Global Classmates Summit

Virtual Exchange Meets Real World: 

Relationships that students from the United States and Japan cultivated online blossom as they meet one another in person to discover, dialogue, and collaborate.


Global Classmates Summit selects a handful of outstanding students who participated in Kizuna Across Culture’s virtual exchange program and brings them together in Washington, DC for in-person dialogue and collaboration. During the ten-day Summit, the students live under the same roof and participate in various activities ranging from teambuilding exercises to meeting international leaders and experts. At the end of the program, participants reflect on what they have learned, and as young leaders share their thoughts on building a positive future for US-Japan relations and the broader international community.


Since its launch in 2012 our virtual language and cultural exchange program, Global Classmates, has connected 6,500 high school students in the United States and Japan, making a powerful impact on the students and their future. We have been impressed by how students have built friendships with one another and cultivated mutual appreciation for each other’s culture.

Global Classmates Summit 2018

Global Classmates Summit 2018 will take place in Washington, DC from late July to early August.


Twelve high school students (six from the US and six from Japan) were selected from a pool of 1,700 participants of our virtual exchange program in the previous year.


During the Summit, the students will stay together at a local University dorm and engage in various activities such as: exploring the capital of the United States; exchanging cultures with each other; meeting with experienced leaders, as well as internationally minded young professionals and university students; and working together to make a presentation on their learnings and takeaways from the Summit.


* Prior to arriving in Washington DC, students from Japan will gather in Tokyo to participate in pre-departure activities.

Summit 2018 Participants


United States


     Gwendolyn (Grey) Berndt

     South County High School



                  Mark Albrecht

                  Clarkstown High School

               (New York)           


            Samantha Chan

            Mills High School




      Shun Wetlesen    

     International School of

     Beaverton (Oregon)


                    Tatiana Ahmad

                    Langley High School



                       Zahra Ganem

                       Mills High School






         Ayana Nishizuka   

         Himeji Shikisai High School     



          Ginta Iida    

          National Institute of Technology,

         Hakodate College (Hokkaido)


              Honoka Sakaguchi

         Fukuoka Futaba High School




           Kento Habe

           Toho High School (Tokyo)


                Momoka Miura

                Fukushima Minami High School



                Tetsuya Yoshimura

                Kindai University High School (Osaka)

Summit 2018 Photo Album

Coming late August

Summit 2018 Sponsors

US  US Embassy             Japan Foundation





Summit 2017 Stories

Please click here