【Event Report】How to choose a Best Fit School

How to choose a Best Fit School

Sponsored by FSA and Tricor! The Latest on International schools & Boarding schools

-Event report on a popular international educational event

On Thursday, November 10 and Thursday, November 17, “International schools  and Boarding schools Online Seminar” (sponsored by FSA and Tricor) was held. Approximately 570 participants (total for the two days), mainly foreign investors who are considering stationing in Japan and domestic and foreign families interested in international education, listened attentively to the appeal and latest situation of international schools and boarding schools in Japan.

The editorial team will provide a three-part report on the seminar with presentation from the speakers.

In this article, we bring you a presentation by Michio Montogomery, The Representative Director & CEO of Global Step Academy Group, on “How to choose a Best Fit School.”


Michio Montgomery
The Representative Director & CEO of Global Step Academy Group
Mr. Montgomery currently is the Representative Director & CEO of Global Step Academy Group, an international education-focused company that provides international education services, both online and offline, for students around the world.
He was also the former Representative Director & CEO of ABC Cooking Studio, the largest cooking school business in Japan and one of the largest in the world. He left after the sale of the company to NTT Docomo in January 2014. Before that, he was an M&A associate at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). He supported the team in numerous billion-dollar domestic and cross-border M&A deals. He graduated from Babson College with a BA in business administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Economics.


Location and position map of 49 leading schools in Japan

-Location map of 49 leading schools in Japan
Let’s take a general look at what kind of international schools and boarding schools exist in Japan and where they are located.

PDF MAP 

As you can see, most of the schools are located in the Kanto area, but there are many schools in other major cities in Japan that have excellent programs and interesting and unique visions.

-Position map of 49 leading schools in Japan

PDF Position-map

This is another angle on the positioning of each of the 49 international schools and boarding schools in Japan. This is not the best way to see the differences between the schools, but it is very simple.
The horizontal axis is the year of establishment, and you can see whether the school is a traditional school or an emerging school. If we look around the new schools on the left side, we can glimpse the recent rush of international schools and boarding schools opening. Characteristically, newer schools need to be more competitive in various aspects, so they have the advantage of having unique curricula and lower-than-average tuition fees.
Next, the vertical axis is a comparison of tuition fees, not only tuition fees, but also the overall necessary expenses such as enrollment fees and facility usage fees. The line right in the middle is the 2 million yen per year line, which includes tuition, facility fees, and other expenses. This is a typical tuition amount for an international school in Japan.
Some of the newer schools that are quite more expensive are Rugby (Chiba), Harrow Appi (Iwate), Jinseki (Hiroshima), and ISAK (Nagano). These are boarding schools in Japan. They are much higher in terms of tuition fees, but they offer vast and wonderful facilities and environments that other international schools cannot offer.

-A list of 49 leading schools
As a support tool to help you choose the best fit school for your child, we have created an updated list of 49 leading schools.

Please use the list to find the best fit school for your child, using the advice from our educational consultants and the school selection process we have described so far.

