Columbia International School (CIS) encourages us to stand on our own feet. Students have to work out things either on their own or with their classmates by discussing and researching.
When I started junior high school, I struggled with the piles of assignments that were not always easy. At first, I could only think of completing and handing them in on time. However, I found out that my prior knowledge wasn’t enough. I had to research more about the topic myself and get feedback from teachers, but this is easier said than done. I had to use my time efficiently to make time for research and complete my assignment.
CIS taught me that there are fun ways to study. I enjoyed going on field trips which were usually related to what we are learning in class. For example, in social studies, I learned about the Chinese civilization, and I had to make Chinese terracotta warriors out of clay. The teacher took everyone to the Ueno Museum so we can actually look at the structure of the figures. Unlike learning from textbooks and worksheets during class, field trips allow us to actually see and experience what we are learning about. Because of this, I can gain extra knowledge and a better understanding about the topic, helping me to complete assignments.
Columbia International School helped me realize the importance of self-management, taking initiative, managing time, and collaborating with others through assignments, classes, and events.
I have been learning English of course but also studying many other things. I had never known anything about the language when I entered CIS, my parents didn’t speak the language at all and I was very nervous and worried. But the more days I spent the more skills I built and I found myself using English to communicate with the foreign teachers and students. Those teachers are all friendly and help create a relaxing classroom atmosphere for us. Students volunteer opinions during class and ask questions which seems to be very different from the Japanese classes where students just sit at their desk and listen to teachers. As we moved into higher grades we had more student presentations in the classes and I became more active and could take initiative. Students here are asked for their own ideas in tests and that brushed up our thinking skills very much. Rote memory didn’t help us with these tests and we are always asked to explain reasons why we think so. We are also expected to go through Peer Feedback before we hand in our work or assignments. Peer Feedback helps us find careless errors in our work and collaborate rather than competing against one another. That’s how we establish our relationship with classmates. The school environment is very friendly and comfortable, with less stress. I like the school and I am proud of being a student of this school. I really thank my parents for letting me be a student at this school. I am more looking forward too many new things to learn so I will be more ready to be a responsible citizen of this global society.
I learned about Columbia International School via one of my friends. My daughter had been taking English Eikaiwa lessons for a long time and we decided to visit the school on its open campus day. My daughter told me that she wanted to study at CIS in August of the same year. The reason was that she believed she would be able to challenge both English and Japanese archery. I found it did make sense as it would be almost impossible going to a Japanese school and participate in a school club and take Eikaiwa lessons as well as the Japanese archery practice. I wanted to support her wish but I didn’t know anything about an international school. I started studying about international schools researching tuition fees, education systems, what to do with Japanese compulsory education, what to do if she has to go through the Japanese high school Juken exams, how to commute to and from school and a lot. I worried that I couldn’t support her as I don’t understand English and wondered if her English level was high enough to even get accepted.
Then a friend said to me, “This educational experience will be a great asset for her life”. Those words helped wash away my fears and made me feel positive towards supporting my daughter dream. I believe it is very important for children to learn from many different experiences and I believe Columbia is a very supportive school for my daughter to learn and experience the world.
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