10 Best International Schools in Japan
Best English-Speaking International Schools Across Japan
Are you looking for an English-speaking International school in Japan?
Moving to Japan with children can be a big challenge, especially taking into account the language barrier. International schools are saviors in that sense since they provide classes either in English or other languages depending on where that school’s curriculum is based on.
There are many reasons why you would be looking for an international school for your children instead of a regular Japanese school.
Maybe your children are fixated on applying for a university overseas. Or maybe you’ll be in Japan for not such a long time, so you don’t want to put your children through the stress of learning a whole new language just so that they can use it for a short period of time.
Whatever your reason is, finding the ideal international school might be a challenge since there are quite a lot of options.
In this article, I will introduce the list of 10 best international schools in Japan, which covers from Tokyo and Osaka to Hokkaido and Fukuoka.
Overview of International Schools in Japan
Before introducing our picks for the 10 best international schools in Japan, let me provide some basic information about international schools in general.
What is an International School?
International schools in Japan are educational institutions where the primary language spoken is not Japanese; this, usually being English. The curriculum is based on the country where that school is from, making it different from regular Japanese schools.
All international schools are private, making them relatively expensive.
How many international schools are there?
International schools are getting increasingly popular internationally, and Japan is not the exception. This is mainly due to the fact that these schools provide an environment where a global mentality is nurtured, which is something that is becoming more and more important.
Since there are many definitions of “International School”, the number of schools varies a lot depending on who you ask. In Tokyo alone, this number can go from 24 to 44. many of these are Pre-schools due to their increasing popularity.
What types of international schools are there?
In the case of pre-school to elementary school, there are two main types of international schools.
One type is those whose curricula are based on the country these schools are from such as France, Canada, and the US. The other type is those who have more flexible curricula such as Montessori or Waldorf education.
In the case of middle school to high school, in most cases, these have a curriculum that is based on an internationally recognized programs such as IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme).
Many of these schools are also accredited by the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), and/or CIS (Council of International Schools).
10 Best International Schools in Japan
Now that you know the basic overview of international schools in Japan, let me introduce 10 of the best English-speaking international schools in Japan. I’ve chosen schools from various areas in Japan; I hope you find one that interests you for your children.
1. New International School of Japan (Tokyo)
The New International School of Japan is an international school located in Toshima ward, Tokyo.
It was founded in 2001 and has a Scottish curriculum. Its education is dual language in English and Japanese, but Mandarin Chinese is offered as an option as well.
It also has a multi-age system where there’s a three-year age range of children in each class.
The school is accredited by CIS and MSA. And it is affiliated with the Coalition of Essential Schools and the Progressive Education Network in the USA.
▶Official Website: http://www.newis.ed.jp/
2. Horizon Japan International School (Yokohama)
Horizon Japan International School is an international school located in Yokohama city, Kanagawa prefecture.
This school includes preschool all the way to high school. And it is an IB Continuum School offering the PYP, MYP, and DP programs.
The school offers an American Curriculum based on the International Baccalaureate. And the language of instruction in mainly English.
▶Official Website: https://horizon.ac.jp/
3. Kohana International School (Kawasaki)
Kohana International School is an international school located in Kawasaki city, Kanagawa prefecture.
This school offers a British curriculum, and all classes are in English. It includes from pre-school all the way to high school.
The school curriculum for Kohana international school is divided into 7 subsets which include Academics, Performing Arts, Fine Arts,
Club activities, Free Play, and Intra-class competition.
▶Official Website: https://www.kohanainternationalschool.com/
4. Saint Maur International School (Yokohama)
Saint Maur International School is another international school situated in the historical area of Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture.
This school was established all the way back in 1872 and provides services from 2½ years to Grade 12.
Classes are mainly done in English, but the school also has a French section.
▶Official Website: https://www.stmaur.ac.jp/
5. Nagoya International School (Nagoya)
As you may imagine from its name, Nagoya International School (NIS) is an international school located in the city of Nagoya, Aichi prefecture.
It has been offering its services since 1964 and its curriculum is framed by the programs of the IB.
NIS is accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS).
▶Official Website: https://www.nis.ac.jp/
6. Osaka International School (Osaka)
Osaka International School (OIS) is an international school located in Minoh city, Osaka.
This school was founded in 1991 along with its sister school Senri International School (SIS). They strive to provide the best of Japanese and non-Japanese educational ideas, systems, and techniques to students from kindergarten through grade 12.
OIS was the first school in Japan to gain authorization to offer all three International Baccalaureate programs.
▶Official Website: https://www.senri.ed.jp/
7. Kyoto International University Academy (Kyoto)
Kyoto International University Academy is an international school located in Kyotanabe city, Kyoto.
This school has an international curriculum offering education based on Christian virtues and commitment, family atmosphere, free inquiry, self-expression, and wholesome interactions.
Languages used are English and Japanese for children of ages ranging from 6 to 18.
▶Official Website: https://www.kiua.kyotoiu.ac.jp/?lang=en
8. Fukuoka International School (Fukuoka)
Fukuoka International School (FIS) is an international school located in Fukuoka city, Fukuoka prefecture.
This school offers education ranging from PreK to Grade 12 and it offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. It is also a fully authorized IB Primary Years Programme school and an IB Middle Years Programme candidate school.
FIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
▶Official Website: https://www.fis.ed.jp/
9. Hokkaido International School (Sapporo)
Hokkaido International School is an international shool located in Sapporo city, Hokkaido.
This relatively small school has around 200 students, ranging from PreSchool to Grade 12.
The curriculum for this school is based on that of the US, and counting with an International Primary Curriculum, International Middle Years Curriculum, and a four-year high school program.
HIS has a unique focus at the high school level on environmental science, environmental understanding, outdoor education, and leadership training.
▶Official Website: https://www.his.ac.jp/
10. Tohoku International School (Sendai)
Tohoku International School is an international school located in Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture.
It is the only accredited international school in the Tohoku region that offers an education ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Because it is an accredited international school, students here can aspire to attend universities in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
▶Official Website: http://www.tisweb.net/
I hope this article was helpful for you.
Attending an international school has many merits, especially for nurturing an international mentality which is something that is becoming more and more important.
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