PDF School-list

Name of SchoolBoarding
/
Day
Age
range
Girls/
Boys/
Co-ed
Annual Tuition
2022-2023
Curriculum / QualificationYear of
foundation
AccreditationAssociationUniversity
acceptances
Location
1. Saint Maur International SchoolDay2.5-18Co-edJPY2,230,000Montessori,IPC (IPC), IGCSE,
IB (DP), AP, Christian
1872CIS, NEASC,
IB
JCISNo disclosureYokohama,
Kanagawa
2. American school in JapanDay3-18Co-edJPY2,885,000American Curriculum,
AP
1902WASCNAIS, EARCOS,
CASE, JCIS, GOA
2022Chofu,
Tokyo
3. International School of the Sacred HeartDay3-18GirlsJPY2,210,000Original,
Christian
1908WASC, CISEARCOS, AGSA,
JCIS, KPASS
2022Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo
4. Deutsche Schule Kobe InternationalDay2-11Co-edNo DisclosureGerman curriculum,
IB (PYP)
1909IBNAKobe,
Hyogo
5. Canadian AcademyDay & Boarding3-18Co-edJPY1,260,000(D)
JPY5,110,000(B)
IB (PYP, MYP, DP)1913WASC, CIS, IBJCIS, APAC2022Kobe,
Hyogo
6. Yokohama International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY2,520,000IB (PYP, MYP, DP)1924CIS, NEASC, IBJCIS2022Yokohama,
Kanagawa
7. St. Michael’s International SchoolDay3-11Co-edJPY1,397,000IPC (IEYC, IPC),
Christian
1946WASC, CIS,
COBIS, IPC
EARCOS, ICA, JCISNAKobe,
Hyogo
8. Nishimachi International SchoolDay5-15Co-edJPY2,910,000Original1949WASC, CISAAIE, WIDA, EARCOS, ICA, JCISNAMinato-ku,
Tokyo
9. Christian Academy in JapanDay5-18Co-edJPY1,670,000American curriculum,
Christian
1950WASC, ACSIEARCOS, CSI,
CSPN, JCIS
2022Higashikurume,
Tokyo
10. Marist Brothers International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,556,500Montessori, American
Curriculum, IB (DP)
1951WASC, IBEARCOS, JCIS2022Kobe,
Hyogo
11. St Mary’s International SchoolDay5-18BoysJPY2,480,000Original, IB (DP),
Christian
1954WASC, CIS, IBEARCOS, JCIS2022Setagaya-ku,
Tokyo
12. Okinawa Christian School InternationalDay3-18Co-edJPY868,000American curriculum,
Christian
1957WASC, ACSIEARCOS, JEMA, CSPN,
NASSP, JCIS, NCAA
2022Yomitan,
Okinawa
13.Hokkaido International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,101,000Reggio Emilia, IPC (IPC,
IMYC), CPC, AP
1958WASC, IPCWIDA, EARCOS, JCIS2022Sapporo,
Hokkaido
14.Seisen International SchoolDay2-18GirlsJPY2,130,000Montessori, IB (PYP,
MYP, DP), Christian
1962CIS, NEASC, IBJCIS2022Setagaya-ku,
Tokyo
15.Hiroshima International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,220,000IB (PYP, MYP, DP)1962CIS, IBJCIS2022Asakita-ku,
Hiroshima
16. Nagoya International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,890,000
IB (PYP, MYP, DP)1964WASC, CIS, IBJCIS2022Nagoya,
Aichi
17. Tohoku International SchoolDay4-18Co-edJPY693,000IB (PYP, MYP, DP),
Original
1970WASC, IBEARCOS, JCIS2022Sendai,
Miyagi
18. Fukuoka International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,539,800IB (PYP, MYP, DP)1972WASC, CIS, IBEARCOS, WIDA, NWEA, JCIS2022Sawara-ku,
Fukuoka
19. Lycée Français International de TokyoDay3-18Co-edJPY1,462,887French Curriculum,
OIB
1975AEFENo disclosureKita-ku,
Tokyo
20. Aoba Japan International SchoolDay1.6-18Co-edJPY1,966,500IB (PYP, MYP, DP),
Original
1976CIS, NEASC, IBEARCOS, JCIS2022Meguro-ku, Bunkyo-ku,
Tokyo
21. Columbia International SchoolDay4-18Co-edJPY1,624,500Canadian Curriculum1988WASCJCIS, ASCD2022Tokorozawa,
Saitama
22. British school in TokyoDay3-18Co-edJPY2,625,000British Curriculum
(GCSE, A-Levels)
