International Education in Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe
Kyoto is known as the cultural capital of Japan, but did you know it also has an excellent reputation for education? The Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe region has a wide choice of universities, vocational institutions, and of course, international schools. If you’re looking for a family-friendly, city destination in Japan that’s rich in culture and history, but without the chaos of Tokyo’s streets, then Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe could be just what you need.
The majority of Japan’s international schools are located in Tokyo, but Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe has most of the rest. You’ll find an impressive choice of international schools in this region, mostly catering for European or North American expats. As in many other cities around the world, the International Baccalaureate is extremely popular in Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe’s international schools.
However, those who wish to enrol their child in an alternative curriculum, such as British, Japanese, Canadian, Indian, German, French and more won’t be disappointed. The language of instruction is usually English, unless the curriculum is a non-English one such as French or German. Many international schools in Japan offer bilingual instruction in English, Japanese, and occasionally additional languages.
Japan isn’t known for being the most diverse country in the world. As of 2018, 97.8% of its population were Japanese nationals. So sending your child to an international school in Japan is a great opportunity to meet children from all around the world.
It’s such a good opportunity, in fact, that international schools are becoming very popular among Japanese families too. The student body in a typical international school in Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe is made up of around 25 - 30% local Japanese students, with the rest a melting pot of expats.
Japan’s public school and education system is renowned as one of the best in the world, but it’s not without its flaws. Teaching is done through the Japanese language, and there is often high pressure on students to perform well. With international schools in Japan, however, this is not a concern.
Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe’s international schools take the best of both worlds. The focus is on fostering an international world-view and providing a well-rounded education, not just good exam results. Students do, however, learn about Japanese culture and participate in some of the practices common in Japanese schools.
This may include cleaning the classroom as a group at the end of the day, students and teachers spending lunch breaks together, conducting some classes through Japanese or practicing Japanese art forms such as haiku (poetry) or shodo (calligraphy).
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe. However, there are another 12 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe based on your requirements.