Student Testimonials

From The Castlegar Sun September 1, 2000

“The experience was eye-opening and enriching. I feel more mature after participating in the exchange program.” K. M.

“If anyone gets the opportunity, he/she should definitely take it.” A. P.

From Student Reports

“Spend a lot of quality time with my Japanese buddy and family was a wonderful experience which I wouldn’t trade for anything.” K. S. 2006

“I have learned so much about Japan and its people through the program. I hope this exchange is continued in the future and many will be able to learn about it firsthand. I am proud to have been selected.” A. M. 2008

“I am grateful that I had the opportunity to travel to Japan as a part of the Castlegar Embetsu Exchange program. It was an excellent experience. Not only did I learn about Japanese language and culture, but I also improved my communication and organizational skills. I hope to return to Japan and reconnect with my host family in the future.” K. L. 2008

“I think it is a great opportunity for kids to learn about and experience a different culture and how to be able to think for yourself and not be so dependent on your parents and other adults. I hope this exchange program keeps going.” D. E. 2012

“The Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum in Hiroshima was very educational. I’m grateful for the experience and I will never forget the lessons I’ve learned or the feelings I had when I was staring at the model of the shattered, burnt city, or the tattered remains of a child’s clothing, or the twisted heap of metal that was once a fence.” C. S. 2012

“I truly cannot put into words how much this trip meant to me. I got to fulfill my dreams. I think anyone who gets a chance should go on this trip because you experience Japan firsthand and see the beauty, culture and everything it holds.” A. G. 2014

I am so happy that I was able to part of the Japanese exchange program as a student. One of my fondest memories was the festival we were able to participate in. It was a lot of fun for all the students. I learned to be more responsible and understanding to others. I am planning to visit Japan again, and am learning to read and speak Japanese. It was an experience I will never forget and am happy I was chosen to be one of the students that was able to go. C. A. 2014

“It was the greatest experience of my life and it was something I was very lucky to be a part of. I learned about culture, religion, history and about the normal life of a young Japanese girl and her family. The time I had in Japan will forever be embedded in my mind and heart.” G. W. 2016

“The entire trip was pretty GOOD and I’d do it again and again. I thoroughly enjoyed everywhere I went and everyone I met. I hope everyone else went on the trip also had a good time like I did.” S. C. 2016

”One thing I highly improved and exceeded in by the end of my trip was my organizational skills. And for that I would like to thank Curt. Simply because if it wasn’t for him I might have lost more than a camera (I lost my brand new one right after we arrived in Japan). Simple reminders and extra checks for me helped a lot. C. K. 2016

“My trip to Japan was a wonderful learning experience and has made me a more rounded person. If I could I would go again. In the future, I would like to return to Japan and to Embetsu.” C. T. 2018

“Before the trip, I was nervous that there wouldn’t be anything for me to eat or that I didn’t know enough Japanese, but I had nothing to be nervous about. My hosts made me feel very welcomed. I was honoured to be chosen to represent Castlegar and Canada.” E. F. 2018

Parents’ Evaluations

The Japanese exchange program was an incredible experience for both of us and our daughter.  We all learnt so much about the Japanese culture and the similarities and differences of both countries.  The friendships we all made are priceless.  The exchange gives kids the opportunity to be independent and learn so much and we are extremely grateful for having been a part of this exchange. J & N. A. 2014

We felt this experience would be a once in a lifetime chance and when we went to the first meeting we were very impressed with past participants on their ability to public speak and how enthusiastic they were about their past experience. The program was very well organized. Very high level of satisfaction! E & D. L. 2018

The exchange was very well organized and there were no concerns regarding our child’s safety or anything else. The Tour Book was very informative and essential to our child and us as parents as well. T & M. K. 2018

I was absolutely amazed at the organization and attention of details that were provided to us parents. I think the advice and suggestions that were given to me from the CEEEC is what ensured a successful bond between the girls. It was so amazing the friendship they formed. K. B. 2018

Trust! I needed to feel I could TRUST the adult (Yuri) to be sure my child was safe. Yuri made me feel confident. S. H. 2018

Trip Photos

2012 July Castlegar students in Embetsu – Exploring Japanese Culture

Tea Ceremony

2013 August Embesu students in Castlegar

Fire Hall Tour
Skateboard Lesson

2014 July Castlegar students various cities in Japan after Embetsu2014 July Castlegar students various cities in Japan after Embetsu

In front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

Kyoto Imperial Palace
In Kamakura with Giant Buddha

2015 August Embetsu students in Castlegar

City tour on the school bus
Fishing on the Columbia River

2016 July Castlegar students in Embetsu

Attended classes at Embetsu Jr. High School
Dressed up for Embetsu Festival
Sunset at the sea in Japan

2017 August

Castlegar welcomes Embetsu Student Delegation
Cooling off at Millennium Pond
Visiting the City Hall

2018 Castlegar students in Japan

In Sapporo – on the way to Embetsu
Hot lunch at Embetsu Jr. High School
Visiting the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo

2019 Embetsu students in Castlegar

Lacrosse – Castlegar vs Embetsu