It's going to be a summer to remember for a student at J.C. Charyk School in Hanna. Beck HalterBeck Halter. Photo submitted.
Beck Halter applied for and was accepted to take part in the town's annual student exchange program with Wake, Japan.
"I was really excited when I found out; I was really looking forward to it," he told Drum FM. "I've traveled out of the country once with my family, but this is definitely a first."
It's part of an exchange program between the two communities that began a number of years ago and was resumed after the mayor of Wake visited Hanna in 2012 to help celebrate their centennial.
This year, the Halters and another host family or two will host four students from the town of just over 14,000 located midway between Hiroshima and Kyoto on Japan's east coast. After their visit, Beck will return home with them for two weeks.
"I think learning (about) the everyday lives," he responded when asked what he was looking forward to. "Instead of sort of like a vacation, it'll be more in depth."
The exchange begins with the Japanese contingent of four students and a chaperone landing at the Calgary International Airport on July 26.
"It's very different (here) from what they have there in lots of aspects," noted Hanna's Director of Community Services, Gwen Snell. "It hits a lot of the visitors when we start driving back from the airport as they can't get over the big sky and the vision that you can see for miles and miles; that's so unique to them."
The end of the Hanna stay, and beginning of Halter's adventure, comes on August 7 when they all board the plane for Japan.

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