Keio Academy of New York, one of the High Schools affiliated with the entire Keio educational system, was founded in 1990. It is a high school accredited by New York State and is a member of NYSAIS (The New York State Association of Independent Schools). NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools) certified Keio Academy for the second time in 2011. The academy is also authorized as an “overseas educational institution” by the Ministry of Education in Japan. With the collapse of the “bubble economy,” most secondary education Japanese schools overseas were closed, our school has its special significance.
It is most essential for students who have grown up in Japan to improve their English ability during the course of their studies at Keio Academy. Students who believe that their English ability is not satisfactory to meet the challenges of their future as globalized citizens, improve their overall sophistication and competitiveness by reading many books and textbooks, asking questions of teachers, writing reports, and using English as much as possible during their school life. On the other hand, for our students who have confidence in their English, but who lack command of Japanese, there are many opportunities to talk with teachers and friends everyday in Japanese. They come to use Japanese naturally and fluently and gain confidence in themselves. However, it is important to make every effort to improve their reading comprehension and essay writing abilities by studying courses such as Kokugo (Japanese), Koten (classical literature), and Japanese history. Although it is not easy to study in both languages simultaneously, I have a strong belief that, just as their predecessors, new students will have glorious future and a feeling of great achievement once they graduate.
As our students are living in the United States, they will naturally acquire “frontier spirit,” which then leads to the enterprising spirit of our founder, Yukichi Fukuzawa, who came over here for the first time on a ship called Kanrin-maru in 1860 and experienced various cultural differences. At the same time, our students will get direct contact with the basis of democracy. I would especially like them to learn the fairness and the acknowledgment of excellence. I believe that seeing excellence in others will lead to finding one’s own excellence.
In the age of Yukichi Fukuzawa, it was of foremost priority for Japan to adopt civilization of the advanced countries. At present, it is time that Japan let the world know what it has accomplished. I strongly hope that our students with their excellent communication competence and international mind will one day contribute to the well-being of the world.