Gakko Summer Camp is for high school students who are interested in Design, Technology, Music, Theater, New Media/Film, and/or Social Innovation. Six mentors, each representing one discipline, create project-based workshops over two weeks to invite our campers to join their "investigations".
Kenta Koga, CEO and Founder of Gakko, is an experience designer, a professional magician, and an entrepreneur. Previous to Gakko, Kenta worked at Palantir Technologies and Flux (Google [x] start-up) designing softwares and programming languages in Silicon Valley. Outside of work, he is passionate about kickboxing, filmmaking, and scuba diving. Kenta studied Computer Science, Graphic Design, and Theater, at Yale University.
Lilly's professional (and personal) background is nothing if not diverse! Prior to joining the Gakko team, Lilly worked in education and non-profit, restaurant and hospitality industry, and as a consultant. She has studied Theater, Anthropology and Business. Most recently, she's been strategizing and visioning at Uber as a Workplace manager, creating spaces that support the next generation of future workers. Now, as part of the Gakko project, she is transforming the way future generations will find and be inspired by meaningful learning, connection, and experiences.
Each year, we encourage kohai to document their own personal experiences at camp using photography and the visual arts. This gallery is a glimpse into their experiences.View Camps Gallery →
Educating the Heart
We believe there is a crucial, oft-forgotten intersection between learning and authentic individual development. At camp, our work reveals how educational journeys must also be personal ones. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” — Aristotle
Sempai design educational workshops as “investigations” rather than “classes” so kohai can immerse themselves in learning alongside mentors. Regardless of prior experience, kohai become rigorous practitioners in a multitude of fields and launch their own academic, artistic, and personal investigations to carry with them long after they leave camp.
We approach every day at camp with curiosity. Kohai encounter unexpected surprise and inexplicable beauty as they reimagine themselves, their talent, and their responsibility to one another.
We become with each other, or not at all
This is a meeting of strangers in a strange place. We require the wholehearted collaboration of each participant in our diverse, international community to build a healthy, supportive, and productive environment.
In Bali, actor Oriana taught high school students the power of "going when you’re not ready" through her clowning workshop. Over three days, students learned to be vulnerable but also courageous, engaging in various scene studies that required improvisation. Clowning isn’t just for actors. People who dream big will always be faced with spontaneous and unexpected challenges, and listening to the "clown" within themselves can help them tackle those frictions with a sense of hope, flexibility, and joy. Oriana received her MFA in Theater from Brown University and is now based in NYC.
…she came home with a new worldview. She said every day took her out of her comfort zone and by the end, she felt as if it was the best day she had ever experienced […] She said the students were from all corners of the world and this created both challenges and incredible opportunities for dialogue, shared understanding, and friendship. And the bonus, which is where the magic is translated, is that she returned with a concrete recognition that she matters.”
—Beata, parent of 2017 kohai
Gakko’s tuition covers room, board and any activities organized by camp. We also cover the cost of transporting kohai to and from the designated local airport or train station (the “meeting point”) to the camp location. But, kohai are responsible for all costs of getting to the designated airport or train station.
Read reviews from “kohai” who experienced Gakko on Go Overseas or Youtube. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get linked up with alumni from Gakko who can answer more questions.
We make every effort to work with kohai to make Gakko as safe, comfortable and successful as possible. Requests for special needs are determined on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us at email@example.com and we can set up a call to discuss your case with one of our camp directors.
Please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions—We look forward to hearing from you!
We will notify you as soon as possible whether or not you have been selected for an interview. In the meantime, take a dance break and follow Gakko happenings as we get closer to camp.
The camp is open to all high school students (typically age 14-18). Since camp is conducted entirely in English, we ask that all applicants have basic English abilities, but even if you’re not confident in your English, send us an application! No TOEFL or GPA required in order to apply.
Kohai come from all over the world, with a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstance. Because the Gakko experience is rooted in collaboration, creativity and intellectual curiosity, it is important to demonstrate these attributes in your application. Mostly, kohai are selected because we believe that they offer something unique to share with their fellow kohai and sempai.
Yes. You will receive an updated admissions timeline should you be admitted to a waiting list.
Applications for need-based tuition assistance are considered separately from admissions and are awarded based on the availability of funds and the merit of the applicant’s case. Not all requests for tuition assistance can be accommodated.
Please apply for tuition assistance as part of your admissions application. Admitted students who are eligible for aid will receive information about their award when they are admitted to camp. All admitted kohai must confirm their participation by placing a deposit within 10 days of receiving their admissions decision.
Kohai and their families are solely responsible for the successful completion of any paperwork required for program attendance. We make every effort to supply documentation that is required for your visa applications, and we encourage you to communicate with us if you encounter any difficulties. We know it’s a tedious process and we’re here to help in any way we can!
You are responsible for the cost of travel (flight, train ticket, etc.) to a meeting point for your camp. Once admitted, kohai will receive more information regarding meeting points and travel upon acceptance to the program.
Kohai sleep in dormitories (separated by gender) with 2-5 roommates. Our staff works with a team of professional chefs to design a meal plan, with an emphasis on local ingredients and accommodating all kohai dietary needs. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are communal events and often the most meaningful moments in our day.
The safety and well-being of kohai is our top priority. All activities are supervised by camp directors and medical staff is available on site 24/7. We employ local personnel at camp venues, equipped with area knowledge and language skills. If you have any further questions regarding safety, please do not hesitate to email us at email@example.com
Yes. Please let us know prior to attending camp what you will require in order to practice, and we will be sure to communicate how we can accommodate.
Yes. If you are traveling outside of your country of residence, you will need travel insurance. Please note that it is a requirement when applying for a visa.