YEAR 10 student Samantha Battaglene's love for Japan has been revived after she recently participated in the Queanbeyan City Council's Sister City exchange.
Miss Battaglene was part of the group of four students and three chaperones to spend a week in Minami Alps.
The Bywong teenager said she had studied Japanese since she was in Year One but had been out of practice for the past 12 months.
"I stopped about a year ago because I changed schools I was a bit rusty and I could pick up on a few things in conversation but sentences were a bit harder," she said.
"Now I'm back I really want to find somewhere I can take lessons because I've done it for so long, it'd be pointless to give it up now."
It was the 15-year-old's first trip overseas and she applied to go on exchange after a neighbour told her about it.
Miss Battaglene said the highlight was staying with a host family.
"That part was amazing, I was a bit terrified at first but they were the loveliest people you'd ever meet. That was my favourite part because the way they live is so different to us," she said.
"You're only allowed to wear slippers in the house and the food is obviously different and the way the house is set out is very spacious, there's no clutter."
During the exchange, Miss Battaglene got a taste of the traditional and modern aspects of the culture.
She went to shrines, temples and a traditional Japanese barbecue restaurant as well as shopping centres, photobooths and ten-pin bowling.
"We visited Mount Fuji which was very beautiful and because Minami Alps is a very agricultural region we were taken to pick grapes. I'm rather tall so I had to lean down to pick the grapes," she said.
"I also went to a Sushi Train restaurant with my host family, it was very modern, you could order on a touch screen menu and the train delivers it to you and there is also a hot tap at the actual table."
Miss Battaglene is hoping her family will be able to host a Japanese student when a contingent from Minami Alps visits next year.
An adult contingent will come to Queanbeyan in November to celebrate 20 years of the Sister City relationship between the two towns.