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We want to nurture unique and active individuals with a global perspective.

Rie KuribayashiRepresentative of ISN


What does it mean to “live”?

…To develop the ability to make dreams come true every day.

Rie Kuribayashi
ISN Representative

Graduated from Bellaby’s College in England and the University of Buckingham in Early Childhood/Childhood Education. Proceeded to Birmingham Graduate School for an MBA. Seven years in Casablanca, Morocco, working as a trader in an investment bank while managing a French curriculum kindergarten and early childhood education. When she was delivering supplies to remote areas of Morocco, one day, she came into contact with children who were learning multilingualism and multiculturalism, and living in a harsh environment where nothing was available. And she became acutely aware of the poor learning environment for children living in Japan, where everything is available.” She believes that it is possible to establish a learning environment that creates happiness for oneself and one’s surroundings by “using multilingualism as a matter of course” and “creating by oneself”, even in a local city in Japan, and founded ISN in 2012.

Thank you for your interest in the International School of Nagano (ISN).
After 14 years of studying, living, and volunteering abroad, including in England and Morocco, I have become aware of the poor learning options available to children in Japan, a country where anything is possible.
While our society is changing and our interactions and relationships with the world are growing at a fast pace, I see how learning global sensibilities, languages, and skills still feels like something for the special few, like a tsunami is coming and many people are not doing anything about it.
It is not about getting stronger or winning, but creating a cycle in our living environment that nurtures the mind, skills, and knowledge to coexist in a way that is commensurate with social change. We believe that we can create a life in which we can enjoy our unique self together with the people around us.
We want to create an international education option for local learning. We hope that the individuality of each child will be respected, and that world-class learning will become a natural option for children living in rural cities rich in nature.

A learning environment that allows students to “follow the path they want to follow.”

When I returned to Japan after 14 years of working in the field of early childhood education overseas, I was shocked by the “poverty of the learning environment in a country where everything is so much better”. Human trafficking, child labor, conflict, poverty, discrimination… There are many children in the world who are struggling to survive today. On the other hand, in such a materially blessed country, how many Japanese children are provided with a wonderful environment to learn and prepare for the future?

In fact, I feel that the “power to make change,” which each and every child in Japan should have, is not being stretched as far as it could be. What is the cause of this? ISN believes that it is in the “purpose of learning”. If the “purpose of learning” is only to “get a good score on a test,” it is inevitable that the ability to think outside the box will be difficult to develop.
We don’t want every child in the world to be limited in English. ISN began with the idea of “I don’t want all the children who can work in the world to be handicapped by the English language,” and has continued to grow year by year with the parents and the community.
“We are strong in both English and Japanese, inquisitive and caring. …. Then what’s next?”
Even the best child can’t change the world alone. Everyone must work together to change it, and ISN creates the “catalyst” for that cycle.

We want to nurture individuals with a global perspective and a strong sense of individuality.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

It’s a phrase I like to use. I believe that it is the creation of an environment directly related to the essence of learning and the small efforts of one person that will lead to a big common dream and goal on a global scale: how we can all live happily.
Parents at ISN see their children off every morning not with a “good luck” but with a “have fun”. We hope that ISN can build a family-like partnership with you, that this project will continue to grow together, and that all children will have a learning option that fosters a sense, mind, skills, and knowledge of coexistence on a global scale. We hope that you will be able to join us in this endeavor.
We look forward to connecting and engaging with you…!