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What I learned from the Ainu of Japan

  Just as the new school year was about to start in the summer of 2020, UWC ISAK Japan students had a special opportunity of learning from the Ainu of Japan. A group of our ...
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a group of ISAK students jumping with mount Asama in the background

How We Teach Lifelong Leadership Lessons

Lifelong leadership lessons equip students with the skills they will need to be catalysts for positive change. In an increasingly complex world, these lessons can prove invaluable. But learning these skills and how to apply ...
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How I Learned that “Leadership is a Practice” isn’t a Catchphrase

Few would argue that 2020 was a rollercoaster of a year. For recent grad Gab Ponon (Philippines / Class of 2020), the past twelve months delivered a year with more ups and downs than he ...
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International diplomacy earns students the Changemaker award

A special effort in international diplomacy earned three UWC ISAK Japan students a Changemaker Award for their work to promote constructive dialogue between the youth of Japan and Korea. The award was given to Junpei ...
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The Impact of a UWC Education on a Young Venezuelan

In a world of inequality, obtaining a full scholarship to attend UWC ISAK Japan allowed me to experience the most powerful advantage of money: the ability to think of things besides money. Growing up in ...
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How Bikes & Castles Made a Teacher into a Creator

James Earwood moved with his family to Japan in 2017 to join the UWC ISAK family. Inspired by a budding interest in Japanese historical sites and his passion for cycling, James recently started a YouTube ...
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Winter School students gather at Honda Field with Mt. Asama in the background

How Winter School Delivered the Warmth of Summer

Written by Jason Underwood, Winter School Director In late December, UWC ISAK Japan held its first-ever Winter School. Initiated in response to the Summer School program of 2020 that was cancelled due to Covid-19, Winter ...
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Our Startup Weekend nearly failed, but we found a better way

Written by Yuka and Yuina (both Class of 2021 / Japan) In 2019, we organized a 3-day-long event called Startup Weekend Karuizawa at the UWC ISAK Japan campus. Our aim was to bring people from ...
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Pakistani boy With mustache wearing a traditional japanese yukata and smiling during a summer festival or natsu matsuri

Surprise Summer Festival

Community Holds Surprise Summer Festival No summer in Japan would be complete without a festival ("Natsu Matsuri" in Japanese). But in a post-pandemic world, sacrifices have been made and public gatherings have never been less-in-vogue. ...
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Covid-19 Strengthened My Character: Lhamo, a nepali girl with glasses, Poses in a blue Yukata holding a fan with her name written in both roman characters and kanji on it. Her name means orchid and peach in Japanese. The background is an overexposed window which only highlights Lhamo more

Covid-19 Has Strengthened My Character

Written by Lhamo (Class of 2020 / Nepal) In December 2019, amid my second year as an IB student at UWC ISAK Japan, news of Covid-19 enveloped the world. I was taken aback by the ...
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How Small Talks Can Have a Big Impact

Written By Lucy Class of (2020, Canada) I started CAF TALKs in the winter. This is right around the time when the excitement of the first semester began to wear off, homework piles up, and ...
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Drone Delivered Redemption

Written by Gabriel (Class of 2020 / Philippines) I glared at the dust and debris that encircled its edges while pondering how best to start the repair. In my hand was a drone I pulled ...
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How a Digital Native Does Remote Teaching

Adam Atkin has a background in mechanical engineering and mathematics and joined UWC ISAK Japan after a successful period at UWC Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Amongst an already youthful faculty, Adam is one of ...
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Dr. Mandy Finds a New Formula for Success

Dr. Mandy Heddle (or "Dr. Mandy," as she is affectionately referred to on campus) is an optimist. She certainly recognizes the global pandemic for what it is—a crisis—but rather than looking at the obstacle of ...
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Passing the Torch to a New Generation of Leaders

Written by Lucy (Class of 2020 / Canada) Near the beginning of our second semester, Larry (Class of 2020 / Burkina Faso) and I found ourselves running SNOW. What is SNOW? Other than the frozen ...
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The Fab Lab: Building a Maker Culture on Campus

Before our new students arrive on campus each August and even before the return of current faculty, our school is buzzing with activity as we welcome and introduce UWC ISAK Japan to our new faculty ...
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Our Wonderful Winter Work Program Story

Written by Gianluca (Class of 2020 / Argentina) Each December, many students at UWC ISAK Japan go back home to rest and spend time with their families. Others pursue amazing work opportunities here in Japan. ...
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My Internship in the Center of Tokyo Finance

