Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Yumiko Watanabe Fukai

Learn more about Yumiko Watanabe Fukai, Alumni (attended ISL 1977 to1981)

Yumiko Watanabe Fukai

Where are you living now?
Tokyo, Japan.

What did you do after you left ISL?
I went back to Tokyo and entered a local middle school.

What did you study at University?
Languages and Linguistics (French, English, Japanese).

Do you feel your ISL education prepared you well for University?
Yes! Not directly, because I left ISL as early as 9th grade, but I learned all the basic academic skills at ISL.

What are you doing now?
I translate, write and teach. I organize translation workshops and seminars. I'm self-employed. 

Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?
I would never have pursued this career had I not gone to ISL. Before arriving in Luxembourg I knew only Japanese. I learned English, French, and German at ISL, and was taught reading and writing intensively.

What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
Multi-lingual and multi-cultural experience.

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
Try anything and everything the school has to offer. I went back for the 50th anniversary and was amazed at the facilities. Make friends with kids from as many countries as possible.

Were you involved in any clubs/activities at ISL? What did you enjoy about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I was in musicals and concerts. I loved going on sports trips to various cities in Europe. We stayed with host families or hosted for visiting teams and making new friends each time was fun. We all sang "We Are the Champions" in the bus coming back although we didn't always win. I was also the yearbook photographer. 

Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning?
Offers diverse experience both inside and outside the school.

How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?
It helped me widen my horizon. Before arriving in Luxembourg at age 10 I only knew my home country. At ISL I learned that there are so many different cultures. We were a very small school back in the late 70s -- about a dozen children in each grade -- but there were so many nationalities! Also, because the school was so small, we all knew each other across different grades. It's amazing how, after 40 years, we still keep in touch with each other although we are spread across the globe.

Describe ISL in 5 words
A cultural crossroad for everyone.







  • Alumni