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Fukuoka International School: Celebrating 50 Years

From humble beginnings to a well-established international school with a vibrant and diverse community, Fukuoka International School is proud to be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022.

Fukuoka International School

Established in 1972 to serve the foreign population of Fukuoka, Fukuoka International School provides a high-quality international education within an environment of care and excellence. The IB World School will be celebrating 50 Years of Inspiring Global Minds throughout the 2021/2022 school year and hopes to involve both past and present Fukuoka International School community members in its celebrations.

How You Can Get Involved

Join the Celebrations
Friends, family, alumni and supporters of Fukuoka International School are invited to attend a 50th Anniversary Gala taking place at the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk on 19th March 2022. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for past and present community members to come together to reminisce, celebrate and look to the future for Fukuoka International School” says Head of School, Robin Schneider. “We’re really proud of the achievements we have made throughout our first 50 years as a school and we really hope we can celebrate this special milestone with some of the people who have been instrumental to getting us to where we are today.”

A cocktail evening with an international flair; Fukuoka International School’s 50th Anniversary Gala will feature an exclusive menu curated by the Hilton’s Executive Chef to showcase international flavors from the key Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk restaurants. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at

Share your Memories
Fukuoka International School is putting together a commemorative 50th Anniversary book to capture this special moment in their history. Displayed in a coffee-table style format, the book will feature a glimpse into FIS’ history alongside capturing the school as it stands today and documenting some of the 50th anniversary celebrations.

If you have a strong connection to Fukuoka International School and you would like to share a memory, story, or anniversary wish to be featured within Fukuoka International School’s 50th Anniversary book, please contact Rachel Richardson (Marketing & Communications Manager) at Book purchasing details will be made available on the Fukuoka International School website next year.

Fukuoka International School

Fukuoka International School

The Journey of Fukuoka International School

Fukuoka International School has achieved remarkable growth in its first 50 years. The school is particularly proud of its unique journey and wants to acknowledge all of the staff, students, parents and members of the Fukuoka community who have played a fundamental part in building and nurturing the strong community that it is today.

The idea of creating an international school in Fukuoka was born following a government announcement in early 1972, where it was revealed that the Fukuoka air bases (along with their schools) were going to be closing. The foreign population of Fukuoka took matters into their own hands, calling a meeting to discuss the education options for their children. After much discussion, they decided to create a new school that would meet the education needs of foreign children in Fukuoka.

Fukuoka International SchoolLeft: The original teaching staff. From left to right: (sitting) Alta Breunsbach, Phyllis Bruggers, Eleanor Holland, (standing) Jean Shepard   /  Right: The original school-house in Hakozaki

The plan for the new school came together quickly. Former teachers Alta Breunsbach, Phyllis Bruggers, Eleanor Holland and Jean Shepard agreed to be the teachers at the new school. Desks, chairs and textbooks were gifted by the nearby (closing) air bases and a residential house in Hakozaki was chosen as the location for the new school. On the 5th of September 1972, the new school officially opened with a total of four teachers and 31 foreign students (between grades 1-8). Classes were held in the living room, bedrooms and tatami room of the school house, and the kitchen became a science lab.

Enrollment grew steadily as Kyushu’s foreign population expanded, and by the late 1980s, the school roll was fast approaching 100. With the support of donations from the community, construction of a new campus in Momochi began to enable the school to continue to meet the needs of the expanding foreign population of Fukuoka and Kyushu. In 1990, Fukuoka International School relocated to its new riverside campus, where it continues to operate today.

Fukuoka International School

Now a thriving community of over 300 students and 40 internationally-qualified teachers, Fukuoka International School is incredibly proud of the growth it has achieved throughout its first 50 years, whilst also retaining its small-school community feel. “It’s a welcoming community base where everyone feels at home” a former student describes. “You feel like you know everyone regardless of whether they are a staff member or student in any grade level”. Fukuoka International School is looking forward to honoring this community and celebrating its history throughout the 2021/2022 school year.

For enrollment inquiries or to find out more about Fukuoka International School, please visit

Fukuoka International School

Momochi / Nishijin
Published: Dec 3, 2021 / Last Updated: Dec 3, 2021

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