just a single student,' said Fanny C.H. Lee of Sunny English. 'I got the idea when a friend told me they take a cute little frog to every new country they visit and take pictures with this frog,' she added. The club has seven full-time travelling bears and the programme sponsor, Teddy Bear Kingdom, an indoor amusement park in Tsim Sha Tsui, provides extra bears when demand is high. Teddy Bear Kingdom also donated one of the full-time bears - Hon Hon - who has proved to be one of the most popular. The other bears are named Mark, Timothy, Ted, June, Sally and Aruna. Prizes for the story telling and picture competition are provided by the sponsor. Countries that the bears have travelled to include Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the mainland. One student from Ontario, Canada, took her bear on a family holiday to Florida. 'Hon Hon was very scared,' wrote Shauntella Yeganeh, 10. 'On the plane home he threw up twice. I hope he wasn't too frightened.' The deadline for this year's competition is August 30. To learn more about the bears visit www.sunnyenglish.com.hk or call Fanny Lee at 2146 2808.