Global Immersion Camp (GIC) 2023 Completion Report
We conducted our online version of Global Immersion Camp (GIC) from August 5th through 8th of 2023. It was a four-day program, and we experienced many things such as: having cultural exchange programs with Kumon students from Vietnam, learning about global issues, and meeting Seniors (former participants) who had joined the camps in the past. By providing various experiences we were able to see significant growth within the participants as well as with the Camp Leaders. With this report we want to share more details about the experiences that contributed to their growth.
GIC 2023 Program: What happened each day ?
We are thankful for the participation of many people, and we were able to experience many things: Mr. Yoh, Vietnam Kumon students, GIC Seniors (former participants), Camp Leaders and staff from 23 different countries/regions, and participants from Japan!
DAY 1 : Having Fun !
The first day was for participants to meet the Camp Leaders who would be with them for the entire four days. We introduced ourselves, played games, and prepared to meet our friends from Vietnam. Little by little participants got used to their group members and looked forward to the upcoming days.
“I could face my goal of Kumon English and now have the motivation to do my best.” (Age 9, Japan)
DAY 2 : Cultural Exchange & Meeting the Seniors !
On Day Two, participants were able to make many new friends. Friends from Vietnam who are studying English in Kumon Centers joined us.
After introducing ourselves, we did a quiz about Japan and Vietnam, and shared our favorite words in our native languages.
Then we did a role-playing game where participants took turns becoming tourists and travel agents. Participants could introduce their hometowns, recommend places, and show famous souvenirs and foods. It was a good opportunity to learn about each other’s countries.
I learned more words and their meanings and learned many things in Japan such as nature, culture and specialties. (Age 11, Vietnam)
After that, we also met past participants of GIC. Now they are university students or working adults. They gave presentations about their goals and how they grew after joining the camp. There were seniors (former participants) who were living abroad, traveling, and learning new languages. We hope that hearing these stories helped the participants from both Japan and Vietnam broaden their horizons of what it is possible to do in the future.
I was able to meet my friends in Japan, I’m very happy. I admire the two Seniors very much, I also want to be like them. (Age 10, Vietnam)
DAY 3 : Global Issues
On Day Three, Vietnamese friends also joined us. We discussed global issues. As an example, Mr. Yoh from the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Japan explained to us about a problem currently occurring in Indonesia. We learned about the situation from different points of view, including information about animals (orangutans), farmers (palm trees), governments and environmental organizations (WWF). We also thought about what we can do now and
, in the future, to protect the environment, and that these issues are related to our daily lives, for example by paying attention if there is ecolabels on the products we buy.
It was quite a difficult topic, but we developed various ideas and actions that we could take.
- We can “help farmers stop cutting trees, teach how to grow palm trees and make new forest for Orangutans.” (Age 10, Vietnam)
- “I can volunteer to help people and nature.” (Age 12, Japan）
- “I think education is the key, so we do not educate only farmers about how to not cut trees and grow palm but also people around this area on how to do it too. (Age 13, Vietnam)
- We can “create new jobs for local people. They can be tour guides for nature.” (Age 9, Japan)
Thank you to WWF Japan for the support !
WWF is one of the world’s largest leading conservation organizations, founded 1961, working in more than 100 countries and supported by 5 million supporters globally. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
・conserving the world’s biological diversity
・ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
・promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
I got to know about environmental problems happening around the world. It has made me more aware of news such as wildfires happening around the world. (Age 12, Japan)
DAY 4 : Cultural Diversity & Reflection
For the last day, we “e-traveled” to the Camp Leaders’ countries. Participants could experience unique activities from these countries. This year there were six different countries:
In the Italy group, each participant could make their own original pizza! They decided the ingredients, made a recipe, and chose a name for their pizza.They also learned about the pizza tradition in Italy.
Participants learned that in Mozambique there is a Children’s Day, but the date is different from Japan. One of the traditions of this day is to wear traditional clothes. So, they made clothes with traditional fabrics and patterns.
In Nepal, there is a 15 day-festival! In this group, they learned that in this festival people can fly kites.
So, they each made their own kites.
In the USA group, the theme was “Thanksgiving”, so they made a paper turkey. They also wrote about what they are grateful for, such as family and friends.
In India there is a day where children make bracelets for their siblings and friends to wish for their health and happiness. In this group participants made these bracelets.
The Botswana group went on a virtual safari. They were able to see a lot of animals that cannot be found in Japan!
I learned more about the countries and problems around the world. I now want to appreciate each other’s culture and solve the problems in the world. (Age 11, Japan）
At the end of GIC we had group presentations. Every participant shared their next goal and how they felt throughout the four days. We also had a Q&A time when participants could ask each other questions. Many of the participants took on the challenge of asking questions without being afraid of making mistakes. Seeing that was heartwarming for Camp Leaders as well as for GNT Staff.
We were worried because it was online but my son told me ‘I had fun,’ ‘I made friends,’ and ‘I want to attend the next one.’ I felt really happy and saw his growth in the fact that he felt that English was fun and that it was a communication tool and not only something you study.
He started to be aware of the theme from the assignments before the GIC, and began to look for ecolabels that help protect the global environment on items at home and in stores, and to research their meanings. By thinking about these themes with not only people around us but also with people from various countries around the world, I believe that that he gained a greater sense of the need to think about the same issues around the world.
Kumon Instructors' Voices
I think that having the opportunity to use the English that he learned in the classroom to speak with people who use English as a communication tool helped him to see English as from three-dimensional viewpoint, from learning to learning to using.
The repeated experience of ‘I try to speak in English,’ ‘They understood me,’ and ‘I understand what they are saying’ has motivated him to do best his in his English studies.
I am really happy to see that his participation in GIC has opened his eyes to global environmental issues and that he has become more proactive than before.
Camp Leaders' Voices
It was empowering to see the growth of both our kid and us leaders learning and teaching progress. It’s amazing how short days program can make such a big difference with the collaboration of leaders with staff members and with great passion of the participants.Hanna, Ethiopia
ONLINE GIC 2023 is a challenging but rewarding experience for both kids and camp leader. It is a journey of growth and appreciation. English is our superpower, and it is important to share and put into practice our power to speak in English and make new friends all over the world!Pami, USA
GIC has become an unforgettable chapter in my first-year journey. Its impact reaches beyond the children’s memories but also leaves a memorable mark on me as their camp leader. Engaging with KUMON, particularly through GIC, has been a source of cherished moments and invaluable skills.Feliz, Vietnam
Participants’ comments and impressions are in the original text.