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Question: When did you start attending YES?

Mikiya: "I started when I was in first grade. I was one of the original students here. We had like very few kids at that time, like, we were always talking and playing with the teachers and everyone was really close at that time."

Question: Why did your parents decide to send you to YES?

Mikiya: "When I was a kid, my dream was to become a professional soccer player; actually that is still my dream, so my parents thought that It would be good for me to go to a school with a focus on English and physical exercise so that, one day, i would be able to play for a team outside Japan, or even if i played for a Japanese team, I would need English when i travelled abroad with my club."

Question: What was something that was hard for you when you first started here?

Mikiya: "I remember most of the other kids at that time went to international preschool and spoke English really well, but my English wasn't as good at the time; I mean I went to international preschool as well but for a much shorter time, so it was harder for me to communicate in English in Grade 1."

"P.E was also really hard when I first started because our teachers always tried to link physical exercise to being mentally stronger as well, and improving out attitude. We used to do barefoot P.E in the park which was hard at first but I got used to it. I think P.E really helped me to change both physically and mentally though; like i became physically and mentally stronger and i also learned how to take care of younger students and help others."

Question: What was something good about studying at YES?

Mikiya: " I think it was really good that all subjects like Science and Math were taught in English because it helped us to learn vocabulary naturally and get used to speaking English with our friends. I think because i learned English in this way, I could understand English in the real world better, like when I am watching the news or a documentary. Also, for me, learning something in both English and Japanese was great because it gave me a deeper, wider, and more flexible understanding of the subject, and I felt like i could get knowledge from two sources."

Question: Do you think YES was quite different from the school you're attending now?

Mikiya: " YES was definitely much more relaxed and i felt we had more freedom in, like, what we wanted to study, and communicating with teachers inside and outside the lesson. At YES, we could have more interactive lessons where we had a two way conversation with teachers, but I think, at most schools, there isn't much communication and teachers just set tasks for students to do.""Also, YES camping was also a really unique experience because it was similar to, like, survival training where we had to learn how to put up a tent, start a fire, and cook our own food.  I think this is a great way to learn new skills, like, nautrally, and become more mature in life."

Question: Were you were worried about life after graduating YES and where you would go to study next?

Mikiya: " We discussed it as a family in Grade 5-6 but my parents weren't concerned that much about it. A lot of the things i studied at YES helped me get into the school i am studying at now, especially my English level, and the fact that I could learn from teachers from many different cultures. Also, the things I learned at YES are really connected to what I am studying at middle school, like Greek mythology, essay writing, and other things."

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"In my English reading class, we are also doing poetry, like studying Robert Frost, whichw e also discussed in classes at YES. It just helped me feel more comfortable and confident in my middle school studies."

Question: How do you think you have changed because you attended YES?

Mikiya: "I think the way I think about things has changed a lot. When I first came into YES, I had difficulty with relationships with other students. YES helped me to become more open-minded and flexible by being able to communicate so much with teachers and other students. I feel like if i didn't come to YES, I would have been less considerate and more selfish. Right now, I really enjoy learning new things and I am curious about new stuff. I think this mindset is from YES. At YES, I learned how making relationships with people from diverse backgrounds can help me to find new ideas and ways of thinking."

Question: What would be your advice to someone thinking about joining YES?

Mikiya: "I would say, if you come to YES, you can learn about so many things not only in class, but also in the real world, in English and Japanese. You can learn deeply about many topics and understand many different ways of thinking. I think it's kind of like study before going to unversity; you can learn many different topics and subjects to find out about yourself and learn what you like. I remember i studied about my Core Values here, and I found out so much about myself during that unit of study. Now, I feel like I'm using what I learned at YES, not only in my middle school, but also in my everyday life."

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