1989COBISFOBISIA, JCIS2022Minato-ku, Setagaya-ku,
Tokyo
23. Tokyo International SchoolDay5-15Co-edJPY2,730,000IB (PYP, MYP)1994CIS, NEASC, IBEARCOS, JCISNAMinato-ku,
Tokyo
24. K International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY2,302,000IB (PYP, MYP, DP),
IGCSE
1997CIS, IB, CambridgeEARCOS, JCIS, PTC2022Koto-ku,
Tokyo
25. Tokyo YMCA International SchoolDay5-15Co-edJPY1,844,700American Curriculum1998WASCNAKoto-ku,
Tokyo
26. Canadian International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,850,000IB (PYP), Canadian Curriculum,
AP
1999WASC, IB, PEI2022Shinagawa-ku,Meguro-ku,
Tokyo
27. Kinder KidsDay0-6Co-edNo disclosureOriginal2000NATokyo,Kanagawa,Aichi,Kyoto,
Nara,Osaka,Hyogo, Fukuoka
28. New International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY2,450,000Original,
Multiage Education
2001CIS, MSAJCIS, PENNo disclosureToshima-ku,
Tokyo
29. Laurus International School of ScienceDay1.5-12Co-edJPY1,755,000Cambridge (CP, CLS),
Original
2001CambridgeNAMinato-ku,
Tokyo
30. Osaka YMCA International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,248,000IB (PYP, MYP, DP)2001WASC, IBEARCOS, ECIS,
WIDA, JCIS
No disclosureKita-ku, Nishi-ku,
Osaka
31. Kansai International AcademyDay0-18Co-edJPY2,550,500IB (PYP, DP),
Original
2001CIS, IBNo disclosureKobe,
Hyogo
32. Musashi International SchoolDay2-18Co-edJPY1,337,000Cambridge (CP, CLS,
IGCSE, A-Levels)
2002CambridgeNo disclosureMitaka,
Tokyo
33. Global Indian International SchoolDay2.5-16Co-edJPY1,186,892Montessori, IB (PYP, DP),
CBSE, Cambridge (CLS, IGCSE)
2002IB, Cambridge,
CBSE
GSFNAEdogawa-ku,
Tokyo
34. The Montessori School of TokyoDay2-15Co-edJPY2,410,000Montessori2003IMCAMI, JCISNAMinato-ku,
Tokyo
35. Horizon Japan International SchoolDay3-18Co-edJPY1,800,000IB (PYP, MYP, DP),
American Curriculum
2003WASC, CIS, IBECIS2022Yokohama,
Kanagawa
36. Aichi International SchoolDay3-12Co-edJPY1,234,200Japanese Curriculum,
Canadian Curriculum
2006WASC, MEXTNANagoya,
Aichi
37. Makuhari International SchoolDay3-12Co-edJPY1,600,000Japanese Curriculum2006CIS, MEXTEARCOSNANarashino,
Chiba
38. Okinawa Amicus International SchoolDay3-15Co-edJPY702,000Original2011Round SquareNAUruma,
Okinawa
39. International School of NaganoDay0-15Co-edJPY1,372,000IB (PYP)2013IBNAMatsumoto,Nagano,Ueda,
Nagano
40. UWC ISAK JapanBoarding16-18Co-edJPY5,282,000IB (DP)2014IB, MEXTUWC2022Karuizawa,
Nagano
41. Camelot International SchoolDay6-18Co-edJPY1,170,000Cambridge (CP, CLS,
IGCSE, A-Levels)
2014CambridgeNo disclosureItabashi-ku,
Tokyo
42. International College of TechnologyBoarding15-20Co-edJPY3,250,000Japanese Curriculum
(MEXT KOSEN)
2018MEXT2022Kanazawa,
Ishikawa
43. Jinseki International SchoolBoarding5-12Co-edJPY7,340,000IPC (IPC), MEXT2020IPC, MEXTNAJinseki,
Hiroshima
44. NUCB International CollegeBoarding16-18Co-edJPY3,500,000IB (DP), MEXT2021MEXTBSA, ABSANANisshin,
Aichi
45. Phoenix House International SchoolDay5-11Co-edJPY2,890,000British Curriculum2021NAChiyoda-ku,
Tokyo
46. Phoenix House International SchoolDay6-12Co-edJPY2,772,000IB (PYP)2022NAMinato-ku,
Tokyo
47. Harrow International School AppiDay11-18Co-edJPY8,490,000British Curriculum
(IGCSE, A-Levels)
2022NAAppi Kogen,
Iwate
48. Rugby School JapanDay11-18Co-edJPY5,000,000British Curriculum
(IGCSE, A-Levels)
2023NAKashiwanoha,
Chiba
49. Malvern College TokyoDay5-13Co-edJPY2,500,000IB (PYP, MYP)2023NAKodaira,
Tokyo

