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Daikin Industries Homestay students impressed with people of Japan

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Remember last month we introduced you to the high schoolers who were headed to Japan as part of this year's Daikin Industries Homestay Program? Well, they're back and all of them say it was an amazing trip. They got together today to share some lunch and their many experiences.

13 students, 2 teachers and 10 days on the other side of the world.

"And the people, they were very nice and polite and it was weird because we don't speak the same language but everybody tried their best to make me feel comfortable and showed me respect and anytime I needed anything or needed any help they tried their best to speak English with me and help me out," explained Austin High School senior Ivy Watkins.

"And it was so neat just talking to them, even though we didn't speak the same language. We could kinda interact, hand motions," said Priceville High School senior Ross Hawkins.

"You don't have to speak somebody's language to make a connection with them. My host family, it was their first year to ever host and they spoke very little broken English. But I believe that by me having to be creative in finding ways to communicate with them, we shared a special bond that will never be broken," said Danville High School senior Jackson Broadfoot.

Decatur High School senior Peter Neil said it was difficult saying goodbye to his host family in Japan. "When we were leaving the bus station, my host mom came up to me and she said I want you to remember you'll always be counted as a son to me."

They say you can visit the Land of the Rising Sun, but your heart will never leave. A lesson in culture not soon forgotten.

This was the 20th group that Daikin Industries has sponsored to visit Japan and stay with host families. Well over 200 students thus far and each came away saying they were forever changed by the experience.