Below are the voices of GIC participants commenting about what they felt and learned by communicating with people from different countries in English. They also mentioned what they want to try from now on. In addition, there are voices of parents and camp leaders as well. Please enjoy reading their true impressions.

(Grade 4 Participant)
“I was able to meet a lot of people and got to know different things about the world in this camp. I gained confidence in communication. Also, I feel that Japan is a country that values equality a lot. So, I want to see and treat everyone around the world equally!”

(Parent of a Grade 5 Participant)
“Almost a week of living away from parents and using only English – everything was a first-time experience for my son. Moreover, he was the type of child who is not very good at socializing and his English was also a bit weak. So, I was quite worried about him. However, it turns out there was no need for me to worry. When I came to see my son at the graduation ceremony, instead of joyfully reuniting with us, he was unwilling to say goodbye to all the friends and camp leaders he made in the camp. Seeing my son like this and hearing him say, ‘I want to come again next year!’ I felt that it was a very valuable experience for him. If there are parents out there who think this kind of camp might not be for their children, I would like to encourage them to believe in their child’s potential and let them experience the camp.”

Percentage of participants who gained confidence in using English before and after GIC

(Grade 4 Participant)
“At first, I was worried thinking what if I got asked questions that I couldn’t answer. But I learned that if I am nervous, the language barrier gets bigger and it becomes more difficult to feel brave enough to speak out. So I realized that even if I don’t understand everything in English, I should try to speak up and it will give me confidence.”

(Grade 6 Participant)
“Before coming to EIC, I was anxious about what to do if Camp Staff asked me questions in English or what if I had to give a speech in English. But once I joined EIC, I found that I was able to communicate in English more than I thought I could. I became less afraid of making mistakes and believed more in myself.”

(Tin, Camp Leader from Vietnam)
“EIC is a place where not only children but also camp leaders can grow. What I appreciate the most about EIC is that it helped me discover the potential that I didn’t know I had and gave me space and the encouragement to grow to my full potential, just like a little seed becomes a big tree. Moreover, I think that EIC is becoming more and more effective in terms of giving the children a chance to communicate in English. There are more activities that allow children to initiate conversation in English to each other and Camp Leaders, and observing how the children grow during these activities is the most rewarding and motivating moments for me.”

Participants’ attitude and awareness about global issues and events

(Grade 6 Participant)
“I learned to think that there were many things I could do to help the world. Especially in the Wonderland activity, I learned what actions I can take to support fair trade and they are not difficult to do either so I want to do as much as I can.”

(Morris, Camp Leader from South Sudan)
“Nothing is more beautiful than when a group of young people of diverse colors, languages, nations, and cultures come together with a common desire and indispensable love for children, supported by a dedicated staff, to help kids grow and boost their confidence in English language communication. EIC for me was one of those places where I experienced a deep sense of connection with fellow human beings in a way that was so true, unique, lovely and exciting. The camp was packed with programs that were clearly intended to make kids and camp leaders grow alike. I watched with amazement as kids grew from shy to expressive. By the fifth day, the kids were evidently confident, happy, empowered, and determined to learn more English and achieve the dreams and goals they set for themselves in the EIC challenge sheet.

(Parent of a Grade 6 participant)
“I want to let my child put into practice the English skills they have learned through the years in an environment where they don’t have to worry about what others think! This has been a long-standing dream of mine and EIC was a place that made it come true. While there are many obstacles to learning English, EIC was a place where my child was able to regain confidence, and it was also a reminder that enjoying English is the most important thing. Meeting many camp leaders from around the world who are non-native speakers of English and friends from all over Japan who are studying English was also an encouraging experience. Also, I think the things learned in EIC will broaden my worldview and lead to personal growth. It would be wonderful if children who participated in EIC can later grow up to make positive contributions to the world. I believe that they will create a brighter future with their own capabilities!