- Application Process: Grade 10 (Pre-IB) Enrollment
- Application Process: Grade 11 (IB DP) Enrollment
- Tuition and Financial Assistance
- University Placement
- Residential Life
- School Calendar
Q. Am I eligible for the 2017 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 (IB DP) 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 type of student does ISAK accept?
A. All students at ISAK 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 the ISAK 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?
For the 2017-2018 school year, we plan to accept approximately 40 students for Grade 10 enrollment, and another 30 students for Grade 11 (IB DP) enrollment. Students interested in enrolling at ISAK for Grade 10 will apply directly to ISAK. Grade 11 students are selected by the UWC National Committee in their home country.
Approximately 30% of our students are Japanese citizens or residents of Japan. The remaining 70% of students join ISAK from around the world.
Q. I am not a native English speaker. Can I still apply to ISAK?
A. All classes at ISAK, 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 ISAK 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.
Q. If I join ISAK from Grade 10 by applying directly to ISAK, will I be considered a UWC student?
Yes, if ISAK receives final approval from the UWC International Office in October 2016, all students at ISAK will be considered UWC students, whether they applied to ISAK directly for Grade 10 enrollment or were selected by a UWC National Committee for Grade 11 enrollment.
2. APPLICATION PROCESS FOR GRADE 10 (PRE-IB) ENROLLMENT
Q. How do I apply?
A. Please see our How to Apply 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. Sign up now.
Q. Is the application process in English?
A. ISAK 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. Additionally, students and parents have the option of being interviewed in Japanese. (Students will need to answer a few interview questions in English.)
Q. Does ISAK 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 ISAK mid-year?
We will consider mid-year transfers on a space-available basis for Grade 10 students only. Note that we do not have any openings for mid-year transfer students for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Q. Can I attend ISAK as a day student?
A. Residential life is one of the core elements of the ISAK program, as we believe that students’ learning outside the classroom is just as important as formal academics. All ISAK students are required to live in the on-campus residences and participate in residential activities.
3. APPLICATION PROCESS FOR GRADE 11 (IB DP) ENROLLMENT
Q. How do I apply?
ISAK has received preliminary approval to become a UWC school. If final approval is granted in October 2016, students interested in applying to ISAK for Grade 11 enrollment (IB DP) will need to apply to ISAK through the UWC national committee in their country. See the Apply for Grade 11 page of our website for more information, including Frequently Asked Questions regarding UWC admissions.
Q. I am a Japanese citizen. Can I apply to ISAK 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 ISAK. If you are Japanese and wish to attend ISAK, you must apply for Grade 10 enrollment.
Q. I am already studying the IB DP at a different school. Can I transfer to ISAK for my second year of the IB DP?
Students applying to ISAK through a UWC national committee must attend ISAK for both years of the IB DP. Depending on the eligibility requirements of your national committee, you might have the option of applying to ISAK for Grade 11, even if you have already started the IB DP at another school. Students who join a UWC school or college after starting the IB DP at another school usually take different subjects than at their former school, or take more Higher Level subjects.
4. TUITION & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Q. What is the tuition at ISAK?
A. Please see our Tuition page for more details.
Q. Does ISAK offer financial aid or scholarships?
A. ISAK offers full scholarships and partial scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need. Full scholarships cover the cost of tuition, room and board, and the facility fee. Partial scholarships offer a reduced rate for tuition, room and board, and the facility fee, depending on the student’s financial circumstances. We also offer a small number of merit-based scholarships to applicants who demonstrate an outstanding level of academic achievement and leadership potential. Please see our Financial Aid and Scholarships page and our Financial Aid FAQ page for details about applying for financial assistance or a merit scholarship.
Q. What kind of academic program does ISAK offer?
A. ISAK is a three-year high school program, following the standard high school system in Japan. ISAK is an authorized IB World School, and all students in Grades 11 – 12 study the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) curriculum. Grade 10 is a pre-IB year, giving students the opportunity to strengthen their academic foundation before starting the IB DP. Additionally, ISAK has been granted Article I status by the Japanese Ministry of Education, which means that ISAK graduates also receive a Japanese high school diploma.
More information about ISAK’s curriculum and the IB Diploma Programme can be found on our Curriculum page.
Q. Can I study Japanese at ISAK? What are the options for native Japanese speakers?
A. All students study Japanese language at ISAK, ranging from introductory courses for beginners to standard high school Japanese (国語) for native speakers. International students also have the opportunity to practice using their Japanese in daily life, especially during community service activities and local outings.
Japanese language classes are not required for Grades 11 and 12 (IB DP), but many ISAK students continue with their Japanese language classes for the IB DP.
6. UNIVERSITY PLACEMENT
Q. What types of colleges and universities will ISAK graduates be able to attend? Does ISAK provide university counseling?
A. Please see our University Counseling page for full details about the university counseling program at ISAK.
7. RESIDENTIAL LIFE
Q. Can you tell me more about the residential facilities at ISAK?
A. ISAK’s residential buildings are designed as a row of connected houses. Each House is home to 12 – 18 students, with two or four students sharing each bedroom. Male and female students live in separate buildings. Each House includes a living room/seminar area which provides communal space for students to study and relax together outside of class hours. Please see our Residential Living 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 ISAK. 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 ISAK experience, and in general, students are not assigned to single rooms.
Q. Are vegetarian or special meals available at ISAK? Are meals provided on the weekends?
A. Students eat meals in the Asama Commons dining hall. The cost of meals is included in ISAK’s room/board fee, and meals are provided three times a day, seven days per week. ISAK’s cafeteria is run by Cezar’s Kitchen, a catering company that takes pride in providing tasty, nutritious meals using local and organic 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 travel in pairs and follow check-out procedures. Due to ISAK’s full academic and co-curricular program, travel to locations outside the Karuizawa area is currently limited to once per month, with parental permission and approval by the Head of School. Students are welcome to go home during longer holiday breaks.
Q. Can students remain on campus during the summer and winter breaks?
A. ISAK’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 spring break. Students are expected to return home during the long summer break between June and August. In the event that a student is not able to return home during summer break, ISAK will help the student make alternate arrangements.
8. SCHOOL CALENDAR
Q. When does the ISAK school year begin?
A. Students arrive on campus in mid-August, and classes begin in late August after Orientation week. The school year concludes in early June. Please see our School Schedule for more information.
Q. What should incoming Japanese students do between April and August?
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. ISAK 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, ISAK will help students make alternate arrangements. Residences are open during spring break. Students are expected to return home during the long summer break, although we will help students make alternate arrangements if necessary.