KAC Essay Contest

Since the inception of our virtual exchange program Global Classmates in 2012, we have connected over 10,000 high school students in the United States and Japan. To commemorate this milestone, Kizuna Across Cultures, the non-profit organization that facilitates Global Classmates, is launching a first-ever essay contest!


Virtual exchange is a very unique activity and it is difficult, even for those adults who are supporting all of you, to know exactly what you were able to gain from it. We hope you will share your story and express yourself freely! The winners will receive a prize! We look forward to your submissions!


1) Deadline

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Considering the temporary school closures in Japan due to the Coronavirus, we have decided to extend the essay contest deadline to Monday, April 13th, 2020.


2) Awards

Grand Prize: $300 Amazon gift card

Second Prize: $150 Amazon gift card

Honorable Mention: $70 Amazon gift card

*There may be multiple winners in each category


3) Guidelines

Please submit an essay in your native language on the following topic:

Essay should be up to approximately 600 words in English or 1500 words in Japanese.


After sharing what was memorable about your experience participating in Global Classmates, please address one or more of the following.

  • What you became determined to do because of Global Classmates
  • What you learned because of Global Classmates
  • Any changes that occurred in your life because of Global Classmates
  • Any actions you have taken because of Global Classmates
  • How you want to change your country or the world as someone who have experienced Global Classmates


4) Details

  • Your Submission

*Please include the following in your Word document

① Applicant Information

Full name, age, name of high school, Email address

Name of the teacher who facilitated Global Classmates

The year you began your participation in Global Classmates, your current affiliation (college, occupation, etc.)

② Essay (up to approximately 600 words)

③ Your headshot attached in the Word document

*The file name of the Word document should be your full name (ex: “John Smith”)


5) How to Submit

Please email the above Word document to info@kacultures.org . There is no fee to participate. The subject of the email should be “Essay Submission: Full Name.”


6) Eligibility

Anyone who has participated in Global Classmates program run by Kizuna Across Cultures.


7) Judges

Kizuna Across Cultures staff and advisors


8) Result Announcement

We will first announce the winners in April 2020 on Kizuna Across Cultures Facebook page. (We will notify the announcement to the applicants)

We will also announce the winners on KAC’s website a week later.


9) Usage of Submitted Essays

The essay author retains copyright to their work.

However, Kizuna Across Cultures (KAC) holds the right to use the submission (including photo) in KAC-related medium freely without further consent. (KAC retains the publishing and usage rights)


10) Organizer

      Kizuna Across Cultures, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization


11) Contact