A group of overseas teenagers are in Hong Kong on a one-year exchange programme to get a taste of the city's multicultural lifestyle. The 41 students, aged 15 to 19, have been chosen from 15 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Iceland and the Czech Republic. They arrived in Hong Kong about a week ago as part of the AFS international exchange programme. They are staying with host families, and will study in local secondary schools. One of the students, Maria Magadalena Holzhammer, starts school today. The 16-year-old student from Germany, who is attending SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School, said she had wanted to experience Chinese culture for a long time. 'It's the first time I'm staying with a host family, and I'm both nervous and excited to meet so many Chinese people. People here are very nice, especially my host family,' Maria said. 'I've learned Mandarin at school [in Germany] and I think Hong Kong is the perfect place for me to get to know more about Chinese culture. I hope I'll get the chance to travel around China this year.' Maria will be filming her journey in Hong Kong for German TV station, RTL. She is staying with her host family - the Taos - in Sham Shui Po. Mrs Tao, a working mother, is very happy to have a young foreign guest in her flat. 'A Japanese student stayed with us earlier this year for a week. It was a wonderful experience,' she said. 'I was happy to see my 14-year-old daughter, my only child, become good friends with the girl and learn to share things.' Mrs Tao approached AFS a few months ago and offered to take in a foreign student. It's only been about a week since Maria moved in with the Taos, but she seems to be part of the family already. 'Maria helps with the household chores like laundry and ironing. She and my daughter are together all the time, just like sisters,' Mrs Tao said. There has been only one problem. '[Maria] is 180 centimetres tall and our bed is too small. I'm planning to get a bigger one,' said Mrs Tao.