Karuizawa became a headline in education and business news last year, when International School of Asia Kazuizawa (ISAK) opened in August, 2014. ISAK is the first boarding (fully residential) international high school in Japan. Founder, Ms. Lin Kobayashi, is a famous businessperson who used to work for Morgan Stanley and UNICEF. She decided to open this school to educate and train students from all over the world to lead them to become a leader and creative thinker in complex international society. ISAK is a certified International Baccalaureate school, and curriculum are basically taught in English.
Interestingly, the school says that about 70% of ISAK students come from outside Japan and represent 29 countries. This diversified large group of young people gives positive changing effect on local community through the school's extracurricular community activities.
Generally, an international school in Japan used to be for kids from foreign families which happened to inhabit in Japan for business reasons. So, most international schools in Japan are located in city areas like Tokyo. ISAK is unique, since students have to live in a dormitory, being apart from its family. Such educational environment may be common in the United States, but not in Japan so far. The ISAK initiative attracts attentions from business and education fields as a new challenge for progressive high school education.
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