*Criteria for selection: Overall evaluation of accreditation status obtained from international accreditation bodies, as well as the quality and history of the facility.
*Schools that declined to be listed when contacted in advance by the editorial staff will not be listed.

How can we enroll?

-Steps to Admission to international schools and boarding schools
When considering an international school or boarding school, the basic process is as follows.
imageFirst, search the Internet and make a list of schools you are interested in. Once you have made your list, contact each school to check availability for the grade level you are interested in. Then, adjust your schedule and go to the school that interests you for an orientation and school tour.
Once you actually go to the school and attend the orientation and tour, ask the school questions about the points you are interested in.
The school will then screen your child and family, depending on which grade level you wish to place your child in, whether it is Kindergarten or Elementary. The screening process may vary from school to school, depending on which grade level you wish to place your child in. The older your child is, the more different the transfer process will be.
For example, the school may ask a lot of questions about your child’s English level to make sure he or she can keep up in class, and they may also ask about your child’s ability in other subjects, especially math, and his or her grades from previous schools.
Then, if you are fortunate enough to be accepted, you will complete the enrollment process. This is the basic step for choosing an international school or a boarding school.

What should I pay attention to when searching for a school?

-What to look for when searching for a school
When searching for a school, there are some obvious but very important factors to consider. Such items are summarized above.

At the top of the list is educational philosophy. Of course, international schools tend to have very strong philosophies about their ultimate goals. Their vision is in what kind of curriculum they offer and what kind of team they assemble.

Some schools are not perfect consolidators. They may focus on some grade level. Some schools may only open Elementary or High School, while others may only offer Kinder through 9th grade.

Regarding the application process, you should also find out what documents you need to prepare and by when, as well as when you will be admitted (April, September, or some other different time).

Also, several international schools may have curricula that are not competitive from an international perspective if you want to go to an overseas university. Be careful and look at what international accreditations they have. Are the curricula being used in an effective way, and is the school operating at a professional level?

And a very important factor is to visit and observe the school in person. Talk to the principal, teachers, and staff, observe the students, their performance, and the conversations they have with each other.

And the ratio of nationalities. Many international schools, especially in Japan, have basically a majority of Japanese students and may lack international and racial diversity.

Even if they adopt an international curriculum and use English as the language of instruction, depending on the nationality of the students, they may not be exposed to the international quality and cultural diversity that they are looking for. In addition, the nationality bias of the student body may also change the school’s operations.

-What to look for when visiting a school

By actually visiting a school and learning about the students, how they interact with each other, the thought process of the teachers, and the educational philosophy, you will learn more about the true value of a school than you can get from a website or a list alone.

I believe that the core of a school’s quality consists of “how well the teachers are able to teach their classes” and “whether the teachers and staff work together and truly believe in the philosophy the school offers.” These not only directly affect a child’s development, but also the operation of the school.

As for the learning environment and teacher-student ratios, some schools do not disclose this and tend not to ensure transparency. Talk to parents or alumni who actually send their children to that school to get more real information.
The total number of students in a school is just as important as the class size. You need to know if the environment is one where students have access to teachers or can communicate with teachers and focus more.

At junior high and especially high school, sports and other extracurricular activities become more important to adolescence as they balance their academic activities with opportunities to develop personal interest, experience leadership opportunities, and enjoy being members of a group. Many of these opportunities and offerings may differ depending on what sort of facilities the school may have.

I have experienced two international schools, and the school located in the center of Tokyo clearly had some facility limitations. On the other hand, the school located in the suburbs had more facilities and offered a vast range of opportunities.

Extracurricular activities and clubs are also important. Some schools offer more opportunities than others. They may focus more on specific areas you might be interested in. For example, STEAM education is very popular these days, so some schools will tend to focus on offering programs that are geared heavily towards STEAM education.

Depending on your family situation, you may need to check for scholarships, special needs classes, and, of course, how long the wait list (waiting list) is for possible enrollment slots. Some schools are very popular and space is limited.

If you are looking for an intermediary in Japan, communicating with and getting support from an educational consultant can help you get information that is difficult to find on websites or in public, and may help you in the process.

Gaining International Competitiveness through the Understanding of the Japanese language and culture

-What is the appeal of international schools and boarding schools in Japan?
The appeal of international schools and boarding schools in Japan is the exposure to the Japanese environment and culture.

From an economic standpoint, the Japanese language and culture is of great value, especially in the Asian market, and it is also beneficial from an international market standpoint. The opportunity to learn and grow in a bilingual, bicultural learning environment in Japan, within the Japanese community, is a very interesting factor.

In addition, Japan is currently undergoing a major change in its education system, as Japan’s mid-long term competitiveness is being challenged globally, and the importance of international education is becoming better understood. I believe that this will escalate considerably, especially in the next 5 to 10 years and believe that international education is becoming more important than ever before. So I think we are going to be seeing a lot more positive changes around the international education system in Japan, which will be initiated by the government and the community, ultimately providing educational support, benefits and opportunities to the students growing up in the international school system.

◉Appendix: advice from educational consultants

-Advise from 6 educational consultants






Writer: Kaori Takahashi

アオバジャパン・インターナショナルスクールAOBA-JAPAN BILINGUAL PRE-SCHOOL 2023年度 入学生募集中GO SCHOOL 子ども英語オンラインスクール

Related article