Joining Express Yourself! 2018 in New York
The following were written in English by the students after they returned home in Japan. Some corrections on grammar and wording were made at Ashita-Tomorrow’s discretion.
◇ Thanks to Fujisaki-sensei and the Horace Mann students, I learned that it is important to listen to others’ opinions and to express what I think. Nothing happens while I am shy and silent. The American students would not hesitate to say what they want to say (they always have something to say!). Active participation in class activities would improve my communication skills.
◇ I was ashamed of my poor English. However, Mrs. Fujisaki kept telling me, “Make mistakes!” “Don’t be shy!” On the fourth day she said to me, “You are so different from the first day.” I found myself starting to speak up in the class.
◇ I started enjoying studying English much more than before. Also I found it was important to understand different cultures and values. I met many people from different backgrounds and saw many new things while I was in New York. The experience developed my personality and value. I’d like to study in US in the future.
◇ Horace Mann students helped me to improve my English pronunciation and to prepare my presentations. I learned many English expressions thanks to them.
◇ Horace Mann students have studied Japanese for only a couple of years, and their Japanese is very good and communicative. They are very determined and work hard to obtain their goals. I am now very motivated to study English and other subjects harder.
◇ Remembering lines in the play was challenging. The Horace Mann students and an Ashita-Tomorrow staff helped me practice, and I believed I did well at the performance. I also learned many English words and clauses, and how to be a good speaker.
◇ In Japan all the people speak Japanese. Most of us have the same historical and cultural background. However, America is very diversified in ethnicity, religion, culture, and even languages. In Ms. Simring’s class, I was surprised to see ten students (who helped us in the workshop) had extremely different backgrounds. I was impressed how they understand the differences with others and accept them.
◇ We had a wonderful time at Columbia University. Prof. Kawashima’s talk in English was very difficult to understand but I enjoyed it. I felt like as a student there. In the campus I saw a historical building, a library. There were inscriptions and statues of the famous names we learned in World History and Modern Social Studies classes. I was excited to observe the American history and culture right in front of me!
◇ Columbia University game me entirely different impression from Japanese university campuses I had visited. The Horace Mann alumni, who gave us a campus tour, told us they had enjoyed high school life and every day was exciting. They inspired me. I want to say the same when I graduate from high school. I will do my best to find a college where I really want to study.
◇ My host family gave me a never-forgetting experience. They don’t speak any Japanese. I had worried about my poor English. But they patiently and affectionately listened to me and tried to understand what I wanted to say. They took me to many places and gave me wonderful memories. Host sisters and I shared many interests. We couldn’t believe we had never met before. I didn’t’ want to leave because I had so much fun. I’ll definitely keep in touch them via Skype and WhatsApp.
◇ The host family took us to see “School of Rock.” I couldn’t understand most of English, but I was impressed. I understand why musicals have such a power to attract and move people even though you may not understand languages. My host brother and I became good friends by playing video games together. My gift from Japan was small and modest but the family showed genuine appreciation. On Saturday, we visited the Statue of Liberty and 911 Memorial. I experienced New York life, taking subways, etc. On Sunday morning before leaving for the airport, I went for a work with my host father. We discussed many things. It was a short time but a rich one. The family has a busy life. So I really appreciate to host us and to take care of us. I also thank Ashita-Tomorrow to have me meet this wonderful family.
◇ My host mother was always considerate and thought about my well-being. We made breakfast together, went to see a Broadway musical, and attend a birthday party of my host sister’s friend. We danced, sang karaoke and had a birthday cake. My host sister and I are of the same age. We have so many things to talk about. Her little sister wanted to come to Japan with me in my suitcase. How sweet and lovely! I cannot say enough how grateful I am.
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Meet the Students 2015 - Click here to close this section
Joining Express Yourself! 2015 in New York
The following were written in English by the students after they returned home in Japan. Some corrections on grammar and wording were made at Ashita-Tomorrow’s discretion.
Thank you for everything. I had a wonderful and valuable time. I wanted to talk more with everyone, but my English speaking skills was not good enough to tell my feelings. Some people said to me "your English is very good" I was so happy, but I still have a long way to master English. I'll study English hard. I never forget this experience. ( K.I.)