Written by Hasan (Class of 2021 / Libya) I am one of the students that chose to stay in Japan over winter break. As part of the Winter Work Program, the staff at UWC ISAK ...
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Finding a Way With Waste: Student Project Innovates by Upcycling

Written by Shota (Japan / Class of 2020) Each year, over 620,000 tons of food is wasted in Japan; enough to feed almost a million people for an entire year. When we first heard this ...
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UWCISAK Japan Students Win Startup Weekend

Earlier this Spring, two of our intrepid students, Yuina and Yuka (both Class of 2021, Japan), decided to take part in a startup challenge organized by Startup Weekend, which is part of the world-renowned Techstars ...
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Interfaith Festival: Silence (静けさ)

“Silence is the necessary soil for any thought to flourish” - Stephen Hough This Spring, UWC ISAK Japan’s Interfaith Dialogue Group held its annual festival. By employing the theme of Silence (静けさ), which the Group identified ...
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A Project Comes to Fruition: The Story Behind Our New Forest

Written by Yutaro (Class of 2019, Japan) On 6th of March during the community assembly, we welcomed government officials from Forestry Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery to sign a contract for the lease ...
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Denso Leadership Program with UWC ISAK Japan

In the mid week of February, our school welcomed 16 young leaders from Denso to our campus to collaborate on Denso Leadership Program. DENSO is a leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components ...
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Transformational Leadership Comes in Many Sizes

Written by Abdullah (Class of 2019, Oman) The idea of student leadership is emphasized in UWC ISAK Japan, and so we, students, get to lead in the exploration of our interests, while also receiving support ...
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The Right Stuff

UWC ISAK Japan is blessed with the most eclectic and inspiring collection of students in the world (in our humble opinion). Recently, one of our G11 students, Alexandria (Class of 2020, Australia), received a special ...
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The Importance of Perspective in Leadership

“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives." -Oprah Winfrey Sympathy is a good thing. It comes ...
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New leaders poised to keep SNOW rolling

Written by Denzel (Class of 2019, Zimbabwe) As outlined in a previous blog post, SNOW is UWC ISAK Japan’s reformed Student Union. It stands for Seito NO Wa and the mission of SNOW is “to provide structure and resources ...
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Learning Leadership Through Writing

Miori loves writing. But while writing for an audience may seem like the obvious motivation for a writer, Miori (Class of 2020, Japan) has always seen it as a tool for thinking. Like transmission fluid ...
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A Grateful Community

School assemblies are a great opportunity for us all to spend some time together as a full school community to discuss important events and initiatives, to entertain, and to reconnect with each other. At one ...
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Winter Work Program

During winter break, many of our students use the time to travel or return home. This year a number of students made a different choice—stay in Japan and join the winter work program. Beginning in ...
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Interfaith Trip: Footprints of Infinite in Tokyo (Part 2)

Before we jump in, note that this is a two-part story so be sure to check out Part 1 here. Previously, we looked at some of the highlights of the trip. In Part 2, we ...
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Campus Opens for Model UN Conference

Written by Poum (Class of 2020, Thailand) On January the 18th, 2019, we welcomed 13 students from different schools. We, as the Model United Nations (MUN) Club, were very excited as this was something we ...
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Internet Legend Speaks at UWC ISAK

In late December, our Grade 10 students welcomed a Japanese Internet legend into their classroom. Masayuki “Masa” Watanabe, who built his name as a co-founder of DeNA, one of Japanese leading online service companies, before ...
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Expanding our Professional Network

One Life Realize Your Potential Be a Catalyst for Positive Change What do you hope to do with the one life you have to live? This is a difficult question for many of us, and ...
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Interfaith Trip: Footprints of Infinite in Tokyo (Part 1)

In late 2018, the Interfaith Programme embarked on a trip of discovery to Tokyo. It was the first such trip for the Programme, which was initiated in 2017 with the purpose to grow as individuals ...
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Alumni Feature: PanPan ‘17

With the beginning of the new year, in this edition of the Alumni Newsletter, we present you PanPan (Class of 2017, Thailand), interviewed by AJ (Class of 2018, India). PanPan is currently studying Social Innovation ...
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Commemorating International Human Rights Day

Written by Brunella (Class of 2020, Peru) and Valentina (Class of 2020, Colombia) On Monday 10 December, UWC ISAK commemorated International Human Rights Day. Members of the Peace and Non-violence Forum organised the events as a part ...
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Kiryu Excursion

Written by Lucy (Class of 2020, Canada) “I knew we were lost!” Marah, my roommate from Libya, wails worriedly. I pat her shoulder consolingly, but she pays no attention. “And it’s your fault!” She accuses ...
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What We Learned About Leading by Building “The Dome”

