Most expats send their children to international schools in Tokyo. Though this is a more expensive option than Japanese schools, international schools are generally better equipped to deal with the needs of foreign students. In many cases, expat children can continue studying the same curriculum as they did back home. This eases the transition into life in a new country.


Public schools in Japan

Parents of very young expat children might consider sending their children to local Japanese schools, which are free even for foreign children. The advantages of these schools are that children will learn Japanese and will integrate into local society more easily. Still, this is usually only an option for expats planning on moving to Japan for an extended period.  

The Japanese school system has a reputation for being strenuous. Expat parents might find the performance pressure placed on young children a bit daunting. If factoring in after-school activities and near-obligatory lessons at jukus (cram schools) children could face a full day in class, with homework still waiting to be done later.


International schools in Tokyo

International schools in Tokyo offer a wide range of programmes, as well as tuition fees, from those aligned to numerous foreign curricula to integrative approaches combining Japanese and international educational models. While most institutions teach in English and follow an American or British curriculum, some schools cater specifically to French, German, Indian and Chinese expats, as well as some other nationalities.

Admission requirements for international schools differ widely and, of course, depend on the school. Tuition and costs also vary and, aside from basic tuition costs, there may be additional costs for things such as uniforms, field trips, bus services and even technology fees.


Special-needs education in Japan

The Japanese government is dedicated to creating an inclusive society in which educational needs are met for each individual student. In line with this, the vast majority of children with special needs are taught in regular public schools. The method of assistance in Japanese public schools will depend on the child’s disabilities and the severity thereof. Some will be taught in regular classes with certain adjustments while others may attend special resource rooms a few times a week. In some cases, these students will attend special-needs education classes within a regular public school. 

Children with acute disabilities may benefit from attending dedicated special-needs schools. These schools  have classes from kindergarten to senior high school.

A number of international schools also offer support for certain conditions or disabilities, though usually at an additional fee. There are also schools following the Waldorf-Steiner and Montessori methods which have a more flexible approach to education and are known to cater to individual students’ needs.


Tutors in Japan

Schooling in Japan is competitive and tutors are commonly used. Students will often have multiple tutors for different school subjects. Having a tutor in Japan can be especially useful for expat children. A tutor can assist with mother-tongue maintenance or help them improve their Japanese. If a child is attending a school with a new curriculum, a tutor is an excellent way of catching up and adjusting.

Tutoring is popular in Japan, which has led to plenty of tutoring companies popping up across the country. Though expats may be spoilt for choice, they should do thorough research on all options before choosing a tutor. Schools will often be able to recommend trustworthy tutors.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global

Cigna Global can tailor an international health insurance plan to perfectly fit the needs of you and your family. With 86 million customers in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell

William Russell is a boutique insurance company, that values itself on its great customer service and is underwritten by Allianz. They provide health, life, and income protection insurance for expats around the world. With a global network of 40,000 hospitals and doctors, their health insurance plans are designed so that they follow you to whatever country you move to next.

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Moving Companies

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Moving Internationally?

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

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