TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A group of East Texas students are home Monday night after spending more than a week in India.
They traveled across the globe to compete in a science festival.
Family and friends greeted the Hawkins High School students at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Monday afternoon.
The group was in India to participate and represent the United States in the Globe India Science Festival.
"We got to meet a lot of Indian students that were our age, and that was really cool. They were our age so we could relate to them and everything," said Elijah Turner, a senior student who went on the trip.
After the science fair was over, the students took a little time to travel.
"We traveled to three different schools and got to actually go into their schools and see their culture, their heritage, the history, it was really neat," said Audra Edwards, the Hawkins ISD science teacher who took the group on the trip.
The girls on the trip bought saris and even got traditional henna tattoos.
The group says they weren't the only curious bunch, the Indian students had their share of questions too.
"When they thought about Texas they thought about cowboys, Indians, muscle cars, and guns," Turner said.
"They also want to know about Justin Bieber," added the girls, freshmen Allyson Edwards and Madison Jaco, and junior Lauren Haney.
The Globe Science Festival is meant to bring teachers and students together to develop environmental awareness and a sense of global community.
Elijah Turner's mom says she hopes he takes away an important message from this experience.
"We just hope he takes away just an understanding that, even though all of us walk of different roads or streets, we are all unified in some way," said Alicia Turner, Elijah's mom.
This year was the first time students from the United States came to the science festival.
The Hawkins students presented a project on budbursting, which is the emergence of new leaves on plants, the atmosphere, climate, soil, and hydrology.