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Osaka / Kansai International schools

Japan With Kids - Forums: Education in Japan: Education Options: Osaka / Kansai International schools
By Jordyn on Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 8:53 am:

Hi I'm Looking for a good Junior High School and High School for my bi-lingual 13 year old son in the Kansai area. He has some Japanese schooling and would be able to attend a regular Japanese school which is probably more affordable the the big international schools in this area. Any advice would be appreciated.


By Michaelg on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 5:27 am:

Hi. Can't be much help regarding Junior High, but I'm hoping YOU can help US - We have a near-4-yr-old and will be moving to Kobe in August. Do you have any experiences with daycares or kindergartens? Any information most welcome. Thank!
Michael


By Jordyn on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:01 am:

Hi Michael,

Sure I can give you some broad advice.

There are some variables to consider in your case.

1. How long are you going to be in Japan?

2. Do you want your child to speak Japanese?

these are probably the basic things you should decide.

Kobe has a fair size foreign community so that will make things easier for you.

If you're planning to be here for a long time I suggest the local Japanese kindergarten. You can get to know other mothers in the area and children here are very social within their local community.
Your child will also be able to speak Japanese and will have no problem going into a Japanese elementary school should you choose that path.


If you are a temporary resident and want an English environment for your child there are plenty of fully English kindergartens and pre schools available but should you decide to go that route you will need to live somewhere accessible to commute. Most kindergartens however do offer some kind of bus service.

The local city council are a great help too. Someone there can usually speak English and they are more than accommodating to foreign residents.

This link might help you get some idea of what's available.


http://www.kicc.jp/kicc/guide/itnschool/index_eng.html

I hope you enjoy your stay in Japan.


By Jordyn on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:07 am:

Hi Michael,

Sure I can give you some broad advice.

There are some variables to consider in your case.

1. How long are you going to be in Japan?

2. Do you want your child to speak Japanese?

these are probably the basic things you should decide.

Kobe has a fair size foreign community so that will make things easier for you.

If you're planning to be here for a long time I suggest the local Japanese kindergarten. You can get to know other mothers in the area and children here are very social within their local community.
Your child will also be able to speak Japanese and will have no problem going into a Japanese elementary school should you choose that path.


If you are a temporary resident and want an English environment for your child there are plenty of fully English kindergartens and pre schools available but should you decide to go that route you will need to live somewhere accessible to commute. Most kindergartens however do offer some kind of bus service.

The local city council are a great help too. Someone there can usually speak English and they are more than accommodating to foreign residents.

This link might help you get some idea of what's available.


http://www.kicc.jp/kicc/guide/itnschool/index_eng.html

I hope you enjoy your stay in Japan.


By Michaelg on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:10 am:

Thanks, Jordan. We plan to stay permanently. Wife is Japanese, so that makes things a lot easier. We may put our daughter into St. Michael's for high school, but it's a good primary school I'm after. My question, to be more specific, regards these public schools. May I ask where you live (or lived in Kobe? I believe the school districts are ranked, and I'm wondering if this ranking is important: better area, higher taxes, better school facilities, happier teachers (if this is possible). We have lived in Tokyo but know nothing about Kobe. Of course, a public school with lots of non-Japanese - that would be ideal. Don't know if it's possible.


By Jordyn on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:38 am:

Well I live in Takarazuka so unfortunately I have no personal experience of Kobe elementary schools, a friend's child attends St. Michaels and seems happy with it, however St. Michaels doesn't have a high school.

The Hyogo high school system is ranked (which in turn means that there are a lot of private high schools available which are reasonably priced), but not so for the elementary system. I have found the teachers of Hyogo and Osaka to be dedicated, accommodating and accepting without exception.

As you have a daughter I can suggest Sacred Heart in Obayashi for any ages.
Some of the students that I know from there speak beautiful English and there is a strong English program but lessons are in Japanese.

Kinder Kids kindergarten also has a fully English curriculum with after school English lesson support until the children reach 12 years of age.

Sorry I can't be more help re the Kobe community.

good luck


By Michaelg on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:44 am:

Thanks again, Jordan. Oops - Didn't realize SMIS did NOT have a high school.

Have you heard anything about The Marist school in Suma?

Will check into Sacred Heart - if the price is reasonable, it could be a candidate. Kinder Kids, too - thanks for the recommendation.

...Do you like Takarazuka?


By Jordyn on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:57 am:

I don't know anything about the Marist school mainly because it's too far from us to consider.

Yes I love Takarazuka, perfect for commuting to either Osaka or Kobe. Enough foreign people to keep me sane but not too many to make me feel like I'm living in an ex-pat community.

This might also be applicable to you, I am thinking of sending our son to the Osaka / Senri International School for high school. They have 2 campuses in the same building one that studies only in English and also offers Japanese and one that studies in Japanese with a strong English program. They also have a bus service from Ashiya and the Osaka side starts from Kindergarten but it's quite pricey. It is one of the most impressive schools that I have seen so far.


By Michaelg on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 11:08 am:

Just perused the KinderKids website in Nishinomiya - They don't state the tuition - very suspicious and ONLY japanese kid's faces in the pictures.

This is what also worries me - my daughter growing up in an environment of ONLY faces like hers.

My wife sees no real problem with the uniformity, so maybe I'm paranoid.

Daughter speaks only English now after one year in CA; forgot her Japanese, but it'll come back quickly. It will have to, or she may not make ANY friends.

By the way, can you tell me what they're charging at the Senri school? About 1,000,000 yen a year? Same as SMIS, I believe.


By Jordyn on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 11:29 am:

Total hearsay but I heard the fees for Kinder kids are around 80,000 yen per month in the Takarazuka school for a full program. I take that to mean 5 full days a week. I don't know if any of the schools have bi-cultural children but personally it's seems to be too geared towards Japanese for my taste.

The Osaka Intnl school is charging
1,328,000 tuition,
200,000 - 300,000 bus fee,
340,000 registration and application,
plus cafeteria...... and that's for kindergarten,

years 1 to 5 the tuition goes up to 1,581,000

The Senri school however, which is Junior and Senior High school only, charges about half that amount and uses the same campus.

After visiting the school, I couldn't recommend it more highly and there are many different cultures there, but the fees are exorbitant if you have to pay for it yourself.


By Michaelg on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 11:44 am:

Thanks a lot, Jordyn. Got a bunch of decisions to make. I really want us to live in Kobe, though - with an ocean view, if this is not too insane.


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