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Alumni Interviews

Chihiro Kawabuchi


<after graduating from KIUA>
2007 enrolled in University of Southern California
2011 employed by Barclays Capital - Japan

Who am I? I have thoroughly thought this through and I am confident in the choices I have made.

I feel that KIUA is a school that helps students discover who they really are. I imagine that guidance counselors at Japanese high schools would help to make college arrangements for the students. However, at KIUA the teachers help the students to think through their interests and what they want to do with their lives. The students need to take the initiative to contact the schools they are interested in and collect the necessary information. University preparation is the responsibility of the students. If a student fails or succeeds, it is his own responsibility so students naturally think seriously about their lives. My explanation may make it sound like the teachers are irresponsible. On the contrary, the teachers are all extremely helpful. If there is something I do not understand, they will work with me however long it takes, to make sure I get it! In short, I guess what I am saying is that KIUA's method of advising is to not give me the answer, but to give me the necessary guidance so I can learn to think for myself. I heard many of my teachers say repeatedly, 'There is more than one correct answer. How you process your thoughts is what really counts.' Learning to think for myself and placing value on who I am has helped me have confidence in my career choices - going abroad to study at University of Southern California and being hired by a British financial enterprise. I look forward to my new job and continuing to live true to myself.


Tomoki Mitsuhashi


<after graduating from KIUA>
2010 enrolled in KIU
2011 transferred to Bradley University

I am going to the US to study American graphic design, and then I want to come back to Japan and apply what I learned.

At KIUA I learned how to think logically and it expanded my horizons. I learned what the worlds' standards are - what is acceptable and what is not. I learned to consider the good points in the accepted thinking and what the good points are in the opposing viewpoint. I think this trait sets KIUA apart from Japanese schools. Thinking through these different ideologies gave me freedom to choose my own. As I studied at KIUA, I saw that some of my thinking is not necessarily the accepted ideology of the 'world' and I was able to develop my own unique ideology.
For example, I joined the yearbook committee my senior year. My job was to design the front cover. As I looked over previous cover pages, I had the idea to do something totally different. I enjoyed this designing project so much that I decided this was something I wanted to pursue in college. Now I am transferring to a university in Illinois to major in graphic design. I feel American graphic design is very unique. There are many excellent American designers. I want to learn all I can and bring my expertise back and put it to use in Japan.


Joel Blocksom


<after graduating from KIUA>
2011 enrolled in

         University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)

My dream is to be a world-class volleyball player and I am going to give it my best shot!

My KIUA teachers inspired me. Not only my homeroom teachers, but all my teachers. They have all had many experiences and they gave me helpful advice regarding my future. Words a teacher spoke to me soon after beginning high school have stayed with me: "instead of having regrets for something you never tried, you would be better off having regrets over something you tried." Since then, I have tried to do my best in everything I had the opportunity to try. I have been student body president, captain of the volleyball and basketball teams. My dream is to be a professional volleyball player and I want to chase this dream and do my very best to achieve this goal!

One important strength that I developed at KIUA is my ability to give presentations. KIUA models western-style education which places an emphasis on self-expression. At KIUA I had many opportunities to express myself though my presentation assignments. I found that I can give presentations quite naturally. I realized that the key is to be well-prepared! If you know your material well and research everything related to the topic, you can field questions from any angle quite easily. The skills I have acquired at KIUA will benefit me as I study in university, in my career after that, and also in every day interactions.

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