You can find the answers to many common admissions questions here.
If you don’t find what you need, please feel free to email our admission office for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Admission Questions
Q. Am I eligible to apply for the 2019 school year?
A. Eligibility requirements for Grade 10 enrollment can be found on the Apply for Grade 10 page of our website. Eligibility for Grade 11 (IBDP Year 1) enrollment will depend on the UWC National Committee where you live. Please see our Apply for Grade 11 page for more details. (If you are interested in our Summer School program for middle school students, please see our Summer School page.)
Q. What types of students get accepted to UWC ISAK Japan?
A. All students at UWC ISAK Japan are unique, and there is no “typical” ISAK student. However, ISAK students do share some common characteristics. In general, we are looking for:
- Students who understand our mission and are interested in creating positive change in the world
- Students who are curious, creative and independent
- Students who are willing to challenge themselves and take appropriate risks
- Students who possess strong communication skills and are eager to interact with other students from around the world
- Students who demonstrate strong academic motivation
- Students who wish to benefit from diversity
Q. How many students are accepted per year?
We accept approximately 40 students for Grade 10 (Pre-IB) enrollment, and another 40 students for Grade 11 (IBDP Year 1) enrollment. Students interested in enrolling at UWC ISAK Japan for Grade 10 will apply directly to UWC ISAK Japan. Grade 11 students are selected by the UWC National Committee in their home country, or apply through the UWC Global Selection Programme.
Approximately 30% of our students in Grade 10 are Japanese citizens or residents of Japan. The remaining 70% of students join UWC ISAK Japan from around the world.
Q. I am not a native English speaker. Can I still apply to UWC ISAK Japan?
A. All classes at UWC ISAK Japan, with the exception of Japanese and foreign language studies, are conducted in English. You do not need to be a native English speaker in order to apply, but you should have completed at least three years of English studies in school and be able to speak, read and write at an intermediate level of English. In general, we look for students who demonstrate a strong willingness to study in an English-only environment.
If you have never attended an English-based school, Grade 10 is a pre-IB year that will give you time to build your English skills before starting the IB Diploma Programme.
Q. Can I visit UWC ISAK Japan to see what the school is like?
A. Yes, prospective students are welcome to arrange a campus visit between April – November. (At present, we are not accepting campus visits during the winter season from December – March.) Reservations are required. Please see our Campus Visits page for details.
Application Process: Grade 10 (Pre-IB) Admision
Q. How do I apply?
A. Please see our Apply for Grade 10 page to learn more about application requirements.
If you have not already done so, please take the important first step in the process by joining our pre-registration list. Once you sign up, you will receive information about how and when to apply, including a link to our online application when it becomes available.
Q. Is the application process in English?
A. UWC ISAK Japan is an international school, and the written application and interview are in English. However, Japanese parents can complete the parent section of the application in Japanese, and students can write the essay portion of the application in Japanese or English.
Q. Does UWC ISAK Japan need official academic records from my current school? Do I need a letter of recommendation from my current school?
A. A letter of recommendation from a teacher at your school is ideal but not required. If it is not possible to obtain a letter of recommendation from your school, we will accept a personal letter of reference from someone outside of the school (music teacher, coach, etc.) as an alternative. Eventually, the Office of Admission will require school documentation to confirm grades, but unofficial copies of academic records can be provided during the application process.
Q. Can I transfer to UWC ISAK Japan mid-year?
UWC ISAK Japan is unable to accept mid-year transfer students.
Q. Can I attend UWC ISAK Japan as a day student?
A. Residential life is one of the core elements of the UWC ISAK Japan program, as we believe that students’ learning outside the classroom is just as important as formal academics. All UWC ISAK Japan students are required to live in the on-campus residences and participate in residential activities.
Q. If I join UWC ISAK Japan from Grade 10, will I be considered a UWC student?
Yes, all students enrolled at UWC ISAK Japan are considered UWC students, whether they applied to UWC ISAK Japan directly for Grade 10 enrollment or were selected by a UWC National Committee or the Global Selection Programme for Grade 11 enrollment.
Q. If I join UWC ISAK Japan from Grade 10, can I stay at ISAK for the IB Diploma Programme (Grades 11 – 12), or do I need to reapply?
Students who enroll at UWC ISAK Japan for Grade 10 (Pre-IB) will automatically continue on at UWC ISAK Japan for the IB Diploma Programme, and there is no need to reapply.
Application Process: Grade 11 (IBDP) Admission
Q. How do I apply?
Students interested in UWC ISAK Japan for Grade 11 (IBDP Year 1) enrollment will need to apply to the UWC national committee in their country or through the UWC Global Selection Programme. See the Apply for Grade 11 page of our website for more information.
Q. Can I apply directly to UWC ISAK Japan for Grade 11 (IBDP Year 1) enrollment, or do I have to apply through a UWC national committee?
A. UWC ISAK Japan does not accept direct entry applications for Grade 11 (IBDP Year 1), so you will need to apply through your country’s UWC national committee. Please note that students usually apply to the UWC movement, rather than to any one particular UWC school or college. While your national committee will try to consider your preferences, placement at a particular UWC school or college cannot be guaranteed. If UWC ISAK Japan is your top choice and you do not need a scholarship, you might want to apply through the UWC Global Selection Programme.
