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UWC ISAK Students Experience Japanese Culture at Grand Sumo Tournament

By Vera Wanjiru Hoffman (USA-Kenya / Class of 2024) A Journey into the Heart of Tokyo In a unique cultural immersion, students from UWC ISAK Japan enjoyed a special day outside of their regular classes, ...
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Honoring the Class of 2023 as a Film Pitch

A speech written and delivered on May 21, 2023, at the UWC ISAK Japan Class of 2023 Graduation Ceremony by UWC ISAK Japan Theatre and Film teacher Matthew Christensen. Dear UWC ISAK parents, guardians, and ...
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Class of 2023 Graduation Message

UWC ISAK Japan Head of School Mr. Malcolm McKenzie's message to the Class of 2023 at Graduation.  Saying Hello to Diversity Seniors, can you remember how you said hello to your new school when you ...
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Our Innovative Blended House System

Blending Boundaries through a Unique Blended House System One of the unique aspects of UWC ISAK Japan is our innovative housing system. Unlike traditional international boarding schools, UWC ISAK Japan offers students the option to ...
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For Peace and Gender Equality in South Sudan

Empowering South Sudan: Obede's Journey to Promote Peace and Equality In 2021, Obede (19') returned to South Sudan, years after his family fled the war-torn country for Kenya. With a clear goal in mind, he ...
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How Art at UWC ISAK Nurtures Creative Minds

The Arts Flourish at UWC ISAK Japan UWC ISAK Japan is known not only for its diverse community and academic excellence but also for its thriving arts scene. The campus is adorned with various student ...
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Introducing our Incoming Head of School – Arden Tyoschin

Dear UWC ISAK Japan community, We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Head of School, Arden Tyoschin, who will join us in the summer of 2024, marking the beginning of a new ...
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Transforming Education for Foreign Students in Japan

Sayaka and Midori, both exposed to education outside and inside Japan, are striving to transform education for foreign students in Japan. A Vision That Ignites Change Under the warm stage lights, Sayaka, a determined young ...
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A Gap Year with Purpose

Living Abroad with Purpose: Marie's Year of Service Marie had just graduated from high school and was looking forward to attending St. John's College, her dream university in New Mexico, USA. However, 2020 proved to ...
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Junita’s journey: Empowering Women in Liberia

Empowerment through Education and Leadership Amidst the chaos of a country plagued by teenage pregnancy, drugs, and risky behaviors among its youth, one young woman rises to make a change. Junita, a member of UWC ...
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Mayuki –for diversity and passion in Japanese education

Leading the Way in Education: Mayuki's Inspiring Journey Meet Mayuki, an inspiring alum from Nagaoka, Japan, who is leading the charge in revolutionizing education for her peers. By Grade 7, she had already developed a ...
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A story of community to mark UWC’s 60th year

One-of-a-kind education produces one-of-a-kind solutions This year marks the UWC movement's 60th anniversary and presents us with an opportunity to reflect on the unique qualities of the movement. At the end of 2021, those qualities came to ...
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A Day in the Life of a UWC ISAK Japan student

Written by Emilė (Lithuania / Class of 2024) from our school newspaper ISAK Insider. Pictures by Bernard (Hong Kong / Class of 2024) and Federico (Portugal / Class of 2024)   6:30-7:00 - Wake up. ...
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Denzel (Zimbabwe) published his first novel!

A story from Zimbabwe In December 2021, Denzel (Zimbabwe / Class of 2019) self-published his first novel, Shame and Anger (left picture in the hands of his History teacher Ms. Hasham). It is the second ...
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Ainu, diversity and indigenous cultures in Japan

Written by May (Japan / Class of 2025) and Anisa (Bangladesh / Class of 2024) Special visit from up north From November 17 to 19, UWC ISAK Japan Grade 10 students received a special visit ...
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Thai Alumni Launch Game for Waste SDGs

A talented team comprised primarily of Thai UWC ISAK Japan alumni Thailand won a Thai SDG Game Fest award for their multi-player video game educating about waste management in a fun way. The game, titled ...
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Tree house build by Kai and Rin

High School in a Forest

In late August 2022, Kai (Japan / Class of 2021) returned to the UWC ISAK Japan campus. He met with some of his former teachers, but the primary purpose of his visit was to check ...
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How education changed a life, from Zambia to Japan

Expanding horizons through education "Education at UWC ISAK Japan opened up my world," recalls Cararise (Zambia / Class of 2021). Now studying Economics and Political Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, she feels confident thanks ...
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So, UWC ISAK Japan 2020 alum at his company Skyland Ventures

Fostering curiosity and leadership through education

A grateful employer UWC ISAK Japan is still a young school, with our first class graduating in 2017. As such, all our alums are at the beginning of their careers. But take a glance at ...
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An Unexpected Journey: One New Zealander’s Adventure from Karuizawa to Princeton

A Three-Year Pursuit of Passion Meet Simon (Class of 2022 / New Zealand). His portrait in the recently published high school yearbook is faithful to his character: a smile from ear to ear. But don't ...
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Mafer (Venezuela / Class of 2019) at her UWC ISAK Japan Graduation Ceremony

