The Future of HEC for 2020-2021

The HEC team is very excited to announce that we will be continuing with the Hokkaido English Challenge for 2020-2021*!!

However, due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will NOT be hosting an English summer camp. We will NOT be awarding a homestay experience to the grand prize winner. HEC 2021 will comprise only of the speaking test that is administered by an ALT and a witness. Upon completion of the test, the student will receive a Certificate of Completion that can be supplementary towards high school and university applications.

But we’ve got some good news! We will be allowing both first AND second year junior and senior high students to participate in the challenge for the first time**! That being said, we have increased the amount of winners this year. There will be 1 grand prize plus 2 runner up winners for each grade in the junior high and senior high categories separately, a total of 12 winners! The registration fee has also been lowered to 2,000 yen for this year. 

🥇 The Grand Prize winner will receive up to 30,000 yen in English related gifts of the student’s choosing.
🥈 The second place winner will receive up to 15,000 yen in English related gifts of the student’s choosing.
🥉 The third place winner will receive up to 7,500 yen in English related gifts of the student’s choosing.

Thank you to the ALTs and their students who have expressed interest in doing the English Challenge despite the setbacks of this year. We are endlessly thankful for your continued support and we look forward to cooperating with you for another successful HEC year! Be on the lookout for more details about HEC coming out soon.

* Participation of ALTs and their corresponding Board of Education will vary depending on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions.

**Entry of second years is currently planned to be limited to HEC 2020-2021 year only, to compensate for the current 2nd year students who applied last year when the camp was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Current 2nd year students can still apply this year even if they didn’t apply last year. Registration is open to ANY 1st and 2nd junior and senior high students.

Registration is limited to 10 students per grade with a maximum of 15 students per school.

Holiday Gram Fundraiser!

The time of year for holiday cheer is nearly here; why not send a holiday gram to those you hold dear?

Stuck in Japan for the holidays? Unable to see your friends in Japan because COVID is in the air? Sending letters too much of a hassle? The post office staff run away in fear when you approach the counter?

No worries! We, the HEC executive team, got you covered. With the purchase of a *Holiday Gram*, you can send one of your friends here in Japan a heartfelt message with some winter treats. Making your holidays a little more connected this year. Plus we’ll do all the work, and you’ll sleep tight knowing it’s for a good cause!


  1. Purchase a Holiday Gram through our BigCartel website. You can send them to anyone in Japan!
  2. We will package and deliver the heart-warming Holiday Gram so that it arrives by the holidays.


  • Peppermint Candy cane – a rarity in Japan!
  • Packet of Hot Chocolate – to warm up even the coldest nights!
  • Personalized Hand-lettered Postcard – with a message from you!


We will be accepting orders until Friday, December 11th, at 11:59 PM.


If you have any questions, regarding mail addresses, dietary restrictions, payment, or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach us at

Message from the new HEC Director

Hello everyone! My name is Queena and I am very excited to be the new HEC Director for 2020-2021.

With the unfortunate cancellation of last year’s Hokkaido English Challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are still hopeful in having a successful HEC year for 2021. We have a brand new team working hard to host events, fundraise for the camp, and challenge students to give HEC a try. We thank you for your continuous support and patience as we tackle various barriers. Please look forward to all the amazing new things we are excited to share with you this upcoming year!

Thank you very much! よろしくお願いします!