Q. I am a Japanese citizen. Can I apply to UWC ISAK Japan for Grade 11 enrollment?
The Japanese UWC Committee is committed to giving Japanese students an experience outside of Japan. Therefore, the UWC Japan national committee will not be selecting Japanese students for UWC ISAK Japan. If you are Japanese and wish to attend UWC ISAK Japan, you must enroll from Grade 10 or apply through the UWC Global Selection Programme.
Q. I am already studying the IBDP at a different school. Can I transfer to UWC ISAK Japan for my second year of the IBDP?
Students applying to UWC ISAK Japan through a UWC national committee must attend UWC ISAK Japan for both years of the IB Diploma Programme. Depending on the eligibility requirements of your national committee, you might have the option of applying to UWC ISAK Japan for Grade 11, even if you have already started the IBDP at another school. Students who join a UWC school or college after starting the IBDP at another school usually take different subjects than at their former school, or take more Higher Level subjects.
Q. Can I transfer to UWC ISAK Japan from another UWC school or college?
In general, UWC students who have started on the IBDP are not allowed to transfer between UWC schools.
School Fees & Financial Assistance
Q. What is the tuition at UWC ISAK Japan?
A. Please see our School Fees page for more details.
Q. Does UWC ISAK Japan offer financial aid or scholarships?
A. For students who enroll at UWC ISAK Japan from Grade 10, we offer full scholarships and partial scholarships based on financial need. Please see our School Fees page and our Financial Aid FAQ page for details about applying for financial assistance.
Scholarships and financial aid for students joining UWC ISAK Japan from Grade 11 (IBDP Year 1) will depend on each UWC national committee. Students who are selected by the UWC Global Selection Programme are not eligible for scholarships.
Q. What kind of academic program does UWC ISAK Japan offer?
UWC ISAK Japan is a three-year high school program, following the standard high school system in Japan. UWC ISAK Japan is an authorized IB World School, and all students in Grades 11 – 12 study the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) curriculum. Grade 10 is a pre-IB year, giving students the opportunity to strengthen their academic foundation before starting the IBDP. Additionally, UWC ISAK Japan has been granted Article I status by the Japanese Ministry of Education, which means that UWC ISAK Japan graduates also receive a Japanese high school diploma.
More information about UWC ISAK Japan’s curriculum and the IB Diploma Programme can be found in the Education section of our website.
Q. Can I study Japanese at UWC ISAK Japan? What are the options for native Japanese speakers?
All Grade 10 students study Japanese language at UWC ISAK Japan, ranging from introductory courses for beginners to standard high school Japanese (国語) for native speakers. Japanese language classes are not required for Grades 11 and 12 (IBDP), but many UWC ISAK Japan students continue with their Japanese language classes for the IBDP. International students also have the opportunity to practice using their Japanese in daily life, especially during community service activities and local outings.
Q. What types of colleges and universities will UWC ISAK Japan graduates be able to attend? Does UWC ISAK Japan provide university counseling?
A. Please see our University Counseling page for full details about the university counseling program at UWC ISAK Japan.
Q. Can you tell me more about the residential facilities at UWC ISAK Japan?
A. Please see our Residential Life page for more information.
Q. How are roommates selected? Are single rooms available?
A. Residential life is one of students’ most important learning experiences at UWC ISAK Japan. For Grade 10, students are mixed by nationality and English language ability. Returning students can request specific roommates, and we try to honor those requests as long as we have rooms available. We feel that interaction with classmates is a vital part of the UWC ISAK Japan experience, and in general, students are not assigned to single rooms.
Q. Are vegetarian or special meals available at UWC ISAK Japan? Are meals provided on the weekends?
A. Students eat meals in the Asama Commons dining hall. The cost of meals is included in UWC ISAK Japan’s room/board fee, and meals are provided three times a day, seven days per week. UWC ISAK Japan’s cafeteria is run by Cezar’s Kitchen, a catering company that takes pride in providing tasty, nutritious meals using local ingredients as much as possible. Our chefs are happy to provide alternative menu selections for vegetarians or students who need special meals due to medical or religious reasons.
Q. Can students go off campus? Can students travel or go home on weekends/holidays?
A. Students can go off campus to local destinations whenever they have free time in their schedule, provided that they follow check-out procedures. Travel to locations outside the Karuizawa area requires parent and school permission. Students are welcome to go home during longer holiday breaks.
Q. Can students remain on campus during the summer and winter breaks?
A. UWC ISAK Japan’s residences are closed during winter break. Students who are not able to return home during winter break are assisted in making alternate arrangements for the winter break period. The residences remain open during fall and spring break. Students are expected to return home during the long summer break between June and August.
Q. When does the UWC ISAK Japan school year begin?
A. Students arrive on campus in late August, and classes begin in early September, after Orientation Week. The school year concludes in early June. Please see our school calendar for more information.
Q. How should incoming students spend their “gap months” prior to arrival?
A. Students should look at this period as an opportunity to strengthen their English language skills, study or volunteer overseas, or spend time with their families. UWC ISAK Japan staff can provide additional information to students who would like to strengthen their English skills before the start of the school year.
Q. Can my parents visit me during the school year?
A. Parents are welcome to visit throughout the school year. We ask that parents contact the school prior to their visit so that proper arrangements can be made.
Q. What should international students do during the long school breaks if they cannot go home?
A. Residences are closed during winter break, but for international students who are staying in Japan, UWC ISAK Japan will help students make alternate arrangements. Residences are open during fall and spring break. Students are expected to return home during the long summer break.