Getting Started At USC ISAK Japan, leadership is a central concept. We endeavor to weave a thread of leadership into all of our programs, but it's in our core leadership courses—Leading with Self and Leading ...
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New Faces Feature: Marie (Class of 2020, France)

Reporting live from a laundry room at UWC ISAK Japan, Marie (Class of 2020, France) and Apoorba (Class of 2018, India) had a great chat about all things UWC ISAK and beyond. Hailing from the ...
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Alumni Feature: Nora (Class of 2018, Myanmar)

In this issue of the UWC ISAK Japan newsletter, Dilrabo (Class of 2017, Tajikistan) interviewed alum Nora (Class of 2018, Myanmar). Nora is now in Decorah, Iowa, studying at Luther College and double majoring in ...
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External Mentors Guide Leadership Projects

At Grade 11, all our students embark on human-centered, collaborative, and action-based leadership projects as part of the CAS component of the IB Diploma. All these projects are entirely student-led, from conception to execution, with ...
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House Bonding Over BBQ!

Written by Abdullah (Class of 2019, Oman) One of the main aims of the residential program here at UWC ISAK Japan is to create long lasting bonds between students living in the same dormitories, or ...
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Culture, Awareness, Peace and Interaction (CAPI)

Written by Ayana (Class of 2019, Japan) on behalf of CAPI CAPI is a core activity club that was initiated by a student two years ago. The club aims to organize different events to promote ...
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Debating Perspectives At IIMUN

Written by Poum (Class of 2020, Thailand)  On Friday, November 16th, we set foot on an adventure in Tokyo! A group of 7 students from UWC ISAK Japan's Model United Nations (MUN) club participated in the ...
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Grade 10 Project Week

Written by Izumi Tsurumi Ms. Tsurumi coordinates the Leadership program at UWC ISAK Japan. She also teaches IB Biology. Leadership is required in times of uncertainty and challenge, not when circumstances are smooth-sailing and pleasant. ...
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15 Thoughts about University, Magic Tricks and Finding the Best Fit

Written by Damien Pitter Mr. Pitter is a University Advisor at UWC ISAK Japan. 1. As a university advisor, one of the questions I am most frequently asked by parents is, “What does my child ...
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New Faces Feature: Brunella (Class of 2020, Peru)

Written by Alina (Class of 2018, Singapore) For our second New Faces feature, we are excited to present Brunella (Class of 2020, Peru)! Prior to attending UWC ISAK Japan, Brunella spent her whole life in Lima, ...
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Alumni Feature: Apoorba (Class of 2018, India)

Written by Himanshu (Class of 2017, Nepal) We recently had a chat with Apoorba (Class of 2018, India). After spending the summer post-graduation travelling around Singapore, Colombia and India, she landed at Carleton College in Minnesota, ...
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New Student Group, SNOW, Is Starting

Written by Ayana (Class of 2019, Japan) A group of students has taken over what used to be known as Student Union, and is rebooting it as SNOW - Seito No Wa. Seito means “students” ...
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The Start of University Application Season

Written by Damien Pitter Mr. Pitter is a University Advisor at UWC ISAK Japan. October marks the beginning of university application season in earnest. It has been a busy semester so far with 50 colleges ...
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New Faces Feature: Lucy (Class of 2020, Canada)

Written by Selin (Class of 2017, Turkey) In our continued efforts to keep our alumni involved and engaged with our community, we have the New Faces features! Alumni will have the opportunity to interview new ...
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New Vertical Advisory System Implemented

Written by Raffaela Corrias Ms. Corrias coordinates the Advisory and Interfaith programs at UWC ISAK Japan. Every Thursday, a group of seven to eight students alongside one or two advisors connect and spend quality time ...
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Alumni Interview: Alina (Class of 2018, Singapore)

Despite being a recent UWC ISAK Japan grad and set to embark on a new academic challenge at King’s College London, Alina (Class of 2018, Singapore) just couldn’t resist the urge to visit our campus ...
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Empowering Changemakers in English Lessons

Written by Jonathan Osorio Mr. Osorio teaches English at UWC ISAK Japan. The glossed over blank stare. As a teacher, my greatest nightmare is the look of a student who has disengaged. On the flip ...
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Teaching Leadership Through Dominos

Written by Izumi Tsurumi Ms. Tsurumi coordinates the Leadership program at UWC ISAK Japan. “Noooooooooo!!” was a cry we heard from different areas on campus, on multiple occasions in the last two weeks here at ...
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New House Mentor System Introduced

Written by Laura Earwood Ms. Earwood is the residential programme coordinator at UWC ISAK Japan. She also teaches Theory of Knowledge. This year we implemented changes to the residential programme by introducing a house mentor ...
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Obon Celebrations!