Reconnecting to her roots: An alumni story of giving back

Meet Mafer, UWC ISAK Japan alum from Venezuela Over the years, we've observed that everything is more accessible and inclusive whenever Mafer is involved (Venezuela / Class of 2019). So, it is fitting that her ...
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UWC ISAK Japan Nippon Foundation scholars in Fukui prefecture

Alumni thank Nippon Foundation for life in Japan

A one-of-its-kind scholarship   The Nippon Foundation-ISAK Scholarship (日本財団-ISAK奨学金事業) has started when our first batch of students graduated from UWC ISAK Japan in 2017. (Since then, this generous scholarship has helped 25 students from five ...
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UWC ISAK international G10s

Lessons about intentional diversity in the Covid-19 era

Japanese borders restrictions in the Covid-era Japan adopted one of the strictest borders restrictions in the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, our students from abroad entered the country only in the fall of ...
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Project Kamaishi and Atlantic Pacific team member at Kamaishi local High School

After the Great East Japan Earthquake: bringing back to Kamaishi

Teaching sea safety and preservation One of the first things Lin (Japan / Class of 2020) told us was that she was not good at public speaking. Yet after graduating from UWC ISAK Japan in ...
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Ata inaugurates Safura School land in Afghanistan near Kabul

Alum gives back to his community in Afghanistan

Fostering a better education in Afghanistan In February 2020, Ataullah, aka Ata (Afghanistan / Class of 2017) and his local community celebrated the purchase of land for the planned Safura School in Afghanistan (pictured on ...
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UWC ISAK Japan students umping in the air with local farmer and his vegetables to celebrate their CAS project

How students won the Zayed Sustainability Prize 2022

Manami (Japan / Class of 2022) and Mari (France-Portugal) were action-takers before entering UWC ISAK Japan. When they arrived on campus, they had already gained experience working with Fridays for Future Japan and Fridays for ...
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UWC movement nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Written by Emilė (Lithuania / Class of 2024). Art by Hamid (Afghanistan / Class of 2020): https://www.hamidmubariz.com/ A prize to help end human suffering Alfred Bjørlo nominated the UWC movement for a Nobel Peace Prize ...
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How Juan became a Rise Global Winner

A life-changing news Sometime in the 2020-2021 Academic year winter, Juan (Colombia / Class of 2022) learned about a new scholarship thanks to an email from the UWC. This yet-to-be-known prize offered half a million ...
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Zayed Sustainability Prize winners UWC ISAK Japan

UWC ISAK Japan students win the 2022 Zayed Sustainability prize!

Written by Marian for ISAK Insider (Thailand / Class of 2023). $100,000 prize in the Global High School category for East Asia and the Pacific We are thrilled to announce that a group of UWC ...
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space engineer alumna at UWC ISAK Japan class of 2017 graduation ceremony

UWC ISAK Japan alum on his way to space

Space is where you shine When Yasu (Japan-Taiwan / Class of 2017) heard the phrase "space is where you shine (宇宙は君たちの活躍するところ in Japanese)" something clicked. The words first were first introduced to Yasu by space ...
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Alumni launch Tajikistan’s first English Summer School

For most of our graduates, their well-earned summer break begins the moment the graduation ceremony ends. But for two of our 2021 graduates, it was crunch time, and they were about to embark on one ...
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Eco team finalists for huge prize

Written by Pema (Bhutan / Class of 2022) The school’s environmental club has been shortlisted for the Zayed Sustainability Prize, an annual $600,000 award that is split between six winning schools. Towards a more eco-friendly ...
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Dramathon sees plays written and staged in 24 hours

Written by Pema (Bhutan / Class of 2022) You want drama? Writers Aditi, Lara, Mantaro and Pema produced a fully formed piece of theatre in a day. All-nighter wordsmiths They began at 8pm and powered ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Connecting the Body and the Heart in the Interfaith Festival

On April 7th and April 8th, we held the Interfaith Festival! Centered around the theme "Shin-gi-tai (心技体) - Body and Space: Feeling the Infinite", the event invited members of our community to engage with the ...
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Spreading Diversity Through Food!

Just before the Spring Break, CAS group Makanai invited members of the local Karuizawa community to campus for a very special dinner! Makanai, which aims to provide full stomachs and smiles through the taste of ...
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Help Project E-Right Fund A Summer School Student!

Education is the key to creating passionate, resilient and persevering leaders. Project E-Right, a student-led initiative at UWC ISAK Japan, aims to nurture these values by providing opportunities to disadvantaged students whilst celebrating their diversity. ...
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Understanding Human Rights Through Global Politics

Written by James Earwood Mr. Earwood teaches G10 Humanities and IB Global Politics at UWC ISAK Japan. Global Politics is a course offered at UWC ISAK that inspires students to analyze real world political issues ...
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Taking The Leap With A Gap Year – An Update from B, Class of 2017

We are back with another alumni update! This month, we caught up with Ho Thi Quynh Trang (Class of 2017, Vietnam), colloquially known as B, who took a gap year to help revitalize tourism in her ...
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Celebrating Middle Eastern and Mid Asian Culture!

Our Cultural Days continue to delight the community! Last week, we celebrated the diverse cultures of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia (or, as our students have coined, Mid-Asia). In what has become ...
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