This was my first time to go abroad. I had felt uneasy and caught a cold. However, all my worries went away when I arrived in New York. I spent a nice week. The weather was nice, the food was delicious, and the people there were very kind. I learned a lot from the Horace Mann students. They are serious, competitive but also very kind and have a good sense of humor. I also found differences in manners and customs between Japan and America. I’m now proud of Japanese culture. I’ll never forget this summer. It will be my treasure. ( K.E.)
First, l would like to express my gratitude to everyone for their support and help. l spent a wonderful time in NY. I was very happy when I finally able to meet Abigail with whom I had spoken on the skype since last autumn!! l was very glad that I made many friends in NY and now they are my good friends. My attitude to study English changed to more positive one. l decided to express myself more! Thank you. ( E.K. )
I participated in this program and was able to change myself. I became more cheerful and more positive. In addition, I learned an importance of expressing myself. Taking advantage of this experience, I will study more. I will try to understand what others say and tell my thought. I now have one dream. It is to go to the United States by myself and to live there. I will gain many experiences to grow up This program gave me this decision. ( A.K.)
The program was an unforgettable and a good experience for me. I want to study English harder. I know the American culture and history. In the future, I want to work in the international environment, especially in the United States. Thank you for creating this opportunity for us. I feel honored that I was able to participate in this program. ( A. F.)
This summer, I visited America for the first time. I learned many things, for example, importance of expressing myself, English conversation skill. I was happy to be able to express myself. From now on I will continue to do so. I will make good use of English I learned at Horace Mann School in the classes in Japan. It was wonderful that I went to America and I met many people there. ( A.H.)
This program was wonderful. I enjoyed it very much. It was interesting for me to see streets and houses in New York. All of them gave me very fresh impression. But I feel sorry that I couldn't talk to American students as much as I wanted. So I will study English and try to be an outgoing person. I want to join this program again. (M.F.)
Before the Workshop, I had thought English was difficult to learn. Now, I can
speak English! Speaking English is easy and fun. I want to keep this feeling.
I want to study English harder! ( T.W.)
In Japan English must be grammatical and composed/spoken in correct sentences. In the U.S. I just say several words without thinking grammar. Studying English became more fun. I want to study harder! ( S.K.)
I enjoyed the entire program. I was always interested in going abroad, so I was very glad to visit New York, I learned many things, for example, how to communicate with foreigners and how to tell others what I felt and what I wanted to say. ( S.T.)
Before this program, I couldn’t speak in classes. I was very shy. I couldn’t express myself. I couldn’t speak English well. However, the Horace Mann students were very kind. They listened my poor English patiently and told a lot of things. So I could express myself and start speaking English little by little. I was very surprised and happy that the Horace Man students can speak Japanese fluently and read Kanji. I’ll study English harder. Besides, I enjoyed skyline of New York City. I had been to the West Coast and Hawaii. New York is very different. I enjoyed the different atmosphere. I had a chance to talk with the teachers, who are Japanese and now teach in America. Their stories are very inspiring and valuable. I’m looking forward to see all again soon. ( M.T.)
Although I wanted to talk with the American students, I couldn’t speak English well. For me speaking English was a process of trial and error. Through this process, I found that most important thing in communication is not speaking perfect English but try to convey what I want to say. Once I found this fact, it became fun to talk with the American students. It was a wonderful experience. ( E.Y.)
On the first day, I was very nervous, but I wanted to challenge. It was my first time to study abroad. I was not able to speak a lot in English, so I am glad to participate in this program. It was very difficult to tell others my opinions in English, but I learned the joy of telling my feelings in English. (R.W. )
It was like a dream, spending one week in America. I had a precious experience. For example, we took classes at Horace Mann School. I rarely use English in Japan, but there everything was in English. First, I thought it’d be impossible. I felt like crying because I didn’t understand English. However, on the second day, I became able to understand English well. I was very happy. Now I want to understand/speak English better, so I’ll study! ( M.A.)
