Lucia attended a junior high in Uruguay with 50 students per class and poor facilities. She found UWC ISAK Japan on the internet.
My days here at UWC ISAK Japan are exciting, and the environment is more than what I had expected. The class I like the most is Mr. Goodwin’s Social Science class. In the class, we had to create our own imaginary countries, along with population and economical measures. I made a small island country called “Gurani.” I created this country like Japan, with more population than land, along with a highly developed infrastructure for education and energy but food shortage issues. We debated about the immigration problems of this country, and since we have so many discussion-based classes at UWC ISAK Japan, it was great to learn various ideas from students with diverse backgrounds.
My future dream is to change the educational system of Uruguay. If I were to become president, I would increase the educational budget and would invest in curriculum and facilities. Many of the children of Uruguay are unaware of what is happening globally and I want to change the education curriculum to be more global and up to date.
Before coming to UWC ISAK Japan, Vichearith had never been abroad. He found out about UWC ISAK Japan through Facebook.
In Grade 10, I helped start a leadership project called DAICON, which is designed to boost Karuizawa’s economy through tourism. When we discuss issues in teams, I have learned to be open and to listen to others without evaluating beforehand. When I express my own views, I explain my concepts and basis explicitly, but have learned not to try and forcefully persuade others. Of course, we have conflicts. But with just a 5 minute break, we can move on and continue our discussion. It may be difficult for adults to trust someone without evaluating or judging them. But, we are young and our group has learned to believe in each other and accept our differences.
In the future, I want to go back to Cambodia and start my own business. Neighboring countries such as Thailand, Laos and Vietnam are developing, but Cambodia is still stagnant and people are suffering from a high cost of living with low incomes. I believe this is because we rely mainly on agriculture. I want to boost the economy of Cambodia through my business, and contribute to improving the standard of living while lessening the poverty gap for the people of Cambodia.
Iysatta, Sierra Leone
Iysatta attended ISAK Summer School on a scholarship before being accepted for high school. Her home country, Sierra Leone, is one of the poorest nations in the world.
After I joined UWC ISAK Japan Summer School in 2014, the way I saw the world changed. Before Summer School, I perceived people with different opinions as ‘opponents.’ But after taking the leadership program at Summer School, I started to care about the intentions and the standpoints of people with different opinions. I learned how to consider the lives and views of others, and accept their opinions.
The education situation in Sierra Leone is terrible. No matter how motivated and talented you are, you can’t receive a good education unless you have money. Whether you can get a good occupation is based on which tribe you are from. It is a country where your effort doesn’t pay off. I would like to found an organization to empower women. Though schools are being built through UNICEF activities and the issue of child marriage is improving bit by bit, the rights of women in the country are still not recognized. I would like to create a breakthrough in the situation in Sierra Leone.
Yasunori, has Taiwanese mother and Japanese father. Prior to joining UWC ISAK Japan, attended a Japanese school in Taiwan. He is currently attending college in UK.
Out of all the classes at UWC ISAK Japan, what I liked the most were Design Innovation and Mindful Self Discipline. I used to feel nervous when faced with an issue, but through the Design Innovation course, I learned how to perceive issues positively, and feel I should make an effort to improve a given situation by solving the issue at hand. Now I am able to enjoy the challenge of problem solving. I have also improved my self-control through the course of Mindful Self Discipline. I spend time on meditation to become more aware of my psychological and physical condition.
In the future, I would like to start a space-related business. The resources left on earth are limited, and at some point, we will face a shortage of resources. I would like to launch a business that enables humans to migrate to outer space in order for mankind to survive.
Himanshu attended boarding school in India before discovering and applying to UWC ISAK Japan. He is currently attending college in the U.S.
An opportunity at UWC ISAK Japan that changed me was Project Nepal (the initiative that UWC ISAK Japan students took to support those who suffered from the earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015). When the project was first launched, our goal was small, and we all felt that our success depended on support from adults, since we were just students. However, our confidence grew as we started to raise funds through crowdfunding, engage in volunteer work in Nepal during summer vacation, and support reconstruction with local medical faculties and schools. I think we were confident and capable before, but through Project Nepal, we realized how much more we were capable of. Now, I have the firm belief that I can do much more.
At UWC ISAK Japan, we were often asked the question “What is important to you?” For me, it was my family and my school. What is most important to me now is to take action, even if the situation may be difficult and uncomfortable.
My dream to become a doctor hasn’t changed, but it is becoming more concrete. I would like to provide medical services for free to those who cannot get proper medical treatment. I am not sure how to secure the funds for this activity, but that is the kind of doctor I would like to be.
Minami discovered UWC ISAK Japan through an article in Nikkei Business online. At the time, she was attending a public high school in Japan. Supported by a scholarship, Minami graduated with the inaugural class of 2017 and is currently attending university in Japan.
I decided to apply because I was intrigued by the unique program and the chance to live with other students from various countries and different cultural backgrounds.
One way in which I changed greatly during my time at UWC ISAK Japan is the way I understand “difference.” I’ve learned to accept that we are all different, and when I encounter “difference,” instead of considering that a negative, I now consider how and where the difference comes from.
For example, I launched an Animal Protection Project to raise awareness about the protection of animals. When I spoke to the Animal Protection Society in Japan, many said we should treat dogs like humans. However, the Vietnamese and Filipino students on our project team thought the view of Japan Animal Protection Society was odd since they had a social custom of eating dogs. If we had shared similar cultural customs, we would not have noticed the differences. At UWC ISAK Japan, where we have friends from different cultural backgrounds, I am thankful to have an environment in which we can consider the reasons behind our differences whenever we feel doubts about something.
I am interested in environmental studies. I want to learn about the influence of human activities on the environment, along with public policy and urban development.