Contact Details

Head: Mr. Roderick Jemison
5827-136 Nagakura,
Nagano 389-0111


UWC ISAK Japan is the newest UWC college, admitting the first generation of UWC students in autumn 2017. UWC ISAK Japan founder, Ms Lin Kobayashi, discovered her passion for global education while attending Pearson College UWC in Canada. This inspired her to found ISAK, which opened its doors in 2014 to educate young leaders from around the globe who would be catalysts for positive change.


Three Unique Features

  • Leadership Programme – Through an innovative leadership programme, which combines the practice of mindful self-discipline and design innovation, students discover what is most important to them as they work to become catalysts for positive change. Leadership practice is integrated into all aspects of life including academics, co-curricular, and the residential experience.


  • Student-Designed Clubs, Activities & Service – All clubs and activities are student-designed and student-led. There are over 50 student-organized clubs, sports, academic groups and organizations to choose from – or students can start something new!


  • Japanese Language & Culture – In addition to the opportunity to study Japanese language, regular outings and excursions give students opportunities to explore Japanese culture, history and traditions. Students can learn the art of Japanese flower arranging and attend a tea ceremony; visit castles, hot springs, temples, and shrines; join in the fun at local festivals and performances; visit museums, plan a homestay, and more!

Geographic Setting

UWC ISAK Japan is located in the Nagano prefecture, host of the 1998 winter Olympics, in the town of Karuizawa (pop. 20,000), approximately 70 minutes from Tokyo by bullet train. Karuizawa is a popular year-round resort destination with four distinct seasons, including snowy winters!

Campus and Facilities

The college is located in a resort community in the town of Karuizawa (pop. 20,000), approximately 70 minutes from Tokyo by bullet train. Designed by award-winning architects and surrounded by nature, the campus sits in harmony with its surroundings, creating an inspiring environment for living and learning.

Campus facilities include modern school buildings and residential houses built with sustainable materials, a gymnasium with full basketball court, and a sports field. The college has committed to build a fifth residential building which will enable increased enrollment up to 250 students.

We encourage students to fully experience the greater community by enjoying the public amenities available in Karuizawa, including hiking trails, tennis courts, golf courses, ski slopes, and ice rinks.

In the Classroom

UWC ISAK Japan offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) curriculum for Grade 11 and 12. Its Pre-IB grade 10 curriculum helps students prepare for the rigors of the IBDP, but many students join UWC ISAK Japan only in Grade 11. Alongside standard courses, UWC ISAK Japan offers Japanese, Chinese, History, Economics, Sciences, Film and Visual Arts.

Outside the Classroom

Students at UWC ISAK Japan enjoy a wide range of co-curricular activities, ranging from sports and language clubs to MUN and debate. Currently there are 50+ clubs and activities at the College, all designed and run by students, complemented by the annual Project Week’s service projects. Throughout the year, the College also hosts workshops and lectures with entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators.

IBDP students design, implement and manage their own two-year Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) projects throughout Grade 11 and 12. Arts activities include Theatre Club, Dance Club, Glee Club, Film Club, student magazine and more. The College also has a wide range of sports clubs (including basketball, volleyball, rugby, baseball, badminton, soccer and running), outdoor education (hiking, camping), and off-campus opportunities (skiing, snowboarding, swimming).

Short Courses

UWC ISAK Japan Summer School is an exciting 2-week programme for middle school students (ages 12-14) from around the world. A world-class faculty challenges, engages and inspires participants with a curriculum that includes global topics, mindfulness practice, leadership, design innovation, outdoor activities, and Japanese cultural experiences. Since 2010, students from over 80 countries have participated in the summer school.


Students apply through their UWC national committee for Grade 11 enrollment. Students can apply directly to UWC ISAK Japan for Grade 10 admission. For more information, visit:

Meet some of the staff members here.

Meet the Head of School here.