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 8,300 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 2019

Global Classmates Summit 2019 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 over 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 2019 Participants


United States


     Trotter Alexander

     Evanston Township High



                  Sophia Bingham

                  Scott County High School



            Lamia Bushra

            Stuyvesant High School

         (New York)         



           Shelbie Gray

           Ocean Lakes High

           School (Virginia)


                Steven Hatano

                Northern Valley Regional

                High School of Old

                Tappan (New Jersey)


                Hannah Kindree

                South Lyon East High School






           Ryo Azuma

           Fukushima Minami

           High School (Fukushima)


                Wakana Fukuta

                Ikeda High School



                Nozomu Ninomiya

                Matsuyama Central High School




           Hikaru Omiya

           Yasufuruichi High School



                Rei Oura

                Ishinomaki High School



                Aiko Yano

                Komatsugawa High School



Summit 2019 Photo Album

Coming late August

Summit 2019 Sponsors

US  US Embassy             





Summit 2018 Stories

Please click here

Summit 2017 Stories

Please click here