To wrap up our Orientation program, we organized an Obon celebration! Obon, or Bon Festival, is one of the major holidays in Japan and is a time to honor the spirit of one's ancestors. Celebrated ...
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University Advising And The Year Ahead

Written by the University Advising Department Bags are unpacked, classes have started and activities have been joined. But as UWC ISAK Japan settles into the busyness of the present, we are also turning an eye ...
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Catching Up With Alumni: Selin (Class of 2017, Turkey)

Written by Himanshu (Class of 2017, Nepal) and Yuna (Class of 2017, Japan) We recently caught up with Selin (Class of 2017, Turkey) to see how she is doing a year out of ISAK. Selin has ...
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Welcome To A New Year!

A new school year has officially begun! We are so excited to welcome new students from all over the world to form a student body 190-strong. This year, we are delighted to increase our cultural ...
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Summer School Update: Design Thinking

Our Students are getting more and more immersed in the Summer School program after the first few days of fun and excitement! In this post, we would love to introduce you to our Design Thinking ...
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Summer School Update: Mindful Leadership by Design

It has been a few days since Summer School 2018 kicked off with the arrival of bright and enthusiastic students from all over the world! They are all curious and motivated to learn the importance ...
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Interview with Class of 2018: Vichearith (Vichy)

During Graduation Day on May 27th, Vichy (Class of 2018, Cambodia), took the time to sit down with Nikkei Business Online—one of Japan’s most influential media—to discuss his experience at UWC ISAK Japan and his ...
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Learning All About African Culture!

To round out the year and the last of our Cultural Days for the season, we celebrated African Cultural Day! The event was held as part of our Senior Week festivities, just before Graduation, and ...
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Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony!

Over the weekend, our entire UWC ISAK Japan community, from staff, students and faculty to students' families and board members, were on campus to celebrate the graduation of our beloved second class of graduates! It ...
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Teaching Refugees in Malaysia

Written by Abdullah (Class of 2019, Oman) At the beginning of May, my CAS group, Project Karuiku, travelled all the way to Malaysia to host a workshop for Rohingya refugee children. Project Karuiku, which has ...
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Gamestorming and Visualizing the Curriculum

Written by Gary Goodwin Mr. Goodwin teaches Global Politics and Theory of Knowledge (ToK) at UWC ISAK Japan. As students study various subjects here at UWC ISAK Japan, it is important that they learn content ...
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Solving Conflicts With Purpose

Written by Izumi Tsurumi Ms. Tsurumi coordinates the Leadership program at UWC ISAK Japan. 日本語訳は、英文ブログ後にあります。 When you don’t meet eye to eye with someone, when was the last time you responded by saying “tell me ...
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Adventuring into the Spring!

Written by Angeles (Class of 2018, Venezuela) The warmer weather has undeniably been a blessing for our intrepid explorers in the Outdoor Education program! We had a plethora of exciting trips the past month, from ...
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New Residential Assistant Program A Success!

Written by Brendan McGibbon Mr. McGibbon teaches G10 Design Innovation and IB Music. He is also the Activities Director at UWC ISAK Japan. This year UWC ISAK started a new program to support students in ...
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Merch Club Entrepreneurs!

If you walk around campus, you are sure to come across someone proudly wearing a UWC ISAK Japan hoodie. These hoodies were designed and sold by our very own Merch Club, which was just started ...
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Learning European Culture Through A Murder Mystery!

Cultural Days are back! After a short interlude, we came together to celebrate European Cultural Day on April 13th. Our European students decided to change things up a little, and do away with the traditional ...
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Authentic Assessment and Backward Design – G10 Japanese Homestay Project

Written by Daisuke Masui Mr. Masui teaches G10 Japanese at UWC ISAK Japan. He is also the Grade Level Coordinator. “Why do I want my students to learn what I want them to learn? Why ...
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Chinese Class Cooking Party!

Written by Emily (Class of 2018, Japan/USA) Some of the Grade 12 Chinese class students alongside Ms. Chien enjoyed cooking a variety of 中国菜 (Chinese dishes) last Wednesday! Our menu included 饺子 (dumplings),宫保鸡丁 (Kung Pao chicken), 西红柿炒鸡蛋 ...
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