I had a great time at Horace Mann School with good friends. II learned a lot in many kinds of activities, for example, in Spanish, English, Dance and Music classes. It was so hard to understand an English poem “Turning Ten” but it was also fun. Trying to think deeply about an English poem was exciting and interesting. I like English, maybe that’s why I enjoyed the poem and its class. In the Workshop, I realized I liked English very much and wanted to improve my English skill by “expressing myself.” I met a lot of great people. They gave me good influence and memories. I can’t thank them enough. Now I really miss them. I still remember Ms. Fujisaki saying, “Don’t be shy,” and “Make a mistake.” I think these are important lessons for us. Thank you. ( H.K. )
I had a wonderful time in America this summer. I was nervous when I left Japan but I had a good time. Everything was amazing. I will never forget these memories. I’ll study English harder and I want to go back to America again. ( A.O.)
I was able to make many memories in a short period. I made many friends. Everything was fresh and fun. I will never forget this trip. ( K.O. )
Thank you for letting me join the Workshop this year. I had applied last year but couldn’t join it. I was very disappointed. I studied English hard and I’m glad I could go this summer. First, I got nervous because it was my first trip on my own. On the first day, I was silent because I was afraid of making mistakes. But, in the end, I was very excited. The American students are so kind and spoke Japanese fluently. I now have a lot of memories. A most precious one was playing video games in the evening at the dorm. Kundan was the best player. Thanks to him, I became a better player. I want to play games with him and other American students again. Thank you so much. ( M.K.)
One week was a short period, but I made a lot of memories. I had many kinds of experiences. Every day was fun. I couldn’t speak English well, so I’ll try to study English. (Y.S. )
In the Workshop I had many opportunities to speak English. In Japan, we seldom have chances to use English. I study English harder, so I can speak well when I meet again the friends I made at Horace Mann School. ( H.H. )
I learned a lot from the Workshop, for example, differences between Japanese and American culture, importance of speaking up in English. Learning another culture is fun. I never forget this experience and make use of what I learned.( C.O.)
Excerpts from the reports by the students in Japanese (translated by Ashita-Tomorrow)
The most memorable experience was performing English plays. We didn’t have enough time to practice. But we practiced our lines together at the dorm, and gave performance in wonderful cooperation. Before we just began, being so nervous and afraid, we made a circle and shouted to do our best! This moment made me realize I made great friends.
I played Tom Taro, a hero in “Iron Chef.” I was very nervous, but Neha, Ajai, Kundan and the Japanese students encouraged me and helped me remember my lines. Thanks to their support, I made it!
I’ll never forget how I enjoyed performing English plays. I was not confident in my English pronunciation nor performing. Professional theater teachers gave us wonderful training & direction. The American students helped my pronunciation. In the end I truly enjoyed performing. We gave a nice performance!
The family who hosted us is wonderful and very kind. We stayed in Hampton, Long Island. Time seemed passing slowly in this dream-like, beautiful and elegant town. They took us to many places: sailing, golf, shopping centers, all were my first experiences. I wish I could have a better English skill, then I could have thanked them properly and told them how much I enjoyed being with them. Staying with this wonderful family gave me much stronger motivation to study English.
The family I stayed with took us to several places. At night, Neha, my host sister asked about my experience in 3.11 disaster. I told her that my house was completely destroyed and a big fishing boat sat where my house used to be. I was sorry I couldn’t tell her my story well. But Neha asked me many questions and understood about the disaster and victims.
Staying with the family, I found some differences between American and Japanese families and domestic practices. I was impressed the family is very close; They always have dinner together. I was glad they are all interested in Japan, telling me about their trip to Japan and their favorite Japanese dishes. Talking with them made me appreciate many good things in Japan. I’m glad I’m a Japanese.
Meet the Students 2014 - Click here to close this section
Joining New York Summer Workshop 2014 “Express Yourself”
Iwaki High School
I really enjoyed this program and learned a lot about U.S.A. and Japan. But I feel that I have to be more and more creative and “Express myself!” I want to learn more about !! (M.S.)
I had a very valuable week in NY. It is hard for me to tell my correct feeling because there is no words which mean it. But I think that the nearest word is thanks. I had many meetings in NY, but if it had not been for the supports from many people, I could not experienced them, so all the feelings I had in NY include thanks. I thank everyone who spent time with me in NY. I thank all support to give me such a great experience. I will never forget this experience and the spirit of “Express Yourself!”.(R.T.)
