Finding a balance
This program provides a great foundation for later participation in Middle School and Varsity inter-school sport. Beyond sports, MBIS offers a range of after-school club activities. In recent years, these have included clubs such as skateboarding, cooking, cheerleading, glee club, calligraphy, coding, board games, guitar, and chess. Some clubs are year-long, while others are seasonal, allowing students to participate in a wide range of activities. Those with interests in the musical and dramatic arts have a chance to showcase their talents in the annual school musical.
Although our Upper School students tend to devote their extra-curricular hours to athletics and school organizations, the school's Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS, part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) encourages and supports student-led activities, events, and clubs. Some of the most rewarding experiences have been students helping students, including tutoring classes for those in the Elementary School. Just as impressive is the number of students who have become active in protecting and preserving our environment - demonstrated by a growing number of student-led groups dedicated to change at school, in the local community, and beyond.
For over 30 years, MBIS has hosted a Model United Nations (MUN) General Assembly, attended by delegates from international schools around Japan. For many students, it becomes a keystone program for both personal and academic growth. For some, it has been the first stepping stone towards a career in international relations. In addition to the school's own MUN, we send our delegates to other events in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Harvard MUN and Pacific MUN (Hawaii).
Other regular trips include an annual Grade Six Camp, Upper School Ski Trip, Senior Trip, as well as field trips in Kobe, the Kansai region, and to locations as far afield as Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Okinawa. While our sports teams typically play against other schools in the region, they too will occasionally compete in invitational tournaments in other regions, or overseas. Likewise, while our service-orientated groups and organizations tend to have a local focus, it is not unusual for students to organize or participate in trips or events held further afield.
A common thread linking all these extra-curricular or co-curricular activities is opportunity - new, interesting, engaging and motivating means for students to become more inquiring; more knowledgeable; more responsible; more caring; better communicators. We want our students to take on new challenges and learn from them.
If you are coming from a more 'traditional' school environment, you might find MBIS students' high level of dedication and commitment to the school and its community quite surprising. There are likely very few schools with such a high percentage of participation in school-based activities and organizations. We do not force students to participate - but most do (in fact, sometimes the hardest job is getting them to go home!). We are proud of our students and school community, and believe that it reflects the breadth, depth, and quality of education at MBIS.