Applications are now closed.

Thank you to all the applicants for the showing interest in Komatsu Summer School! 

We are thrilled to receive overwhelming responses from university students all different countries. For those who missed out on this year’s opportunity, there is still a chance next year! So please make sure to check back here again. 

In the meantime, if you have any concerns or enquiries, feel free to contact us via email or social media. 

KSS2021 General Overview

Key Information

Application Period: 2/14 – 2/28 

Interview Period: 3/8 – 3/22 

Notification of Results: 3/26 

Camp Dates: 8/2 – 8/9


Japanese & English. 

All seminars are taught in English. 

Other programming is in Japanese. 

Translation and support will provided to an extent. 


Able to participate in KSS2021 from August 2 – August 8 (JST) 

Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate institution

English level: native or near fluency 

Japanese level: intermediate or above

Able to commit 4-6 hours per week to work together with a house leader partner

Desired Qualities​

Familiar with liberal arts education and its mission

Willing to participate in programming held ONLY in Japanese

Create a seminar topic that is related to liberal arts education

Experience in educational settings


About Us

Komatsu Summer School (KSS) is an annual bilingual educational camp, composing of approximately sixty Japanese high school students coming from all over Japan. Since 2014, over 200 high school students have graduated from KSS. The camp is located in Komatsu City in Ishikawa Prefecture, which is a thirty-minute train ride southwest of Kanazawa.


During KSS, high school students attend seminars co-designed and co-taught in English by international and Japanese university students, known as Seminar Leaders and House Leaders here at KSS. For one week, high school students are exposed to the rich traditions and culture of Komatsu as well as knowledge of professionals from various fields of expertise. As students begin to look towards their future after high school, KSS hopes to provide them the opportunity to break out of their comfort zone, discover new interests, and connect with diverse individuals.


Seminar Leaders serve as an invaluable part of the journey at KSS. They serve both as a teacher as well as a mentor to high school students inside and outside of classes. Join us as we make lasting friendships, gain valuable teaching experience, powerfully impact the students’ lives, and explore a unique side of Japan this summer!

Mission: To expose Japanese students to a variety of opportunities and to expand their horizons


KSS was created by Princeton in Ishikawa (PII) host families in Komatsu to bridge PII students  with Komatsu City and the larger Ishikawa community. Today, it has become a program that connects students from all over Japan and the world.


At KSS, our aim is to help high schoolers discover and realize the diversity that lies beyond what they have experienced up until that point. Whether that means interacting with the other students and staff, being exposed to a liberal arts style education through the seminars, learning from speakers at the forums, or participating in other activities, KSS is here to support the students in their growth and development as young adults.

Being a Seminar Leader

As a Seminar Leader (SL), you serve two roles: a teacher and a mentor. You will design and teach a seminar in English over four days to two groups of students, each session lasting 90 minutes each day. SLs will also actively engage with a “house” consisting of five students outside of class. This house will form the bulk of your student interactions outside of the seminars. Not only will you eat breakfast and dinner together, you will also participate in social and cultural activities. However, you are also encouraged to interact with high schoolers outside of your house and seminar as well.

Leading a Seminar

Look back and think of a class you took and loved during college. Pick a few specific topics from that class, then collaborate with a Japanese college student to customize and focus them towards Japanese high school students. Now, take the place of your professor and teach it together. Of course, your inspiration can come from anything else that you are interested in or passionate about as well. As long as you are confident you can develop a concrete seminar around your topic, anything is fair game. In previous years, SLs have designed courses from a wide array of topics. The possibilities are endless. 

Role at KSS

KSS gives you the chance to teach something you are passionate about, be exposed to the Japanese language and culture, and connect with Japanese society on an even deeper level. You have the opportunity interact with high school and college students from various backgrounds and participate in fulfilling activities. More importantly, KSS fosters lasting relationships between the high schoolers and college students, which will allow you to stay connected to Japan even after you return home. While KSS may only be a week long, you will be surprised by how much you grow and how everyone becomes a close-knit family!

Support System

We understand that leading a seminar and house may seem like a daunting task. So for both roles, you will not be alone. You will be paired with a Japanese House Leader (HL), and they will not only help to  co-design and co-teach your seminar, they will also help you to lead your house. HLs are fluent in both Japanese and English and well- versed in Japanese culture. You will be working together to hash out the details of the seminar long before and throughout KSS. Inside and outside of the classroom, language support will always be provided to ensure you are kept in the loop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! We try our best to provide information in both English & Japanese. However, keep in mind the events mainly target high school students so they are held in Japanese.

Yes! Past SLs, your HL partner, and staff will help you from start to finish.

Not necessarily, but we highly recommend it. Building a seminar from scratch with no reading materials or previous experience can be challenging.

Three weeks before the start of KSS2021, Houses will begin virtually meeting to get to know each other. Activities such as ice breakers will be hosted by the House Leader. This is an opportunity for everyone to interact with each other. Additionally, all seminar teaching materials (i.e. lecture notes, powerpoints with voice recordings, videos, etc.) will be distributed to the high school students to allow them to prepare in advance.


I don’t exaggerate when I say that KSS has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. While all the Seminar Leaders came to KSS to serve a role as a teacher, the students here taught me more than I could ever hope to teach them. The passion and readiness with which the students participated in the liberal arts seminars was nothing short of inspiring. While this year’s unique, online format didn’t allow us to get to know each other face-to-face, the bonds that I formed with everyone are ones that will survive the time and distance that will come between us. Thanks to the wonderful staff and students, KSS really accomplished the impossible. In just one short week, a group of 86 strangers from across the globe were able to come together and form one, big family. I will always be grateful for the memories we all formed. Thank you, KSS!
Sage Hamm
KSSonline 2021
I could not have been more proud as I watched my KSS students create their posters and give their final presentations in which they taught me what they had learned in my class; witnessing my students grow so much in their self-confidence and eagerness to learn was incredibly fulfilling! I never imagined that my semester studying abroad in Tokyo would culminate with (inarguably) the best week of my entire time in Japan. This is 100% due to the incredible KSS staff and the wonderful students I was able to meet and form lasting friendships with. There are so many things KSS gave me, from experience in cross cultural work and learning environments, the opportunity to research and create my own curriculum on a subject I’m passionate about, to the motivation to work towards fluency in Japanese! I came to Komatsu a teacher, but after all of the things I learned through KSS that I’ll take with me forever, I definitely left a student. I never thought I’d find myself wishing that summer school lasted forever!
Jada Fraser
KSS has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career, which is why I’ve gone back every summer since my freshman year! It’s a program that lets you experience firsthand the value and impact of teaching, and from my own experiences at KSS, watching the students grow as they try to expand their horizons and challenge themselves in such a new environment moves you in ways that can’t be adequately put into words. While KSS is not without challenges and requires time and dedication, I personally believe that those are a part of what helps us SLs grow as people as well, and by the end of KSS, we all become one big, close community that I continue to cherish today.
Benjamin Liu

Contact Us

For all enquires, please contact us via social media or email us at komatsu.seminars@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you this summer at Komatsu Summer School!