Post: Tuesday June 25, 2013
When expat families with kids are moving to Japan, they need to organize the school ahead of the time.
There are many international schools in Japan. In Japan, schools taught in English or schools that teach to non-Japanese students are normally called “international schools.”
While there are schools that follow their national curriculum such as the American School, British School, Indian School, etc., other schools teach in English based on their own educational principles and philosophy, and a few schools are accredited to offer IB curriculum(s).
PLAZA HOMES provides an up-to-date list of international schools teaching either in English or other foreign languages for foreign children living in the Tokyo and Yokohama areas.
Usually, expats considering the transfer to Japan visit Japan on a pre-assignment trip. At that time, they often visit several schools that they’re considering for their children to learn more about those schools such as school missions, curriculum, tuition, etc. to make decision on a school. After returning to their present residence, parents need to organize school records, a health certificate, etc. that are required for admission of the school(s). The admission documents differ from school to school. Sometimes it even takes time to obtain a necessary document. Therefore, it is advisable to start researching for schools and organizing for admission processes early. It is often said that expat families need to start preparing for the admission process 6 months prior to the desired starting date, especially if you have multiple children because many schools have a waiting list and sometimes it can be difficult to receive a place for all of your child at the same time.
Some schools may require a certain level of English proficiency depending on age, etc. when the child’s mother language is other than English. In addition, some “international schools” in Japan are considered as a school to learn “English” among Japanese parents. Thus, it is necessary to learn about the schools including the student body when you’re choosing a school because some schools may have mostly or only Japanese students although they have English-speaking teachers and are teaching a non-Japanese curriculum.
Here is a list of schools accredited to offer IB curriculum(s).
Note: International Baccalaureate (IB) is a certification system used for university admission that is recognized internationally. IB schools provide the IB curriculum(s) that prepare students for an IB diploma. Students who complete the IB diploma program successfully will be awarded with the IB diploma.
These are the IB accredited schools in Tokyo and Yokohama. (From the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology website)
PYP: (Primary Years Programme) For age 3 through 10
MYP: (Middle Years Programme) For age 11 through 16
DP: (Diploma Programme) For age 16 through 19
Tuition for international schools differs greatly. Normally, English medium schools are known for expensive tuition, and annual tuition ranges from 1.5 to 2.3 million yen. In addition, 300,000 yen for registration as well as uniform fees, school bus fees, and other fees are required.
International schools around Tokyo are found both in the center and also outskirts of Tokyo. It is recommended to check the bus route and bus stops when you choose a house.
This entry was posted in Living Information