Summer Camp

Initially only a few families that planned to send their kids to study abroad were interested in and registered for the kids to take part in English medium summer camps that VALINK partnered with. Gradually, seeing the obvious advantages and benefits that children gain from those camps in terms of English proficiency, increased confidence, improved social and leadership skills etc., interest and demand has grown significantly.

Every year VALINK sends children to 3 summer camps in the US, about 30 – 50 kids to each. Attending camps in the US is a valuable opportunity for kids to learn, do fun activities, and even live on the campus of some of the most famous American universities; to visit famous tourist destinations any young person would dream about; and to spend time together at the home of some of the local kids etc.

Before attending a camp, the families and students only have a vague idea and a shaky wish about studying abroad. After attending a summer camp, the wish becomes an immovable determination. Summer camps help increase the number of students going to study abroad with scholarship or some kind of financial support in the US, Canada and UK etc. They choose about 200 persons a year.



Global Reach Summer Camp is for 11 – 16-year-old students that want to build foundations and important ‘soft’ skills for their future university or work environment, at home or abroad. The kids have a chance to experience what university life abroad would be like, to be expose to an English-speaking environment, to live with peers on the campus of St. Thomas university while studying American history and culture. Then they have one week to live in a local host house to get to know the american way of life, together with international friends.

Through the activities of the camp the kids develop ‘soft’ skills such as team work, self-reliance and self-motivation etc. They can build a strong foundation and gain a clear idea about what they want to learn and to do in life.

Tentatively a camp’s program would include the following items/activities;

  • Visiting world renowned museums of science
  • Cruising the Mississippi on a steamboat
  • Visiting Minnesota History Center to attend a concert
  • Visiting the State’s capital and Saint Paul Cathedral
  • Seeing a show at the famous Guthrie Theatre
  • Visiting Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in one evening
  • Viewing spectacular works at Walker Art Center
  • Visiting a farm and a countryside market
  • Shopping at an agricultural product market in the city
  • Having a horror tour at the Wabasha gangster den
  • Art improvising at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts
  • Experiencing being a native American shaman
  • Dancing national dances at the Tapestry folkdance center
  • Kayaking at the Lake Phalen Water Fest



Songs of Hope (SOH) is an international arts summer camp, initiated in 1990 under the patronage of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Attending SOH are 10 – 13-year-old students from all over the world. Since 1991 SOH has performed over 400 concerts. Currently it is one of the more sought-after summer camps among parents and students.

Kids come to the camp not only to show their art. Songs of Hope is an opportunity for them to mingle, to learn to share their art, their love for art and the best of their national culture with international friends.

Apart from art and culture, at SOH kids also gain a lot of natural and humanitarian science knowledge and expand their network of friends. Shows in such locations sas museums, parks, town halls, churches and theaters, in front of different audiences give the kids a brief overall view of the American people, culture and lifestyle. Making friends, exchanging ideas and stories, and working together with peers from other countries also helps them expand their horizons of both vision and their international friend network. Kids are exposed to environments and situations they never experienced before, which are safe and positively motivating.

Tentatively a SOH camp’s program would include visit and shows at the following places:

  • Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • Walker Art Center
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Guthrie Theatre
  • Minnesota History Center
  • Saint Paul Cathedral
  • Uptown Art Fair
  • Minnesota Center for Book Arts
  • The historical Landmark Center
  • Como Zoo
  • Minnesota Zoo
  • Minnesota Museum of American Art
  • Weisman Art Museum (University of Minnesota)



Also called the Young Leaders’ Summer Camp, Ideas camp is a 2-week summer camp for 11 – 17-year-old kids, which takes place at the Concordia University, USA. At this camp kids learn how to stand out, how to lead, and a lot of communication skills.

Kids attending IDEA CAMP will live and conduct their activities at the Concordia University in Irvine, which is considered one of the most modern and safe places in the US. The University lecturers and staff will supervise and guide the campers in their discussions, team activities, idea exchanges, contests and other functions.

This is an ideal environment for the kids to improve their English proficiency, communication skills, leading capability, and vision of the future to become potential talented leaders. Moreover, they will also participate in startup projects and international volunteer projects in order to build up the passion for an active, meaningful and honorable life.

Additionally, in the late afternoon hours after brainstorming sessions, kids have time to play football, basketball and other sports to stretch their bodies and relax their mind. During the weekend they visit some famous tourist destinations and can do some shopping at a local mall.

After the week at Concordia the campers will spend 1 week living with an American host family. They will be accepted and treated as a family member. They will play, do errands, shopping, share the cooking and the meals like a teen in the family. They will learn to quickly become a member of a newly found community, and to accept the community as their own. They also learn to love and respect of peers and other community members.

The 2-week IDEA Camp of Young Leaders is an exceptional experience for the attendees, which aims at the following clear and elevating goals:

  • To be a “potential” American for 2 weeks
  • To be a young leader, able to stand out in a crowd
  • To improve all aspects of English skills
  • To expand the network of international friends
  • To have a good time, a fun trip while gaining a lot of first-hand experiences of living abroad


  • Asian and American campers work in teams to find solutions to the problems of modern society, and present them in front of a jury.
  • Campers learn ‘soft’ skills on the campus of a famous university of California, and make it a step closer to fulfilling the dream of the talented youth – unifying passion and business.
  • Campers attend daily lectures on honesty, self-esteem, passion, resilience, responsibility, humanity and modesty in a ‘start-up’ business environment.
  • Campers visit some outstanding start-up projects and take part in various volunteering projects.
  • Campers attend the Week of Culture and English Language at an American high (middle?) school.



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