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City Guide: Schooling Options for Expats in Tokyo

by on May 27, 2010
If you are offered an engagement in Japan and have a family, one of the first things you’ll have to do is start looking into schools for your children.  While expats can attend public schools, most send their children to international schools. Many companies offer to cover some of the costs, as this can be an expensive option. On the other hand, if you aren’t in the position to pay the average cost of about 2 million yen per child per year, you will want to explore every option possible, and Japan, like other Asian countries seeking to appeal to expats, is making efforts to provide a viable alternative to the more expensive private schools.

One of the pros of public schools is that the school system is free, even for foreigners, and your child could benefit from a bi-lingual education.  On the other hand, there are barriers to consider.   For one, even though the school system is renowned for being for being strenuous, expat children may find it overwhelming to excel academically while also learning to adapt to a new culture.  This may not be the best option for expatriates who think they may not be in Tokyo long-term.

Nevertheless, to make things easier, many public and private schools follow the northern hemisphere academic calendar similar to schools in the U.S. and U.K.,  with the main break being in July/August. The international schools in Tokyo offer a wide range of programs offer an approach which combines Japanese and international educational models.
 
To see a very extensive list of schools you can visit the very helpful website Japan With Kids.  This list is failry comprehensive, although updated irregularly, so we cannot guarantee that all the school information is 100% accurate.
 
You may also want to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education, which administers Tokyo’s public schools.
 
To learn more about life for expat lawyers in Tokyo, please use our search tool to find more city guide posts and also take a look at our city guides at Law Alliance.
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From → City Guides, tokyo

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