Want to send your child to a Japanese high school, but lack the language skills — or information on how to do it? These are the ten schools that will accept foreign students in Tokyo. They will provide adequate cultural and language support until they graduate.
Japan’s compulsory education ends at completion of grade 9, meaning that students who want to study further must find their own place at a senior high school that’s right for them. Here are some choices for foreign students interested in studying in Japanese — and graduating from a high school like a true local.
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Opportunities & Preparation
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government runs well over a hundred co-educational, three-year senior high schools, six of which it designates as schools that accommodate non-Japanese students living in Tokyo. Except for foreign language classes, all lessons at these schools are taught in Japanese (with the appropriate language support), providing an authentic Japanese educational experience, including club activities, cultural festivals and other year-round activities typical for Japanese high schools. These schools are ideal for students who wish to travel and learn Japanese and possibly live and work in Japan.
The applicant must have completed at least nine years of school in Japan or abroad. They must also be a registered foreign national living in Tokyo at the time they apply. And the school entry date must not be more than three years after their arrival to Japan. Private schools’ entrance requirements for foreign students tend to be about the same.
Among the six designated schools, all but one have little or no English on their websites, so if you are considering this option for your children, it’s a good idea to first contact the schools directly or the Tokyo Metropolitan Education Consultation Center for general information about schools and their entrance procedures and requirements. The center offers consultation in English every Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. and can be contacted at 4159804663
Public high schools are, of course, much cheaper than private ones. The annual tuition fee for a full-time study course at a public high is around ¥118,800 with an admission fee of about half that. Tuition assistance is available for low-income families.
Option One: Public High Schools
Below is a list of Tokyo’s best-known high schools that regularly enroll international students.
#1 Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School
The Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School, commonly known as Kokusai Koko, is the foremost among all public-international high schools. It describes itself as standing in the top 10 percent of Tokyo metropolitan high schools. Only one school has an English website, out of six that have been designated for foreign students.
Kokusai (the Japanese word for international) emphasizes nurturing students’ linguistic skills and an international viewpoint and has a great variety of language classes — including French, German, Spanish and more. Students Two years of enrollment are possible, one in April and one in September. The school is located at Komaba in Meguro Ward. In April 2017, 25 international students were admitted to the school. September saw five. It also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. This program is taught mainly in English. That course accepts a maximum of 25 Japanese and foreign students annually. One of the best features of the school is that it supports foreigners through special Japanese courses and places them in all classes (including math, science and languages) based on proficiency level. It is very international with students and returnees from all parts of the world.
#2 Tokyo Metropolitan Asuka High School
Asuka High School is located in Oji, Kita Ward and describes itself as having a higher number of teachers than other schools, enabling it to run smaller classes divided according to one’s ability in English, mathematics and Japanese. There are two main learning pathways: international culture, art and life studies. Despite having a website that is in Japanese only, Asuka describes itself as actively pursuing international exchange, partly via a study trip to Australia in the second year. Out of a total of 130 students, the school typically accepts 20 international residents for its April intake. Three are accepted in September.
#3 Tokyo Metropolitan Fuchu Nishi High School
This school located in Fuchu, in west Tokyo, prides itself on detailed instruction. It runs small classes divided according to students’ abilities and uses information and communication technology equipment in teaching. It has a strong focus on information technology in the first year and a stream of humanities and sciences in the second year. Fuchu Nishi offered 15 spots for foreign students for its April intake in 2017, and three for September.
#4 Tokyo Metropolitan Minamikatsushika Senior High School
This school in Tateishi, Katsushika Ward, usually accepts 15 non-Japanese students in its April admissions and three in September. It runs small classes of 20-30 students in many subjects and divides mathematics and English classes according to students’ abilities. Saturday classes are available for voluntary extra study. You can find more about the school’s enrollment requirements here.
#5 Tokyo Metropolitan Tagara High School
Tagara High School usually admits a total of 20 foreign students in its April admissions; six in its general education course and 14 in its foreign culture course. In September, it takes one extra non-Japanese student into the general course and two into the foreign culture course. Located in Hikarigaoka, Nerima Ward, Tagara teaches Japanese traditions and culture in the third year. Find English-language information regarding enrollment here.
#6 Tokyo Metropolitan Takenodai High School
This school is based in Higashi-Nippori, Arakawa Ward and it usually accepts 15 foreign students into its general education course in April and three more in September. The school offers extra classes on Saturdays, during vacations, and a place for self-study. For more information on applications, click here.
Option Two: Private High Schools
#7 Kanto International Senior High School
Kanto International School is a private, co-educational high school with three learning streams: general education, foreign studies and performing arts. Foreign students are only accepted into the Japanese culture course in the general education stream. There were 20 spots available for foreign students and returnees in the 2017 school year. This is out of a total intake of 360.
The education ministry has designated Kanto International as a “Super English Language High School.” These schools emphasize English-language study and are tasked with developing such curricula and also with practical research into creating effective collaborative ties with junior high schools and universities.
Located in Shinjuku, Kanto International had an admission cost of ¥240,000 for 2017 and a monthly tuition fee of around ¥31,500, among other expenses.
#8 International Christian University High School
This school is located on the campus of the International Christian University (ICU) in western Tokyo’s Koganei City. It is ranked as one of the best private high schools in Japan. Over 65 percent of its students have returned to school. All lessons are conducted in Japanese, except for those taught by native English speakers. ICUHS is a designated “Super Global High School” under a government program that aims to foster leaders who will be able to play active roles on the international stage.
ICUHS received applications from 80 students in its April 2017 admissions. This includes a few international students. Costs for the 2016 school year included a ¥330,000 entrance fee and an annual tuition fee of ¥591,000, among other expenses. ICUHS also offers a dormitory.
#9 Keika Gakuen
This institute in Hakusan, Bunkyo Ward, includes a boys’ junior and senior high school as well as a girls’ junior and senior high. At the start of the 2017 school year, the boys’ school had 10 places open for returnees in each of the junior and senior high sections. The school also offered a few spots in the returnees category between semesters. It noted that nationality was not an issue and opened that category up for foreign students. Each of the girls’ schools planned to take five students and a few others during the year under the returnees category, also stipulating that nationality is not an issue. Each school charges an admission fee of ¥250,000 and a monthly tuition fee of about ¥34,000, among other costs.
#10 Otsuma Tama Junior and Senior High School
This private girls’ school in Tama City, western Tokyo, makes a handful of places available to international students each year. Otsuma is a six year, joint junior high school and senior high school. The admission process takes place at the seventh grade level. The junior high school years emphasize the development of basic academic skills, while the third and final years focus on college preparation. For more information about application fees and costs, please contact the school directly.
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