What is International school?
It is said that international school have been established and developed for foreign students living in Japan. However, in this global age, the number of international schools which also accept Japanese local students has been increasing. The reason why Japanese citizens want their children to enter international school is that they are willing to have their children in Western educational culture and with good English. Or, they may have a doubt in school education in Japan.
What is International preschool?There are two kinds of preschools or international kindergartens in Japan. Ones are a part of international schools, which provide primary and secondary education; from elementary school to high school. Another style is in the case where they are independent. In the latter case, preschools have a role to help children who are trying to enter international school as well as to educate other children internationally before they enter Japanese elementary school.
Authorization and CertificateBecause international schools are not authorised by Japanese educational law, graduates are sometimes required to take qualifications of candidacy for an examination to enroll Japanese university depending on where they graduated from. To be authorized, international schools have to be admitted by international organizations as below.
・Western Association of Schools and Colleges
・Council of International Schools
・Association of Christian Schools International
TuitionIt, of course, depends on which international school you go, but the average is said to be over 17,000 USD.
CriteriaGenerally, the priority is students’ English skill. Unless one of their parents has his/her English skill at native level, their entrance is rejected at most of the international schools. Because they cannot keep up with their study provided in English and their teachers and parents have a difficulty understanding each other . Also, because the number of Japanese children who want to enter international school has been increased, traditional international schools set strict criterias; non-Japanese or overseas experience at least for three or five years.
International Schools in TokyoSt. Mary’s International School in Setagaya: WASC, EAIS, IB
Seisen International School in Setagaya: WASC, ECIS
International School of the Sacred Heart in Shibuya: WASC, ECIS
American School in Japan in Chofu, WASC
Canadian International School in Shinagawa, ECIS, IB
Christian Academy in Japan in Kurume: WASC
K International School Tokyo in Koutou: IB
International Preschools in TokyoKitty International Preschool in Setagaya
Tamagawa International Preschool in Setagaya
Komazawa Park International School
International Preschool in Meguro
Aoba Japan International School in Meguro
IssuesThe biggest problem can be said that Japanese local students find themselves in trouble because of lack of English ability both in their study and private. There is a huge risk not be able to master skills for negotiation or self‐assertion in both Japanese and English. it happens often when one of their parents is a native speaker of Japanese and they live in Japan.
Secondly, Japanese local students going to international school may have a problem with their literacy in Japanese. If they cannot read or write in Japanese, it would be a handicap in Japanese society, especially when they have an identity as a Japanese. Although, it is a burden for both parents and children to learn English at home and ESL classes while they study Japanese literacy at home and cram school at the same time.
Lastly, If a child with Japanese nationality is going to enter international school, he/she has to be aware of his/her future matter with qualifications of candidacy for an examination to enroll Japanese university.
SummaryThere are two kinds of international schools in Japan; international schools admitted by one of the international educational organizations and international preschools only providing education for toddlers. The number of Japanese people wanting to enroll in international school has been increasing as a result of parents willingness to educate their children in English and Western culture. However, the education system at international schools is very different from that at Japanese public schools. You have to be aware of the educational problems you will face in the future, especially when taking examinations for entrance into Japanese Universities.