I enjoyed this program. This program was very good experience for me. I want to come back NY and Horace Mann School. (T.O.)
Everything I experienced in NYC is very wonderful. It was the first time to visit foreign country. But, I could make a lot of friends. I really thank for everyone’s support. I definitely do not forget this experience. Thank you. (K. S.)
After lunch, I joined theater workshop. Mr. Kim taught us the play of Issunboshi, Japanese old tale. I played Lord Sanjyo. I appreciate that I could participate in precious experience. (Y.S.)
Kesennuma High School
This program changed me. I was able to spend a good time with Horace Mann School students. I learned a lot from them. First I learned that I should not be shy. I think it is important for me. This experience was a great opportunity. I want to fulfill my dream by taking advantage of this experience. I have to thank a lot of people. Thank you. (M.T.)
I spent very good time in New York. At first, I was very very uneasy. But thanks to Ashita-Tomorrow’s volunteers and Horace Mann School’s people, my uneasiness disappeared. I want to come back to NYC and meet my host family and Horace Mann’s students. I want to make use of this experience in my life. I really thank all of you.(H.O.)
I made many important friends. Everyone was very kind and cheerful. Everyone always smiled.(K.K.)
The experiences changed my life. I was able to see the new world. I think New York is more beautiful than Tokyo. The students of HM were very kind. I felt so happy. I would like to go to US again. (S.K.)
This program was very very very wonderful. I learned many important things. And I had a good time! I hope I can see everyone in New York again. Thank you very much.(M.E.)
I have wanted to go to New York since I was a child. So my dream came true. I learned English, expressing myself, American cultures. And I found my new dream. It is going back to New York again. (S.S.)
I could experience many things in this program. And I could learn many important things. It is difficult for me to talk in English. But I learned that challenging was very important. So I want to challenge more. I miss Horace Mann School students. I want to go to New York again. It was very interesting. (N.K.)
In the English class, I heard good talk from Ms. Fujisaki. English class in the school was very different from English class in Japan. At first, American school students have own opinion clearly. But Japanese students do not have it. And also, the American class was more active than Japanese class. I want to try to take an attitude like American class. Living with host family was very fun. These experience were good memory. (R.W.)
Meet the Students 2013 - Click here to close this section
Meet the Students 2013
This program showed me how fun it is to use English and communicate! I enjoyed introducing myself, singing songs, playing games and performing plays in English. The most valuable lesson I learned in this program was to speak up in English instead of being afraid that my English is poor. I'm determined to study English harder so I can communicate freely in English. ）
I noticed myself improve from being shy before the workshop to having the confidence to do my best and work hard among others.
I made many friends in this program. Through English games and play practices with people I had never talked before, I developed not only English skills but also important communication skills. I am no longer nervous to talk in front of other people and I became much more confident than before.
I am more affirmative and active thanks to this program, and I am more open in my club activities. I now am eager to take on new challenges and am less afraid of failure! Thank you for the wonderful five days!
At first, I was glad to sign up for this program because I like English and acting. But when I talked with Fujisaki-sensei and Yale students, I was not able to understand what they were saying and was initially discouraged. However, I was determined to succeed, and with their encouragement, I worked even harder and became more proactive in my learning of English.
I always wanted to be fluent in English, but I had never put in enough effort. This program has inspired me to set a goal to become more fluent by next summer. The experience in the program was the best memory of my summer!
I belong to a drama club so I was very excited to participate in a theater and English workshop. This program helped me improve my acting skills, particularly after we practiced using our bodies to express animals or natural phenomenon. Ms. Fujisaki is lively and inspiring, and she has motivated me to pursue a career overseas.
This program taught me the importance of being able to effectively “express yourself” instead of worrying about perfect English. I would like to go overseas to try "express myself” freely, and I want to meet more American high school students. I am also grateful to have been introduced to theater exercises. While I tend to judge things very rationally, Mr. Kim taught me to "feel," and so I learned to follow my hunch and see different perspectives. I will always remember that “the world consists of various elements and logic cannot solve everything, so using our sixth sense may help us better understand the world.”