A few sentences do not do justice to the impact Komatsu Summer School had on everyone. The students initiated conversations in English as much as possible, and consequently, they not only improved their speaking skills but also became more confident in trying new things. Additionally, the students’ participation during the seminar I taught blew me away. Despite the challenges that come with learning a foreign language, the students I worked with fearlessly presented their thoughts in front of their classmates in English. They improved their critical thinking abilities by listening carefully to others’ comments, developing their own opinions, and being intellectually curious when engaging with the course material. Seeing the students grow and build strong connections with each other within the span of only a week truly inspired me.
Voices of Past SLs
KSS brings out the best in our Seminar Leaders, and they bring out the best in us!
KSS has truly reaffirmed my love of teaching and the subjects I’m interested in. I wasn’t sure if I was capable of creating classes and successfully delivering what I wanted to say, but with everyone’s help and positivity it was easy to keep at it and create the best class I could for the students. Their willingness to learn and share their own thoughts/opinions was honestly so inspirational, to those that are interested KSS it really is a great environment to try something new. Knowing you were able to share something valuable with your students and join a community of other people who want to make a positive impact on the world gives you such a wonderful sense of fulfillment, I completely encourage those who are interested to try it out!
I think the most unique part about KSS is that it is just as much a learning experience for the seminar leaders as it is for the high school students. Whether through the cross-cultural interactions, the teaching itself, or the many interesting perspectives the high-school students shared during our discussions, almost every moment of KSS was an extremely valuable learning experience for me. Needless to say, KSS is a one-of-a-kind experience, and I will absolutely never forget about my time there!!
KSS provided me an opportunity to try something I had not before: teaching. While I have always loved learning, it was new to me to create my own seminar content and activities, and then share with students. The highlight of my seminar was when students would provide new perspectives on the subject that I had not thought of before. I am honored that I was able to be a part of these student’s journeys and ignite the fire of their intellectual curiosity. Even moments outside of the class impacted me. I was able to meet new people who share similar passions and I looked forward to our daily reflections every day. It was a completely unique experience and everyone involved in KSS are truly there to support you and the students.
At first, I was really stressed about whether my high school students would be excited about my seminar topic, which was politics-based. I remember working hard on my powerpoint presentations and sometimes feeling overwhelmed. However, once I arrived at KSS, I realized very early on that everybody there was so eager to learn from every opportunity they got. All of my students were so ready to take as much away from the discussions and mini lectures that I incorporated into the days as possible, and that inspired me to work just as hard for them. Therefore, I felt like I had been given a very important role in the development of the high school students in the summer school via teaching them about creating change in political-social issues. I had so much fun hearing about everybody’s experiences with the various social issues we covered in my seminar, as well as getting to know everybody’s personalities and having both fun and deep conversations daily with all of them. Being a seminar leader was truly an enlightening and inspiring experience, and I will definitely cherish all the moments of gratefulness and growth that I encountered during a very rewarding week.
Risa Kanai・KSS2021 online
My experience at KSS has absolutely transformed my perspective on teaching and cross-cultural interaction between myself and my bright-minded and ambitious high school students. It was a pleasure seeing how much my students were able to grow not just in their English-speaking abilities, but their overall improvements in their life skills as hard-working individuals. I also observed myself improving as a teacher by learning from trial and error and being able to work together with my HL partner and other fellow members of the Seminar Team in order to create the most thought-provoking seminars for my students. My wonderful experience at KSS can be attributed to all of the highly devoted and kind staff members and the optimistic students, who made every seminar that I taught very fulfilling and special. I have also made many precious friendships throughout the program, which I hope to cherish even after my experience at KSS.
Maria Monalisa Victorio Handoko・KSS2021 online
KSS 2021 gave me a memorable summer that reaffirmed my desire to become a teacher! I was proud to be a part of a team of passionate university students around the world who sincerely gave their best in supporting high schoolers on their journey of personal development. Witnessing my students stepping out of their comfort zone and growing throughout the week was very inspiring. Although it was done online, I felt that the community created an atmosphere that fostered meaningful conversations and relationships. I entered KSS with a teaching role but left learning so much more from my students and teammates.
Crystal Gong・KSS2021 online
The environment that everyone put into making KSS happen was magical. Having a place where students, regardless of age, where able to engage critically with liberal arts supported by all the amazing staff is a unique opportunity that I am grateful to have. Not only did I see my students grow in the short span of a week, I also grew as an instructor. I was nervous and unsure of how it would turn out as I held the heavy responsibility of leading my first seminar, but now I leave KSS with a sense of fulfillment, pride, and a whole new community.
Aya Sakonju・KSS2021 online
KSS is an invaluable experience that has opened a lot more doors. This program is truly unique because it is not only about teaching and learning but it successfully builds self-confidence, character, and curiosity. I knew I did my job when by the end, students were saying “I can see why you get so excited when you talk about this topic.” I never thought the email with the KSS website link my professor sent me would be this life-changing. Everyone here genuinely always has each other’s back.
Grace Lim・KSS2021 online
KSS is overloaded with inspiring experiences — from language and cultural exchanges, exploring new perspectives and making everlasting friendships. Looking back at all the moments of experiences and success, I can confidently say that KSS has found purpose to the things I’ve learned as a college student. Participating as a SL was an opportunity to pay forward my learning experiences to the high school students, and seeing their confidence improve and making self-motivated attempts more and more over time made me realize that I have the capability to make a valuable impact on other people, even of different cultures and languages! Though KSS, I discovered an entirely new side of myself that I would have never realized I had otherwise.