Forty teenage girls from the Middle East are visiting P.E.I. as part of a special language and cultural exchange program.

It's a partnership between UPEI, the International Language Institute, and the Abu Dhabi Education Council. The 16- and 17-year-old girls are from the United Arab Emirates, and are living in residence at UPEI.

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The 40 girls from United Arab Emirates were chosen for the P.E.I. cultural exchange for their academic achievement and leadership qualities. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

Serena Lambert, academic advisor for the International Language Institute, said the program is highly competitive.

"Forty girls are selected based on academic achievement and leadership roles within their communities to come to Canada to have an experience of culture, of another country, and to be ambassadors for their country," said Lambert.

"The people of Prince Edward Island have been extremely kind and sincere, and have been engaging my girls in conversations."

The group will be on P.E.I. until the end of the month, and then they will travel to an adventure camp in Nova Scotia for a week.