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What do you think of the quality of education at international schools in Japan?


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I've studied in the Philippines and Canada and taught in Japan. What I've generally noticed in Japanese schools are that they're quite particular when it comes to the output of students compared to the other countries I've studied in. I think that their teaching method focuses a lot on drills, which is great in its own right. To answer the question straight, I think the quality is great, although a bit rigid and archaic when it comes to their approach to learning.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Rote learning is good for some things, for example learning your multiplication tables, or drilling vocabulary for a second language. It is not good for other things though, like medicine, or when having to think about complex issues. Probably a big reason why doctors here suck so bad; they know all the facts, but they don't know how to apply their knowledge in the real world.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

very general question.

depends up to each school.

so its difficult to say anything and stay accurate.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I not a teacher nor ever want to be one so Im not one to judge this, I had two friends who were born in Japan and went to international school here one is Biazilian speaks very good English, portiguse, and French, and another is Indian but a Biitish hational. Both from Kobe, they both have great education but one problem both of them can only speak very basic Japanese. I have been helping them with there Japanese whenever I visit.

Again, I have no idea about these schools and how they work, there should be an emphasis on learning not only international culture but a great emphasis should be placed on Japanese culture and speaking Japanese because if your going to live, work, and survive here you need to know how to speak, read, write, and understand the culture of Japan.

Example, accoding to a news report I read recently in my home country in Berlin for some Ukraine refugees children there education is in German in the mornings, also lere English, and in the afternoon they take their zoom classes with a Ukraine teacher.

Japanese culture and language should be available even at international schools to really help students understand and have a better life here in Japan especially if they intend to stay for the long term.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Well most are junk.

Dubious certification, one cannot attend Japanese university unless you apply as a foreign student.

I have met and known plenty of "teachers" in these international schools and few had any qualifications as teachers and would never be able to be a teacher in their home country.

They are for the most part everything wrong.


Dubious certification that may or may not be accepted in North America or Europe and certainly not in Japan.

Often unqualified teachers.

No capability to go to proper upper education in the Japanese system if one wanted to.

My children went to Japanese public school and then Japanese university, one of their cousins did all public school then decided to go to Canada for university, his brother went to Japanese university.

This option wouldn't have been available with a so-called international high school diploma!

Note a few (very few) international schools use the Japanese curriculum and are certified as Japanese educational institutions, these are expensive but get the best of both worlds as they say an international community but a Japanese certified diploma.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

It seems everybody I ask about them gives me a completely different opinion, so I guess it is a case-by-case thing. Some people are very happy of putting their children into one, while others ended up being quite disappointed.

The most important thing is to research the school as much as it is possible and dedicate time into comparing the advantages and disadvantages. Maybe one particular school is not what the family has in mind, while another one fits much better.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Antiquesaving: You have been grossly misinformed - your post is full of untruths and I know people that would be VERY upset and rightfully angry by your comments. I know MANY students who have ended up in top notch universities in the USA, Canada and Europe after graduating International High School here, especially those that have followed the International Baccalaureate Programme which is very intense.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I am keeping an open mind for the future, but our child is attending public elementary school and we are quite happy. We also send him 2x per week to a very small international school for phonics and English comp. That school uses American textbooks and workbooks which I really like. The combo seems to work well for us.

Why not send him to an international school full-time? We have several issues with this. It's not really financial. One thing is that schools in Tokyo seem to have an obsession with building "global citizens" and with the IB system. Well, I don't believe in global citizens (I don't think this is realistic). And IB seems to have an almost cultish following. I know two families that put their kids through international schools (with IB of course) and what I see as outcomes are that they are lovely kids with OK language skills who aren't exactly crushing it college and have had some cultural issues. Generally, I wonder if it is good for kids to grow in schools that are neither Japanese nor American (or Canadian or British, etc.) culturally. Whom can they relate to besides other international school kids in Japan?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I went to international school many years ago, and my two kids graduated from international school ten years ago. As some of the posters mentioned, it really varies depending on the school. The quality of teaching varies and also will change over time. I thought it was a great experience to mingle with other students from a variety of different backgrounds (including Japanese, usually returning from overseas) which is hard to find in local schools, and not just in Japan. My class size was usually between 25-30 students but had upwards of 10 or more nationalities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In reality it depends on

The prefecture

City in the prefecture

How much you can afford

Our first child was born when we lived in Nara. Preschool was great, primary schools were so bad with American/UK/Canadian teachers who could not form correct grammatical sentences we just sent him to public school.

Moved to Miyazaki. Hyuga Gakuin is a great international school system. All our kids attend them, 1st grade to 7th grade. But the cost is huge. The education is 50/50 English and Japanese. Outside of Miyazaki Shi forget it there are no international schools.

Now think the big 4: Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya they will of course have the best schools and at a premium.

Go outside those to let's say Gifu, Mie, Saitama, Yamanashi, Shiga, Hyogo and it will be you get what you can find.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with Antiquiesaving again...

Most international schools are crap. They are good for expats I guess, who need somewhere to keep their kids for a year or three. But they are no good for long term residents who want their children to succeed IN JAPAN, and at least have the option of moving on to tertiary study here.

Too many of them are not connected to the local systems and procedures and as others have said they graduate students who are not anything approaching fluent in Japanese. Better to attend a Japanese private HS/JHS that has an international program.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

My son is grade 5 elementary and I would prefer to send him to a ' crap ' international school than a Japanese private or public school. I don't want his character to be squeezed out of him going through the ' juken ' system that basically tries to get kids to be obedient little robots in the future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, I think it depends on the school, but one thing based on my observations, for top global companies, almost all of the people there that deals with global business/clients came from international schools or are foreign university graduates(who rarely came from anything other than international schools). If anything, Japanese schools public or private are incapable of training students to have basic English abilities, etc. to perform positions which requires global capabilities. As you move up the income ladder, there are more and more international school graduates, especially at the 10M+ salary level.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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